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The majority of Gen Z workers want hybrid work—and they’re seriously debating whether to jump to a new job this year. For managers, those desires could present some tricky conundrums. 

Specifically, Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index shows that 58 percent of Gen Z are considering a job change in the year ahead (versus 43 percent of overall workers). Fifty-eight percent are also considering a shift to hybrid work (slightly more than 53 percent of overall workers), and 56 percent are considering all-remote work. (The study is based off a survey of 31,000 people in 31 countries, in addition to “productivity signals” drawn from Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn.)

In tech, hybrid and remote work is a particularly important issue. With the tech unemployment rate at a notably low rate of 1.3 percent, companies are anxious to retain talent—and technologists want opportunities that offer them flexible schedules and a solid work-life balance in addition to great compensation. According to a recent survey by Limeade, a lack of flexibility had driven 20 percent of employees out the door at their previous jobs; and burnout, a solid sign of bad work-life balance, led to 40 percent of them leaving. 

This isn’t a new issue, either. In Dice’s 2021 Technologist Sentiment Report, 85 percent of technologists said they found the prospect of hybrid work anywhere from somewhat to extremely desirable—including 94 percent of younger technologists (i.e., those between 18 and 34 years old). Even tech companies offering a hybrid work option are running into unexpected resistance from employees who want even more control over which days they want to work. 

And yet some managers aren’t yet listening to their workers about a preference for hybrid and remote work. In late 2021, the Future Forum Pulse survey asked 10,500 knowledge workers around the world about their companies’ approach to flexible work. Some 66 percent of executives reported designing their post-pandemic policies—and 44 percent of executives said they wanted to go into the office every day (with their teams, presumably). Only 42 percent of workers actually agreed that their managers were being transparent about the back-to-office plans, though. 

Unless some of those managers change course and listen to their teams about work and scheduling preferences, there’s every chance that a portion of their valuable employees will walk right out the door. At least for the time being, hybrid work seems here to stay—especially among Gen Z.