The benefits that improve productivity are clearly demarcated by age, according to the findings of a US study by process automation firm Nintex. The study, which surveyed 1,000 US-based full-time employees working remotely, found that younger workers are more concerned about the quality of their work processes, while older workers are more motivated by financial considerations.
Out of four different age groups identified in the survey, all named a different factor as most likely to improve their productivity while working remotely:
Gen Z workers (24 years old or younger) want better process automation
Millennial workers (25-40 years old) want better home office equipment
Gen X workers (41-56 years old) want a more flexible work schedule
Baby Boomer workers (57 years old and above) want more pay
Similarly, all groups except the oldest said that their work life in 2021 would be most improved by getting a work-from-home allowance to improve their home office—the older workers simply wanted a pay raise.
Commenting on the distinct differences between age groups, Nintex Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer Dustin Grosse said that although work-life challenges will vary by individual, companies can generally improve employees' satisfaction with work and their productivity by providing them with better tools, whether in the form of office equipment or more effective digitalization.
"Senior leadership teams and HR professionals that recognize and respond to the generational needs of their employees will be more successful at retaining and recruiting talent this year," he said. "Looking forward, to attract, develop, and retain strong talent HR policies must also provide strong workplace and schedule flexibility and competitive compensation and rewards for important roles and all top performers."
The study also found that the more senior an employee is, the more likely they are to have adapted well to remote work and to be productive. VP-level employees, for example, are 30 percent more likely to have a good remote working experience than entry-level employees, who are far more likely to suffer from overwork, unclear tasks, and challenges related to their living situation. While the study did not explore why this might be the case, one possibility is that senior employees, with higher salaries, are more able to afford conducive home office setups; another possibility is that they have more visibility into the company's direction, hence greater clarity in their own work; or they simply have more autonomy to arrange their own work even when working remotely.