In the tug of war between returning to the office and working from home, Ernst & Young (EY) CEO and Global Chairman Carmine Di Sibio falls on the side of offices, and he believes younger workers are with him.
“We don't really mandate anything, but we're encouraging our people to get back to the offices," Di Sibio told Yahoo Finance Live (video above) at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "We think that's important to our culture. We're finding that our 20-somethings, they want to be in the office. It's our 38- to 45-year-olds — usually dual-income, young kids, that have moved to the suburbs — that don't want to commute back into the city.”
Finding out what employees expect now that there's been a significant shift in workplaces hasn't been straightforward, especially since the coronavirus pandemic hasn't fully abated yet.
A recent ADP study suggested that a majority of workers who are able to work remotely have become accustomed to that arrangement and even prefer it. Two-thirds of the workforce said they would consider looking for a new job if they were required to return to the office full-time. And contrary to Di Sibio's view, the study found that 18-24-year-olds were the most reluctant group when it came to full-time in-person work.
A recent Axios Harris 100 poll complicates matters, as it found millennials were the most interested generation in remote work while Gen Z showed the least amount of interest. According to the poll, 84% of millennials said remote work is important, followed by 75% of Gen X, 68% of Baby Boomers, and 66% of Gen Z.
Throughout the pandemic, some experts have raised concerns that younger workers who are earlier in their careers may be missing out on lucrative development opportunities and professional networking. Yet, flexibility has become an increasingly important priority for many workers who are able to telework.
Regardless, Di Sibio noted that people are reconsidering how they work, and they're less afraid to make the leap to another job or opportunity.
“There is no doubt there has been resignation," Di Sibio said. "I think post-COVID, everyone is reevaluating their life. They want to know what's happening out there, what they want to do. Some of them just want to slow down, they don't want to work as hard.”
Although EY has experienced attrition, he added, the brand hasn't had too many difficulties with hiring. He attributed some of the interest to its training programs.
"They want skills, they want skill building, they want training, and we offer a lot of that," Di Sibio said.
Grace is an assistant editor for Yahoo Finance.
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