Almost one-quarter of Brits would turn down the offer of their ‘dream job’ if it meant they had to go into the office full-time, according to new data.

A survey conducted by Censuswide on behalf of flexible office experts Space32, which interviewed 2,000 UK adults, revealed that 23 percent of respondents would be unwilling to return to the office five days a week in exchange for their dream job. An additional 14 percent were unsure if they would accept a dream job offer that required them to be in the office full-time.

These findings come at a time when leaders at companies such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Twitter are advocating for a full-time office return for their employees.

However, the survey results suggest a significant resistance to such a shift.

A gender disparity

The survey also highlighted a gender disparity in willingness to work in the office full-time. Women, for whom remote working has proven particularly beneficial, were less likely than men to forgo remote working for their dream job. Only 59 percent of women surveyed expressed willingness to go into the office five days a week, compared to 67 percent of men.

Furthermore, the data revealed that younger individuals were more inclined to sacrifice remote working for their dream role. Among respondents aged 25-34, a striking 78 percent stated they would go into the office five days a week for their ideal job. This willingness decreased slightly with age, with 76 percent of those aged 35-44 and 71 percent of 18-24 year olds expressing the same sentiment. These findings contrast with recent research suggesting that younger generations generally prefer remote work.

Conversely, less than half of those aged 55 and over were willing to make a full-time return to the office for their dream job, with only 45 percent willing to give up flexible working. However, for individuals aged 45-54, this number increased to 68 percent.

When asked if they would be willing to go into the office more often to aid their career progression, respondents aged 25-34 showed the highest level of agreement, with 79 percent saying yes. Similarly, 68 percent of those aged 18-24 and 35-44 expressed a willingness to increase their office presence for career advancement. In contrast, older age groups were less inclined to do so, with only 34 percent of those aged 55 and above indicating a willingness to increase office time for career progression.

Jon Dweck, CEO and co-founder of Space32, commented on the survey results, stating:

“The fact that almost a quarter of British people would be unwilling to go into the office five days a week – even if offered their dream job – is a striking indication that those pushing for a full-time office return are fighting a losing battle. It shows that flexible working options, whether hybrid or fully remote, remain a highly-valued, and often essential, asset. Employees should not have to sacrifice these to progress in their desired careers – and many are willing to vote with their feet.”

Dweck added, “For younger generations in particular, who are at an earlier stage in their careers, going into the office full-time should not be a prerequisite for success. Employers must ditch this one-size-fits-all approach and acknowledge that employee attitudes have shifted. They must evolve their office policies accordingly and provide a more inclusive, flexible, and accessible workplace for all.”

 

 

 

 

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Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.