London’s young professionals would rather work full time in an office than either permanently from home or in a “hybrid” arrangement, new data has found.
According to new data from LinkedIn, shared exclusively with City A.M., 44 per cent of those aged 16 to 34 would choose to be in their actual offices for all of their working hours.
By contrast, 22 per cent favour working from home all the time, with the remaining 33 per cent opting for a mixture of home and office hours.
Those surveyed cited being around colleagues, increased productivity, and enjoying a change of scenery as the top reasons for preferring to work from an office.
After 18 long months working from home, however, young professionals admitted to being a little rusty when it came to water cooler chat.
The data showed that 66 per cent of respondents said that they thought their ability to make small talk had suffered as a result of the pandemic.
But a few awkward pauses might be worth it for the rewards that young people think will accompany their return, with 71 per cent saying that going back to the office will positively affect their personal finances.
Darain Faraz, careers expert at LinkedIn, said: “It’s clear that the last eighteen months have been especially tough on young professionals and now they’re entering an office environment, perhaps for the first time, it’s becoming apparent that softer skills have suffered.
“Young workers haven’t had much face time to build up their small talk repertoire so the next few months of their career development are crucial as they make up for lost time now that offices are opening up again.
“Right across LinkedIn we’re seeing these conversations unfolding; our members are experiencing the biggest workplace change in a generation and it’s important we listen to younger workers, nurture their talent and help them find their voice in their new work normal, whatever or wherever that might be.”
The data comes as more and more people head back to offices after the summer holiday period, some of whom are returning for the first time since the pandemic sent the UK into lockdown in March 2020.