Young people who work remotely are 'probably not' going to become corporate CEOs, an NYU business professor says

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Young people who work remotely are 'probably not' going to become corporate CEOs, an NYU business professor says
Suzy Welch is an NYU Stern School of Business professor. Brunswick Group
  • Gen Zers choosing remote work and work-life balance may face consequences further down the line.
  • That's according to NYU professor Suzy Welch who spoke with Insider about Gen Z's work habits.
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A New York University professor has a warning for Gen Zers who are choosing remote work and prioritizing work-life balance, saying they're unlikely to make the top job as corporate CEOs or reap the same financial rewards as others.

Suzy Welch, an NYU Stern School of Business Professor, told Insider in an interview that remote workers may view work-life balance as their own version of success, but there are some trade-offs to rejecting hustle culture when you're young.

"The young people who choose to have that life that go into work maybe one or two days a week or never, and work entirely remotely, they may have a version of success that is not our version of success," Welch said. "It's all about how you define success. They're probably not going to become CEOs, but maybe that's not what they want."

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She said that those who were used to working in traditional offices "know its upsides" more than people who were out of school one or two years before the pandemic.

"I've seen the magic that happens when people are actually together," she said.

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Welch's comment echoes that of another NYU professor Scott Galloway, who previously said that young people "should never be at home" if they're looking for professional and even romantic success.

Although a 2023 Deloitte survey found almost half of Gen Z and millennials feel that work is central to their identity, they're still demanding greater work-life balance.

These attitudes are reflected in some of the workplace trends emerging on TikTok, from "lazy-girl jobs" to the "snail-girl" lifestyle, encouraging women to take low-stress jobs with high pay and to do as little work as possible.

Welch emphasized that people who are choosing these lifestyles may be in for an unpleasant surprise further down the line when they're not seeing the same "financial rewards" as their more hardworking peers.

She said: "There's never really been a time where you could just sort of show up at work, work nine to five and have wild success. That wasn't the deal in my generation, and it's not going to be the deal going forward."

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She pinned down some of these issues to Gen Z's aversion to dealing with anxiety and advised them to start facing their stress head-on. Welch noted that anxiety disorder is a serious issue but that she was talking about the more "garden variety anxiety," or what her generation would call "stress."

Welch gave the example that someone may want to go to a party but have to deal with clients, and if they want to succeed at work, then they'll have to skip the party.

These decisions are the "real life trade-offs" you have to make when school is over and is a natural part of adulting.

"That's actually the work of your life is kind of figuring out who you are and what journey you want to be on, and it might create uncomfortable feelings, and it might create sleepless nights, but that's okay. That is part of being in the world."

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