Improving Resilience and Productivity for Older People Working From Home – An Exploratory Study

Conference: The European Conference on Aging & Gerontology (EGen2022)
Title: Improving Resilience and Productivity for Older People Working From Home – An Exploratory Study
Stream: Built Environment
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Fabian Prideaux, Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom
Sarah Davey, Coventry University, United Kingdom
Ben Spencer, Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom
Youngha Cho, Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom


In the UK the number of people aged 50+ years old is growing. Working from home (WFH) appears to have benefits for older workers and their employers regarding decreased absenteeism, improvements in health and well-being and the attraction and retention of older workers. Consequently, many older workers are planning to continue to WFH after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the impact on productivity of WFH is not clear.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development argues that further gains in productivity can be achieved through a variety of approaches including improvements in the home working environment. However, there is limited evidence on how overall Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) can impact the productivity and work associated well-being of the older worker across the seasons.

This study sought to compare the experience of IEQ when WFH between younger (below 50 years) and older (50+ years) workers and how levels of satisfaction with IEQ, along with other applicable factors, impacts work productivity and work related well-being. Both objective (temperature and relative humidity) and subjective (environmental behaviour diary, noise, air quality, lighting, temperature sensation and thermal comfort) measures were used to capture participants' evaluations of the 'home office' physical environment during both summer and winter periods over a working week, along with measurements of productivity and work-related well-being. Individual case studies will be presented to illustrate the potential impact of WFH environments on productivity and work well-being of employees and a critique of the methods employed.

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