Many people have had to adjust to WFH (working from home) during the pandemic and many have taken to it like a duck to water, although there are still many that miss the office. Interestingly, it seems that age plays a key factor here and many of the older generations are enjoying working from home having spent so much of their working life having to commute to and from work each day.
instantprint, an online printing company, recently conducted research by surveying 1,000 UK office workers who have made the transition to working from home which delivered some insight into how people are feeling about the change. The survey found that a third of over 55s don’t miss anything at all about the office and are perfectly happy working remotely. This is significantly higher than the younger age groups, who appear to miss the social aspect the most.
Things They Miss
There are things that a high percentage of the over 55s do miss about working from the office, though. This includes small talk (25%) and the people (27%), but also a few other interesting aspects like having different work and home clothes (17%) and getting ready in the morning (13%). There are also things which they clearly do not miss, which include birthday celebrations, team meetings, their desk and work phones and extra tech.
The survey also questioned what people were doing while working from home that they should perhaps not be doing. For the older generations, online surveys were surprisingly high (33%) while other activities included household chores (25%), watching TV (25%) and going outside for a walk/walking the dog (19%). Distractions are something that many people have struggled with when working remotely, which is understandable when people have spent so much of their life working in an office environment under supervision.
Working More or Less?
Despite this, 40% of 55-64-year-olds and 5% of 65+ felt that they were working about the same amount of hours as they usually would while only 4.2% and 9% were not working at all and getting away with it. There are also many (21% of 55–64-year-olds) that find they are actually working more, which was similar amongst younger generations. This suggests that people are perhaps working when they would normally be commuting and perhaps finding it challenging to keep their work and professional life separate, which is a common issue for people when WFH.
It has been a huge change for people having to adapt to WFH, especially older generations that will have spent their entire working lives working in an office environment. It is clear that many of these people are thriving while WFH and miss little about the office, but there are also those that miss things like the office environment, the social side and having a clear distinction between work and home.