Research - 12.07.2023 - 10:00 

Survey among Generation Z: Does hybrid working boost careers?

Flexibility, lower costs, work-life balance, and feeling valued by employers are the advantages mentioned in a survey conducted among recent CEMS graduates.
Flexibility, lower costs, better work-life balance – these are aspects young professionals name as benefits of hybrid working.

Young professionals just entering the workforce for the first time, believe that hybrid working will have a positive impact on their career, according to new research from CEMS, the Global Alliance in Management Education. Researchers noted that the class of 2022, which spent a significant portion of their education in remote learning due to the pandemic, was particularly interesting to study. Young people now entering the workforce have been most affected by the consequences of both hybrid work and hybrid education, underlines the team that conducted the study. The general perception in the media is that these young people have had less opportunities to learn from colleagues, build networks within their company and industry, and are less "visible" to leadership.

Therefore, the study's conclusion is surprising: 61% of the surveyed university graduates believe that hybrid work will have a positive impact on their careers. 25% believed it would make no difference, and only 14% of young professionals stated that hybrid work would have a negative impact on their career paths.

“Hybrid work gives us the flexibility to complete tasks at home when we need to focus and complete tasks that are not dependent on other people.”
Charlotte Müller, CEMS student at HSG

Advantages of hybrid work

The majority of young professionals believe that hybrid work is the ideal form of work. Within the survey, participants mentioned the following benefits of hybrid work:

  • The opportunity to travel while working: Hybrid work offers more flexibility and allows for more time to travel or even work while traveling (so-called "workcations") instead of taking longer vacations.
  • Feeling valued: Young professionals in a hybrid work arrangement feel that their employer trusts and appreciates them by giving them the freedom to set their own working hours.
  • Broader access to job opportunities: Hybrid work allows for accepting positions that were previously inaccessible.
  • Lower costs: The majority of surveyed university graduates stated that they can save money and time by living in areas outside of major cities and commuting less frequently.
  • Better work-life balance and well-being: Hybrid work creates free time for hobbies, studying, and sports. Professionals also benefit from more time with family and friends, resulting in improved well-being.
  • Improved focus: Working between the office and home allows for focused and uninterrupted task completion.

Hybrid is not the same as remote – personal meetings and work structures are important

While survey participants generally have a positive view of hybrid work, their perspective shifts when it comes to remote work. Personal meetings with colleagues during and outside office hours are crucial for professional success, as they allow for networking, exchanging new ideas, and opportunities to learn. The young professionals particularly emphasize the importance of regular personal meetings and established work structures.

“It is important to have structures, nonetheless. For example, one or two team meetings during the day, where there is an opportunity to discuss, exchange ideas, and ask questions, and one or two 'team days' where everyone meets in the office.”
Charlotte Müller

CEMS – a global network of leading business schools

The Global Alliance in Management Education (CEMS) is a global network of 34 of the world’s top business schools, 70 corporate partners (multinational companies) and 8 social partners (NGOs). At the University of St.Gallen (HSG), the CEMS MIM can be combined with any of the 13 Master's programmes offered for an additional Master's degree in International Management. The CEMS MIM emphasises personal and social responsibility in business decision-making, leadership and citizenship, informed by ethical reasoning, personal integrity, and respect for social diversity. The programme helps students understand and navigate the international business environment, whilst equipping them with the knowledge, skills and network to manage people across borders and within multinational teams, tackling real business issues across a range of fields.

Image: CEMS