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2024 Grads Actually Want to Work in the Office, Gusto Finds

Recent graduates are far less likely to be fully remote than workers in their 30s—and that's partly their preference, a new analysis reveals.

By Sarah Lynch, Inc. (TNS)

The class of 2024 graduates this month—and soon, many will be swiping in at the office.

Full-time salaried employees between the ages of 20 and 24 are less likely to work fully remotely than other age groups, according to a new analysis from the payroll provider Gusto of more than 300,000 small and midsize businesses. These recent graduates are 27 percent less likely to be fully remote than workers in their 30s.

In part, this may be due to seniority, the report said, as in “general, senior, or tenured workers may get more remote work opportunities.” But the “magnitude of the difference suggests many college grads are choosing to start their careers in person.”

That’s because they are likely looking for “face-to-face time with bosses, networking, mentorship, and in-person collaboration,” the report added—all things that might be more difficult to achieve in a remote environment.

Indeed, it’s clear that some workers in this age range are already sensing the downsides of being fully remote. In Deloitte’s 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, some respondents said they’d experienced proximity bias. Others said remote and hybrid work could make it more difficult to find mentors or forge connections with colleagues.

Thus, to give these new grads what they want from the office, company leaders need to maximize in-person time—and if falling engagement among younger workers is any indication, there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Experts have previously told Inc. that emphasizing intentional collaboration time in the office is one strategy. Providing development and mentorship opportunities for younger workers in office is another, according to a recent Gallup report, which concluded that in “a post-pandemic world, engaging and retaining younger workers presents both a challenge and an opportunity to gain a competitive edge and ensure long-term success.”


(c) 2024 Mansueto Ventures LLC; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency LLC.