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Despite Benefits of Office Presence, Younger Workers Retreat

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Workspace Connect Wrap, our regular round-up of news in the new workplace. Today, Microsoft aims to help Teams users keep their desktop downloads under control, and younger workers continue to resist a full-time return to the office.
Microsoft Teams to Soon Allow Users to Choose Where to Download Files
According to a May 26, 2022, update to the Microsoft 365 roadmap, Teams will allow users to choose which local folder to download files.
"Teams will now enable users to select the default download location where they would like to have their files downloaded," the roadmap item says. "This is applicable only on the desktop client. Teams on the web will continue to honor the setting in the browser."
The ability to select which folder to download files to can be helpful for people who have specific organizational schemes for where they store files or who are fighting the ever-present scourge of desktop clutter.
A Majority of Generation Z Would Switch Jobs Before Coming to Office Full Time
Indeed surveyed 1,001 18-41 year-olds to understand how attitudes in and towards the workplace differ between Millennials (approximately ages 26-41) and Generation Z (the youngest workforce members). Because of their entry into an office-based workforce coinciding with the onset of the pandemic, 82% of Generation Z respondents have never worked in an in-person office environment full-time, compared to only 39% of Millennials who have never worked in an in-person office environment full-time.
Both cohorts have concerns about remote work—85% of the never-in-an-office Gen Z cohort worry about missing out on learning professional “soft skills,” as did 85% of the never-in-an-office Millennial cohort.
However, of the 82% of Gen Z’s who have never worked in-person full-time, an overwhelming majority said they would not take a job that required them in-office full-time, and 88% said that they would quit their current job if asked to attend in person.
By contrast, three-quarters of millennials who have not worked remotely during the pandemic are considering a job with more work-from-home flexibility, and 62% are actively job-hunting for a job with greater work-from-home flexibility.
The survey respondents reflect a greater workplace mood: the PwC "Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2022" found that one in five workers plan to change jobs in the next 12 months, and 35% of employees plan on asking their employer for more money. 71% of survey respondents said they'd change jobs for higher pay, while 69% said they would change employers for more job fulfillment.
“Skilled employees are most likely to ask for promotions, pay raises, and to feel listened to by their manager, while those lacking skills lack power in the workplace,” PwC wrote in a press release.
Also: Tom Barkin, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Va., said in a speech last week that offices became the dominant workplace model for a reason, and a key benefit of being onsite is an interaction among colleagues. He said, "Proximity facilitates the exchange of ideas among workers, which fosters collaboration, innovation, and productivity."
Barkin recommends that companies consider spending their resources on re-forming their offices around spaces that allow for greater employee connectivity.