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Flexibility and the Engagement of Older Workers

Analyzing data gathered by WFD (Work/Family Directions) from employees at more than 30 workplaces, this study investigated how flexibility affects older workers’ engagement compared to that of younger workers. Using hierarchical linear modeling, the analyses put the employees’ responses in the context of the work environments at their organizations.

key research questions

  • How does access to workplace flexibility affect older workers’ engagement?
  • Do changes in the extent of flexible work options available at the workplace affect older workers’ engagement?

selected findings

  • Compared to the referent group (workers age 34-44), workers age 55 and older were significantly more engaged.
  • Employees who have access to the flexibility they need at work scored higher (2.40 points higher) than those who did not. The addition of flexibility fit increases the proportion of variance in engagement 6.2%.
  • Age moderates the relationship between flexibility and engagement, such that older workers who have the flexibility they need are more engaged than younger workers who have the flexibility they need.

   

publications

  • Pitt-Catsouphes, M. & Matz-Costa, C. (2008). The multi-generational workforce: Workplace flexibility and engagement. Community, Work & Family, 11(2), 215-229.
  • Hill, E.J., Grzywacz, J.G., Allen, S., Blanchard, V.L., Matz-Costa, C., Shulkin, S., & Pitt-Catsouphes, M. (2008). Defining and conceptualizing workplace flexibility. Community, Work, & Family, 11(2), 149-163.

contact

For questions of information regarding the Flexibility and the Engagement of Older Workers Project, or to schedule a conversation with any of the Center’s team, please contact:

617-552-9195 | agework@bc.edu

   

flexibility and the engagement of older workers team

Christina Matz-Costa, MSW, PhD
Senior Research Associate
Sloan Center on Aging & Work, Boston College
Assistant Professor
Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College
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Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, PhD

Director
Sloan Center on Aging & Work, Boston College
Associate Professor
Graduate School of Social Work & Carroll School of Management, Boston College

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