Study: 77% Of Gen Zs Are Concerned Remote Work Will Restrict Career Progression

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B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

Aquent, the workforce solutions company, has released its 2022 Future of Work survey findings for marketing, creative, and development talent.

With approximately 3,500 respondents globally, the report, titled “Employee Experience 3.0 – A look into the future of work”, explores what employees want from the workplace now and in the future. 

The desire for more freedom in where and how to work continues to rise, with 60% of respondents expressing interest in working as a digital nomad for up to 12 months in the next one to three years.

However, three out of four young professionals voiced concerns about their career progression—they want to know that they will still be afforded the opportunities that they would get in a traditional office setting. 

Alex Kenning, managing director at Aquent in Australia, said: “No matter how you slice it, the unyielding popularity of remote work means that it is here to stay. This survey is essential in determining how to ensure our remote workers thrive.

“With this information, organisations can look toward the future of remote work with confidence and truly cater to the needs of each of their employees. Remote work empowers organisations to increase their ability to operate across multiple time zones, tap into skilled talent worldwide, and access a more diverse talent pool.” 

The Rise of the Digital Nomad: 

While many companies have moved to remote or hybrid work environments since 2020, Aquent’s recent survey found an increase in the demand for a certain kind of remote work: the digital nomad lifestyle.

Digital nomads work remotely, while travelling to various locations of their choosing, often including international travel for extended periods.

This lifestyle is distinct even from a more standard remote work environment due to the transient nature of the desired travel and continues to rise in popularity among workers.

One striking survey finding indicates 60% of employees across all levels and ages reported interest in digital nomad work at some point in the next one to three years. 

A Shift in Priorities for Remote Workers: 

Aquent’s survey reveals that organisations must not only embrace the digital nomad worker, but also have effective processes, support systems, and policies in place to ensure they are hiring and retaining top talent.

The survey found remote workers’ needs are evolving in surprising ways. For instance, workers ranked unlimited vacation fourth when prioritising the importance of various benefits, indicating that other perks have become more appealing. 

Lingering Concerns about Career Progression with Remote Work: 

While increasing flexibility for remote workers continues to be popular for professionals of all ages, younger professionals are most likely to have concerns about their career progression in this environment.

Aquent’s survey shows 77% of 18–24-year-olds expressed concern that remote work will restrict their career progression.

This concern decreases with age, with 61% of workers aged 25–40, 56% of those aged 41–55, and 54% of those 56 or older sharing the same concern. 

Aquent’s Employee Experience 3.0 report is available here:  

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