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Older Employees Find Flexible Work Appealing

Survey shows that they prefer telework and other options

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Experienced workers are enthusiastic about the freedom that flexible jobs and telework can offer, according to a new survey.

More than 7,300 people responded to the poll conducted by FlexJobs.com, a company that helps people find jobs that let employees work outside the traditional office. Among the roughly 5,000 respondents who were age 40 or older, 85 percent said flexible work options would save them money; 86 percent said they would be less stressed, and 78 percent said remote positions would improve their health. What's more, just over 66 percent of these older respondents said they would be more productive working from home.

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"Flexible jobs are a great fit for the 40-plus crowd because, as they get older, many still want or need to participate in the workforce, but they want to do so in a way that helps them more effectively juggle their competing personal and professional responsibilities,” says Kathy Gardner, director of public relations at FlexJobs. “Whether being able to work from home, have a flexible schedule or even transition into a part-time role, flexible work can benefit older workers who, for whatever reason, are not interested in the traditional office arrangement."

A 2018 survey from AARP found that 37 percent of older workers considered the ability to do their jobs from home a key factor when looking for a new position.

According to the FlexJobs poll, 20 percent of workers age 40 or older said they would be willing to take a 10 percent pay cut if it meant they could telework more often. Another 18 percent said they would be willing to give up some vacation time, perhaps because teleworking would offer other types of freedom.

"Many older, seasoned employees also work to [be able to] travel, and remote jobs are key to achieving that lifestyle,” Gardner says.

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Among other survey results: 21 percent of respondents age 40 or older were either “fully responsible for the caregiving of an aging adult” or were sharing caregiving responsibilities, and working from home could help them handle those responsibilities.

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This is the eighth year that FlexJobs has conducted the survey.

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