New ONS data shows that home working could help to boost the economy by upping the age at which older workers retire.
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the UK economy is missing out on an estimated £88bn because of a sharp drop off in employment rates as workers approach pension age. In 2019, 13.8% of people aged 50 years were economically inactive, but by the age 64 years the number rose to more than half.
The move to home working could help to reverse the trend giving the UK economy a much-needed boost. The ONS said that flexible arrangements could help older employees remain in the workforce for longer.
The report concluded: “from a business perspective, most older workers say their productivity is increased, there is a decrease in absenteeism and by offering working from home as an option employers are more likely to attract and retain older workers.”
During the pandemic 45 per cent of women and 38 per cent of men over the age of 50 switched to home working, with those in managerial and professional occupations most likely to work remotely.
The move particularly benefitted those with caring responsibility and ill-health, the group most likely to drop out of the workforce before pension age.
Almost 11 per cent of those with a long-standing illness, disability or infirmity who work from home said they are now planning to retire later compared with just 5 per cent of those still going into the workplace.
Helping employees stay in the workforce for longer can improve mental health, financial stability and emotional well being according to the ONS.