How to Encourage Gen Z to Get Back Into the Office

Gen Z – or more colloquially known as zoomers – are the one of the newest generations to enter today’s wonky, mutable, and volatile workforce. 

As many of these individuals have recently graduated from college during the COVID-19 pandemic or started full-time jobs from a remote capacity, their future approach to work is now muddled with uncertainty. 

While many Gen Zer’s have experienced heightened convenience from remote work, there are certainly still plenty of benefits to working from an office space – and that doesn’t mean going in every day of the week. 

So, how can we encourage these individuals to make a return to the office and their transition back even smoother?

Offer Flexibility and Empathy 

Gen Z inherently values flexibility and now more specifically, work-life integration. 

At first glance, working remotely can appear to be the most flexible and convenient approach but it frequently leaves employees feeling like they can’t separate their personal life from their work life. 

On the other hand, the daily grind of going into the office every day has often left many exhausted and frustrated as they feel they don’t have much time for themselves left in their day after work. 

To combat both pitfalls, allow your employees to create more flexible workdays with hours that fit in with their schedules. 

Additionally, offer flex time for employees to step away from their workday to accommodate for appointments and decompression time. 

With a more flexible schedule, employees can then make up for that time later in the day and feel a lot less stressed about trying to find time to balance their work and personal wellbeing. 

We believe that providing employees with the option to choose what hours work best for them will increase their productivity and will then boost the likelihood of them coming into an office.

Recognizing much of the above, many companies have started to become more understanding of employee needs and schedules. 

Gopuff, a nationally recognized food delivery company, has started to provide employees with gym membership reimbursement, so they can worry less about paying premium for their physical wellness. 

Verizon has started to offer a variety of perks in their benefits package to make their employees’ lives easier. Adoption expense assistance, tuition reimbursement and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) are just some of the benefits their employees now have access to.  

It’s shown that Gen Z values employers that are invested not only in them as an employee of said company, but also as a valued individual outside of work.  

We believe that in turn, employees that are happier with their employer are more likely to then want to come into an office space on a more regular basis. 

Create an Adaptable Workspace  

Creating an office space that’s welcoming, adaptable, and interactive is key to drawing Gen Zer’s back into the office. 

As many have experienced the convenience of remote work in the last two years, it’s important to re-emphasize the benefits that also come from working in the office. 

While Gen Z employees are inherently collaborative and work well in teams, they’re also independent and prefer to work with this approach when they can. 

To allow for this collaborative but also independent work approach, privacy and autonomy make a better workspace for Gen Zer’s. So, ensuring there are proper workspaces for them to approach work in both ways is crucial.  

As we know, Gen Zer’s are digital natives, and they expect technology to be always updated and reliable. So, ensure that your workspace has the necessary tools and software for success.  

Plan More In-Person Meetings

Since Gen Zer’s have a constant digital presence in their lives it might come as a surprise that a recent study found that, “84% of Gen Z said face to face is their preferred mode of communication. 

As Gen Zer’s are constantly being bombarded with information on their devices, it’s become refreshing for them to establish real connections and trust with others. 

It’s also clear that Gen Z prioritizes mental health so having in-person meetings and interactive company events can help to support employee wellness. 

While there are benefits to both in-person meetings and virtual meetings, many have complained about serial burnout or Zoom fatigue from months – or years – of remote work. 

With a lack of in-person meetings, there’s also less organic interaction which could result in less trust, understanding, and connection between employees. Additionally, employees will feel less inclined to come into the office if they don’t feel a connection with their team. 

So, consider implementing the following to foster a better sense of community and encourage Gen Z into the office:  

  • Weekly Check-Ins: Managers should set up weekly meetings with their team members. Individual 1:1’s can give employees the opportunity to be in contact with their managers about their work progress and even their personal life.  
  • Establish a Mentorship Program: With being remote for most of their college and work careers, many Gen Zer’s have most likely already made online connections but may have struggled to network in person. They can greatly benefit from having a professional mentor, especially if they can meet with them in person. 
  • Celebrate Milestones: Whether it’s for securing a new client or for simply celebrating a work anniversary, taking the time to recognize achievements and milestones will be greatly appreciated by Gen Zer’s.  

Promote Unique In-Office Perks  

Consider the physical location of your office. Is it located in the city near a coffee shop that teams could stop by for a midday pick-me-up? 

Maybe you’re located near a stadium that could be a post-work destination for your sports fans in the office? 

Whatever neat things around the area, use that proximity as an incentive for your employees to come into the office. 

If it’s possible, you could even partner up with local businesses for employee discounts or other perks. Remember, with Gen Zer’s, convenience is crucial.

Despite being knowledgeable digital nomads, it has been shown that Gen Zer’s still have an inherent desire to work collaboratively, in person. 

It’s time to end Gen Zer’s pre-COVID, preconceived notion that it’s a drag to work from an office. 

Make your office space community based, create unique perks for your employees who come into the office, have meaningful interactions with your employees, we’re sure that it will help your business and teams flourish in the long run.  

Learn about how we can streamline and improve your business’ productivity.