Millennials more likely to miss office, colleagues during pandemic: Survey

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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According to a study of workplace patterns triggered by the pandemic, millennials (individuals under the age of 35) are much more likely to miss the office atmosphere than their older colleagues.

This is surprising, because millennials seem to be much more connected to technology and networking and when virtual meetings come calling, they could easily fall into Zoom mode, but such tech skills seem to come with limits. In the study, 65 percent of millennials cite “bad” home office conditions and missing support from their bosses.

In fact, the poll showed that across all age groups 58 percent missed being in office and 44 percent didn’t like the lack of human contact.

But there is no denying that, according to JLL, the global real estate company that did the survey, remote work is here to stay. Since the pandemic hit, it polled 3,000 employees working at multinationals for the survey.

“Our survey showed that while many settled into working from home, key components of office life were missing like socialization, face to face collaboration and informal communications which impacted productivity,” said JLL. “The office is essential to boost the feeling of belonging to a community.”

Changes in the UAE 

The aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak in the UAE has not resulted in a rush by office tenants to fully downsize or leave. Yet there are several shifts and a move away from the need to organize everything under a “headquarters” is a significant change that has occurred.

“While in some instances space requirements might be reducing, corporates are looking at the “flex-space” market or taking space in co-working centers where employees of specific roles and functions can work from. So again, it’s less about how much space they’re taking, but more about this space no longer being consolidated in one location, which is the headquarters,” the survey pointed out.

Office tenants in the UAE have been asking their landlords to reduce their lease time and even the size of their floor areas, depending on the organization and the industry. “Where landlords were accommodative and understanding, we saw them offer more favorable terms for leasing,” said Thierry Delvaux, CEO of JLL in the Middle East. However, this has been limited to no more than 10-15 percent in the medium term when it comes to reducing space requirements.

“In other instances, some corporates are not necessarily looking to either expand or contract, but rather to upgrade to better quality space, especially where landlords are offering attractive lease terms,” he said.