Young workers are burning out at home and eager to return to office

·2-min read
A young person at his computer
Young people feel they are not as efficient when working from home. Photo: Getty Images

A survey has found that young people are ready to go back to the office, after over a year of working from home.

The research, conducted by jobs website Glassdoor on 2000 UK employees, found that 55% of employees aged 18-24 are keen to return to the office, more than double the average of 26% for all employees.

Just under two-thirds of young employees (64%) fear that working from home on an ongoing basis would affect their training and development, compared with 36% of all employees, and chances of being promoted, compared to 35% of all employees.

Read more: Tui asks 3,000 UK employees to come in just one day a month

Since the start of the pandemic, 38% of young people feel less able to do their job effectively compared with an average 17% across all employees.

45% of younger employees felt less connected to their boss, compared with 25% of all workers.

The finding comes as the UK government prepares to abandon guidance on working from home from next week. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has encouraged people to get back to the office but many employers have signalled they will opt for a cautious and gradual return.

Young workers are also struggling with burnout. 75% of 18- 24-year-olds have experienced burnout while working from home, but only 39% of 45- to 54-year-olds and 28% of 55- to 64-year-olds said they are feeling the extreme exhaustion and stress.

A woman looking stressed at her laptop
Younger workers seem to be struggling more with burnout than their older counterparts. Photo: Getty Images

Joe Wiggins, director at Glassdoor, said: “It seems we may have a two-speed return to work based on how far people are into their careers.

“Young employees will be flocking back to the office to get their careers and social lives back on track. Older workers with more experience are less keen to rush back, being more concerned about the commute and feeling less impacted by burnout.”

Wiggins added: “The number one concern though for young employees upon their return? Having to make themselves look presentable and dress up for work. It goes to show that Zoom meetings definitely have their advantages.”

With "Freedom Day" signalling the end of lockdown restrictions in England on 19 July, many employees will soon start to return to the office, either fully or for a few days a week.

Business leaders such as Alan Sugar are openly calling for workers to go back, while travel agent Tui UK is asking 3,000 of its UK employees to come in just one day a month.

Watch: Why job losses have risen despite the economy opening

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