Older employees are adapting to remote work better than younger workers


Employee productivity has seen a boost during the pandemic, and workers aren’t eager to return to the way things were before COVID-19.

Seventy percent of workers say they have been more productive than expected while working remotely, according to a study by Nintex, a workflow automation platform. More than half of employees say their lives would improve if they could work from home permanently.

“Business leaders around the country recognize that we will not go back to the way things were before the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dustin Grosse, chief marketing and strategy officer of Nintex, said in a statement. “Employees across every job role and generation are looking for workplaces that are flexible and offer automation tools that make work faster, easier and more enjoyable.”

Read more: What does work look like in 2021? Workplace experts share their predictions

While there was trepidation by employers at the start of the pandemic about remote work, 83% of employers say remote work has been successful at their organization, according to PwC. Just one in five senior leaders expect to return to the physical workplace post-COVID, pointing to the widespread adoption of hybrid work models.

“We will see a lot of hybrid situations where companies let people work from home maybe two or three days a week,” says Brie Reynolds, career development manager at FlexJobs, a remote job searching platform. “Employees like being around their coworkers, but they also really like that they can focus and get big projects done.”

With less distractions, employees are working more efficiently: 41% of employees say they are getting their work done in less hours per week than when they worked in the office, Nintex found. Technology has played a role in streamlining the workday: 39% of respondents said that automation would make their lives easier as they work from home.

However, remote work has also had its challenges, especially for younger workers. The Nintex report found that only half of younger employees felt productive while working from home, compared to 80% of older workers.

Younger workers have also struggled with the isolation of remote work. Gen Z reported the highest levels of stress than any other age group, according to the American Psychological Association. Seven out of 10 Gen Z adults said they had experienced feelings of depression and had difficulty focusing.

“One of the biggest challenges of remote work is that we’re social beings, so having fewer interactions with other people takes a toll on us,” says Mark Sawyier, CEO and co-founder of Bonfyre, a workplace culture platform. “It’s absolutely incumbent upon employers to help employees feel a little more connected to each other.”

Read more: 5 workplace benefits employees want this year

With vaccine distribution underway, there may be light at the end of the tunnel, but work will be forever changed. Employees want tools and benefits that make their lives easier during remote work and beyond: 49% told Ninetex workplace flexibility is their top priority, followed by work-from-home equipment (44%), software to automate their tasks (37%), and a shorter work week (34%).





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