More than 40 percent of workers are still working from home, but new survey data from Apartment List shows that not everyone loves remote work.
“In our latest report, Not Everyone Loves the Remote Work Revolution, we find that remote work is common across workers of all ages, but the youngest generation is least enthused about doing it long-term.
“While older workers appreciate the flexibility afforded by working at home, younger workers miss the in-person connections afforded by working on-site,” write Rob Warnock and Lilla Szini, research associates at Apartment List.
Boomers Find Remote Work Extremely Desirable
Different generations feel differently about working remotely in the post-pandemic economy.
“It has its obvious pros and cons, most notably a healthier work/life balance coming at the expense of feeling less connected to co-workers,” according to one study. But not everyone weighs these competing effects in the same way at different stages of their careers.
“Our survey finds that more than any other generation, 62 percent of boomer remote workers believe working from home is “extremely desirable” going forward; 54 percent of remote workers from Generation X agree, as do just over half of all millennial remote workers.
“Generation Z is the only group in which a majority of workers feel differently; among this youngest batch of remote workers who were ages 25 or younger at the time of our survey, 36 percent said remote work is “extremely” desirable, 27 percent described it as “very” desirable, 28 percent as “somewhat” desirable, and the remaining 9 percent as “not so” or “not at all” desirable.
(Baby boomers, born from 1946-1964, are ages 58-76 today; Gen X, born from 1965-1980, are 42-57 today; millennials, born from 1981-1996, are 26-41 today, and Gen Z, born from 1997-2012, are ages 10-25 today.)
Implications for Housing Markets
The remote-work revolution and its impact on employers “has implications for local housing markets, as some large employers announce plans to roll back work-from-home policies or adopt hybrid arrangements,” said Chris Salviati, Housing Economist at Apartment List.
Apartment List writes in the report that the growing popularity of hybrid remote work is beginning to repair the threads that connect homes and jobs. However there is a difference between hybrid work and true full-time remote work.
“Hybrid work is significantly more restrictive than full-time remote work when it comes to workers’ abilities to relocate,” the report says. True remote workers can work from anywhere with an internet connection, while hybrid workers “are limited to a fairly narrow radius around their job site. If remote workers must endure commutes only a couple times per week, they could expand the commuting zones of major metropolitan areas, but long-distance cross-metro moves will generally not be feasible. Throughout 2021, as hybrid arrangements were becoming more common, we saw rent prices picking back up everywhere, in urban and suburban markets alike.”