Gen-Z Work-Life Balance in a Post-Covid Era

By Joshua Reid

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Work-life balance plays a critical role in a business environment. From ensuring that employees have the necessary information and tools to accomplish their assigned tasks to mental health checkups, businesses have to ensure the safety of their employees. For Gen-Z employees, a healthy work-life balance was necessary if they wanted to complete their homework, job/internships, etc.  However, the pandemic halted plans and shifted the trajectory of many Gen-Z career opportunities. 

How will the work-life balance for Gen-Z look after the pandemic?

In a 2020 article by McKinsey & Company titled “Reimagining the office and work life after COVID-19,” writers Brodie Boland and Aaron De Smet note that the pandemic forced many companies and businesses to adopt new methods of working. Not only does this include the various roles and tasks assigned by firms, but making sure that the companies and businesses in question create new methods of working “in creative and bold ways.” For Boland and De Smet, before the pandemic, “the conventional wisdom had been that offices were critical to productivity, culture, and winning the war for talent.”

With the pandemic changing company culture landscape, businesses will have to change their approaches to work.   Offices will always be places for productivity; the pandemic only changed how they are utilized. According to a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company:

  1. 80% reported enjoying working from home.
  2. 41% say they are more productive than they were before.
  3. 28% stated that they are as productive.

According to the Boland and De Smet article, most employees who had long commutes or traveled found different ways to be productive with their time, “enjoyed greater flexibility in balancing their personal and professional lives, and decided that they prefer to work from home rather than the office” (Boland and De Smet). For Gen-Zers who are in high school, college, or recently graduated, the business landscape post-COVID is unknown. Thus, the work-life balance for them is unknown. Whether through a hybrid work-home format that’s utilized in some businesses now or an entirely different method, companies now have to figure out the balancing act between work and personal life for their employees.

How does that affect Gen-Z’s ability to function in the workplace?

Gen-Z is entering an unknown future. They are entering a post-COVID world where businesses could either lean towards a work-home format to maximize their employees’ productivity, a fully online format, or something in between. In addition, post-pandemic, businesses are going to wrestle with the physical, emotional, and mental toll COVID-19 had on the younger generation and how they perceive their future, if they want Gen-Z to be a part of their business.

According to an article by ZDNet titled “90% of millennials and Gen-Z do not want to return to full-time office work post-pandemic,” author Jonathan Greig reports that Gen-Z and Millennials make up the majority of the global workforce. In addition, the survey noted that “they are increasingly disconnected from corporate leaders, with different approaches to work-life balance, business, and more.” Greig also notes that 87% of the survey’s respondents are “focused primarily on career stability, security and a healthy work-life balance.” 

Career stability and a healthy work-life balance are important for any generation, but for Gen-Z, it seems even more so. With the pandemic shifting college and career plans for Gen-Z, a healthy work-life balance is needed. The above survey also notes that:

  1. 90% of respondents have no interest in returning to the office to work full-time after the pandemic.
  2. More than half prefer a hybrid working model where they work from home most or all of the time.
  3. 18% want a hybrid model where they can work from the office more. 
  4. More than 20% want an even hybrid method.
  5. 10% want to return to work in the office full-time.

What’s interesting is that further in the article, Greig notes the numbers presented above were “in stark contrast to what business leaders thought. Nearly 60% of business leaders believe younger workers want to spend “most or all” of their time at an office” (Greig).

For Gen-Z, a healthy work-life balance in a post-Covid era is necessary. They are the future of most businesses, and ensuring a healthy work-life balance should be a company’s priority. For Tim Minahan, the executive vice president of business strategy at Citrix Systems, “the success or failure of business and the global economy will be in their hands,” referring to the “Born Digital” generation. 

“To secure the future, companies need to cultivate younger workers and adapt their workplaces and working practices to groom them today.”

Tim Minahan

Generation Z’s work-life balance in a post-COVIID Era  is uncertain but  could push businesses into the future if done correctly. For example,  if businesses can create a hybrid method or something similar, it would allow Gen-Z employees to maximize their time at work and provideGen-Z with the opportunity to discuss their mental health when needed.


Boland, Brodie and Aaron De Smet. “Reimagining the office and work life after COVID-19.” McKinsey & Company. Accessed 14 June 2021.

Greig, Jonathan. “90% of millennials and Gen-Z do not want to return to full-time office work post-pandemic.ZdNet. Accessed 14 June 2021.

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