Hint: It’s not Millennials or Gen Z.
In the remote work tug-of-war that countries like the United Kingdom and United States have grappled with, there’s been an overall perception that younger generations of workers want remote work more.
It’s not unusual to hear a recycled (and long-debunked) idea about young workers wanting to “slack off” by working from home.
Especially coming from older workers who have “done their time” in the workforce and who may feel that younger generations have yet to “earn” time at home after toiling in physical offices for decades.
And especially because many of the CEOs and business leaders who have publicly spoken out against remote workers happen to be in the Baby Boomer generation themselves.
This is why it’s so unexpected that emerging studies find those are the same generation of workers who actually want to work from home the most — even more than the newest generation of employees, Gen Z, does.
Everyone wants remote work
Although Baby Boomers, surprisingly, want to work fully remotely more than any other age group, make no mistake about the meaning: overall, everyone still wants to work remotely at least some of the time.
Irish remote HR company Boundless is just one of the entities to undertake a study of the issue recently.
They concluded that of 2,019 people surveyed across the UK, and excluding the roughly 20% whose jobs cannot physically be done remotely, more than half support either remote or hybrid work.
In the study, around a quarter of respondents said they prefer to work fully remotely, while 40% said they preferred hybrid work, with responses just about equally split between those who wanted to spend half their time working remotely and those who wanted to spend 3 days or more each week working remotely.
Boomers take the remote work cake in the UK
It’s no secret — Boomers have a reputation of being technophobic that can make it hard to picture them being so in favour of working remotely, which tends to require at least functional knowledge of some basic technologies.
But, sure enough, of the 27.45% of respondents in the survey who said they prefer to work fully remotely, “individuals aged 55 and over are the most likely to prefer exclusive remote work, with almost a third expressing this preference”.
Actually, according to Boundless’ data, there is almost a positive correlation between how old an employee is and the likelihood that they will want to work from home exclusively.
Boomer’s took the lion’s share, with 33% of respondents expressing this desire. Just 30% of older Millennials and 23% of younger Millennials wanted to work remotely all the time.
Meanwhile, just 20% of Gen Z workers want to work from home exclusively. This aligns with similar studies which suggest that new workers want to spend at least some time in office to learn their respective trades, get training, build rapport and otherwise learn the ropes of their new workplace.
Generation X was an outlier in this study, of whom only 28% want fully remote work.
Nonetheless, Boundless found that hybrid work is overall the most popular choice for UK’s workers across all age groups.
Find the latest remote jobs in the UK via RemoteWorker.co.uk.