Gen X and Boomers more willing to return to work, while Gen Z and Millennials prefer to wait: Study

As India gets ready to return to work, professionals from different generations exhibit varied confidence levels towards returning to the physical workplace with Gen X and Boomers more willing to return to work, while Gen Z and Millennials preferring to wait until safer, according to LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index, surveying 1,351 professionals in India to find out how India?s workforce feels about returning to work. However, the overall confidence of professionals remains steady with a composite score of +48. The cautious optimism also reflects in the strong short-term and long-term employer confidence levels of professionals from sectors such as Corporate Services and Manufacturing. India?s workforce is also beginning to feel more confident about their personal finances as 1 in 4 professionals in India expect their earned incomes (25%) and personal spending (26%) to increase in the next 6 months. In fact, about 1 in 3 professionals also expect their personal savings (31%) and personal recurring debt payments (29%) to increase in the next 6 months. This financial confidence comes at a time when India?s economy is gradually restarting.

Source: LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index Research

Note: 1,464 and 1,351 professionals in India were surveyed over May 4-17 and June 1-14, respectively.

Commenting on this rise in financial confidence, Leadership Coach Harsh Johari says, ?Professionals will continue to be prudent about money management, given the prevailing uncertainties. While some businesses in the digital space are seeing growth, the actual financial impact on India Inc will only become clear when listed companies unveil their results for the quarter ending June 30.?

Working remotely for the past three months has encouraged businesses to adapt innovative and digital measures for business continuity. However, as India ?unlocks? and workplaces reboot, findings of the sixth Workforce Confidence Index underscore a pronounced difference in how the older and younger professionals feel about returning to the physical workplace.

About 1 in 3 Gen Z and Millennials will continue working remotely until safer

As the business landscape resumes, older professionals appear keen on stepping out into the post-Covid-19 world while younger professionals are not rushing to embrace it. Findings reaffirm this difference in perception as 38% of Gen X and 29% of Baby Boomers said they will willingly return to the workplace as soon as they are allowed, whereas 1 in 3 Gen Z (29%) and Millennials (32%) said they will continue working remotely until they feel safer about being around others. One reason for this, as HR expert Abhijit Bhaduri states, ?Younger workers are adept in using digital means of communication. Senior professionals may find it challenging to hire and manage performance of remote teams.? Hence, varied levels of digital prowess could be one of the reasons behind such contrasting outlooks from different generations.

Risk of exposure, commute to work, and close proximity worry Indian professionals

While the nationwide lockdown is gradually being lifted, the stigma around COVID-19 prevails due to uncertainty around safety measures. Findings reveal that more than half (55%) of Indian professionals think being exposed to people neglecting safety precautions is a key concern. 58% of Millennials and 56% of Gen X professionals are shown being concerned about the same problem. Probing further, findings highlight that 42% Millennials are concerned about commuting to work while nearly half (46%) are worried about eating and sharing resting/collaborative spaces. The report also shows that inadequate space between workstations is cited as another primary concern with returning to work, as it could make it tough for professionals to practice healthy measures of social distancing.

Source: LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index Research

Note: 1,351 professionals in India were surveyed during June 1-14. Professionals who usually work remotely or have been working at a physical workplace throughout COVID-19 are excluded here. All subgroups n>100.

Corporate Services and Manufacturing professionals most confident about the future of their companies

The findings also gauge how Indian professionals feel about the short-term (6 months) and long-term (1 year) future of their companies. With regards to short-term employer confidence, survey findings show that 50% of Corporate Services professionals, 46% of Manufacturing professionals, and 41% of Education professionals think their companies will be better off six months from now. When it comes to long-term employer confidence, findings reveal that 64% of Manufacturing, 60% of Corporate Services, and 59% of Software & IT professionals believe their companies will be better off one year from now. Based on these findings, it is observed that professionals from Corporate Services and the Manufacturing sectors have the strongest short-term and long-term company outlook, respectively.

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