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Personality, not age, determines engagement while working remotely, new study reveals

The myth that age determines remote working success has been busted by new research fromThomas International (“Thomas”), the global talent assessment provider.   

The study- released as offices open up again but with many organisations continuing to follow a hybrid model – initially found that over-40s are 28% more likely to get lost in their work compared with their millennial counterparts. Over-40s are also 24% more likely to feel good about what they’re doing when working remotely, the study found.  

While on the surface the findings appear to suggest that age determines how engaged people are by remote work, this isn’t the full picture. The study suggests that other factors associated with older generations, such as enhanced financial freedom, better homeworking space, and increased job confidence, may be responsible for higher levels of engagement in remote working. 

Ultimately, the Thomas study found engagement in remote work is down to the personality type of each employee. Individuals with high conscientiousness, for example, are able to lose themselves in their work, and feel a sense of mastery while working remotely. Meanwhile, employees with high adjustment are comfortable with rapid change and new ways of operating. 

Samantha Fernandez, Data Psychologist at Thomas International said, “While older generations are at a slight advantage when it comes to remote working, it’s not to say that the older you are, the better you are at working from home. Individuals of all ages can equally display traits associated with role engagement. Those – from any age or background – who are self-disciplined and organised will be able to work remotely effectively.  

“Remote working is here to stay, so understanding the diverse personality traits of individuals of all ages is the key to effectively enhancing engagement and driving business success. Organisations must go above and beyond to ensure employees of all ages and stages in their careers are accounted so they can thrive in any professional setting moving forward.” 

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