Why indefinite remote work is bad for Gen Z

Companies are trying to figure out the future of work, but has anyone asked young people?

A young woman.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

While executives, employees, and scholars debate the future of work, the fate of the office lies in wait. Its original identity as the central setting of most of one's adult life remains threatened by uncertainty over the future of COVID and a newfound skepticism of its true impact on employee productivity. Certainly, there has been plenty of fodder for both sides of the debate: With remote work comes flexibility, an easier ability to provide things like child care, and reduced cost of travel, while on the other hand, those that prefer the office point to benefits like collaboration, face-to-face networking, and improved productivity.

What must not be ignored in these discussions, though, is the significant impact the workplace has on employees who are in the earliest stages of their adult lives. Recent graduates transitioning into real adulthood for the first time are unmoored, disconnected from an institution or distinct community, and typically yearn for an entity that facilitates some sort of structure and social life. As a member of this cohort myself, I not only feel but see reflected in others my age real angst over this new solitary lifestyle and the potential of a future with no physical office life.

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