May 24, 2022 - Economy

Millennials drive remote work push

Illustration of a person clocking in on a time clock shaped like a house

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An overwhelming majority of Americans (77%) whose job can be done remotely say it’s important that their employer allow them to work remotely when they want to, according to new rankings from the annual Axios Harris 100 poll.

Why it matters: As the country transitions from lockdowns to living with COVID-19, Americans want to retain at least some of the flexibility they've had during the pandemic.

Details: The survey finds that over half (56%) of workers say they are likely to switch to a hybrid or remote job for more work flexibility.

  • Millennials are the most likely to want a remote option. A whopping 84% of millennials say remote work is important vs. 66% of Gen Z, 75% of Gen X and 68% of Boomers.

The big picture: There's a delicate dance between workers who've grown accustomed to the benefits of their home office and employers who'd very much like to bring them back on-premises without driving them away.

  • Many millennials are parents with children to care for — and enough clout at work that their preferences hold sway with their bosses.
  • Though they aren't necessarily thrilled about it, "executives are abandoning rigid attendance rules and trying to make the office fit more seamlessly into workers’ lives," according to the New York Times.

Of note: Those who are already working remotely or in a hybrid model are much more likely to say remote work matters.

  • A vast majority of remote workers (93%) and of hybrid workers (89%) say it's important vs. only 57% of those who are back in an office.
  • Most Americans (83%) say the pandemic proved many jobs can be done just as effectively remotely as in person.

What's next: Companies looking to recruit the next generation of talent may need to consider remote work benefits over pay.

  • More than 40% of workers say they are likely to switch to a more flexible job even if it means taking a pay cut, including more than half (57%) of millennials and roughly half (49%) of Gen Z.

The Axios Harris Poll 100 is an annual survey to gauge the reputations of the most visible brands in the country.

Go deeper: Full results and methodology; Friendly brands poisoned by politics

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