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Many Older Adults Want to Continue Working Remotely

They don't see much benefit in returning to the office post-pandemic, survey finds

A man is working from home at a table

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​Among office workers, boomers are the generation most likely to want to continue working remotely, rather than return to the office, though they may not get much say in the matter, according to a recent survey.​

The survey, released by BambooHR, a company that provides human resources software to small- and medium-size companies, found that 41 percent of boomers don’t want to return to the office and would prefer to work from home or some other location outside the company office. In comparison, just 27 percent of Generation Z, 28 percent of millennials and 33 percent of Generation X would prefer remote work.​

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​“People at the end of their careers don’t need as much office contact, as they already know how to do their jobs,” Peter Cappelli, the George W. Taylor professor of management and director of the Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, said via email. “They often have been in their organizations longer, and if they aren’t raising families, they can begin to think about interests outside of work.”​

The survey, which included 1,000 full-time office workers in the U.S. who’ve worked remotely during the pandemic, also found that only 30 percent of boomers think returning to the office will improve their productivity, compared with 48 percent of Gen Zers, 45 percent of millennials and 32 percent of Gen Xers. And just 40 percent of boomers say they want to return to the office to see colleagues and be social, compared with 52 percent of Gen Zers, 44 percent of millennials and 44 percent of Gen Xers.

Patrick J. Kiger is a contributing writer for AARP. He has written for a wide variety of publications, including the Los Angeles Times Magazine, GQ and Mother Jones, and for the websites of the Discovery Channel and National Geographic.