WFH: HEALTH RISKS FOR OLDER WORKERS

An Australian study led by Associate Professor Jodi Oakman from La Trobe University found that older workers experience higher stress levels and are more likely to suffer from musculoskeletal pain (MSP) when the number of days they work from home (WFH) exceeds their preferences.

Older workers tend to prefer more office days compared to younger workers, so organizations should be flexible in accommodating individual WFH preferences to reduce stress and MSP in the older group, according to the report.

The study also highlighted the importance of a workplace sense of community in mitigating the negative effects of stress.

Older workers tend to value being co-located with colleagues for interaction and support, so strategies to facilitate connections in hybrid or WFH models should be considered by employers.

Accommodating individual WFH preferences can optimise employee health and help retain older workers in the workforce for longer, promoting sustainable employment and extending working lives.

Naturally, there’s a balance to be struck between employee preferences and organisational requirements.

Access the research here: The effect of preference and actual days spent working from home on stress and musculoskeletal pain in older workers.

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