Younger workers are more reluctant than their older colleagues to return the workplace full-time as employers seek to encourage staff back into the office, the ADP® Research Institute’s People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View reveals. According to the survey of almost 33,000 workers in 17 countries, more than seven in 10 (71%) of 18- 24 year olds and two thirds (66%) of 25-34 year olds would consider looking for another job if their employer insisted on a full-time return to the workplace, compared to 56% of the 45-54 age bracket.

In Singapore, more than five in 10 younger workers (between the ages of 18-24 and 25-34) would contemplate leaving if asked to return to work full-time. In comparison, only 35% of Singapore workers above 55 years old would contemplate quitting if this happened. This could be a potential friction point as some industries, such as construction, manufacturing and F&B, may not be able to implement a hybrid work system. Industries like F&B and retail also have a higher reliance on younger workers, as compared to other industries.

The People At Work 2022 report explores employees’ attitudes towards the current world of work and what they expect and hope for from the workplace of the future. Yvonne Teo, Vice President of HR, ADP, comments: “As lockdowns have eased in different countries, the question of whether workers can be compelled to return to the workplace full-time is a divisive topic. For many it could be a pivotal issue, potentially triggering a decision to leave.”

“Yet at the same time, a hybrid or flexible work schedule will be challenging for industries such as manufacturing, retail and F&B, with work that cannot be done remotely. “It is worth investigating the willingness of workers to return to the office and balancing this with what would work best for the business. When workers return to the office, managers have important roles to make in-person collaborations meaningful to engage younger workers. This will help to build a more connected internal culture and enhance trust and loyalty between employers and staff.”


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