95% of senior executives deny that technology is a barrier to adapting to telecommuting
In March 2020, the situation resulting from the coronavirus crisis forced the health authorities to decree strict containment measures for the population. Teleworking, until now virtually unknown to most businesses, has erupted into the lives of millions of professionals in a matter of hours. A year later, despite the easing of restrictions due to the arrival of vaccines, the pandemic is still a reality and remote working is still an option that seems to have come to stay in many companies.
In this context, Generation SAVIA, an initiative of the Endesa Foundation in collaboration with the Mshumano Foundation, wished to know first-hand the opinion of senior professionals on teleworking and its adaptation to remote job search if they find themselves in this situation. . The problem of long-term unemployment, ageism, the stigma of overqualification, or the false belief that the senior professional has more difficulty relating to technology, are too heavy a burden for a group that feels prematurely excluded from the labor market currently accounts for a quarter of the total number of unemployed in Spain (25.16%), according to the Labor Force Survey (EPA).
In the study, carried out between February 22 and March 4, 2021, more than 1000 senior professionals aged 45 to 70 years participated, the most representative age group being that of 51 to 60 years, and with a distribution equitable between men (48.8%) and women (50.8%).
Contrary to the various prejudices that can appear around this group, one of the main conclusions of the study is that 95.5% of professionals over 50 will be ready to perform their duties remotely. Indeed, most of them (95.1%) deny that technology is an obstacle to adapting to this way of working, that they have already had experience of working from home (68.2% ) or that they have not faced this new modality (26.9%).
Saving time and improving productivity: the main advantages
Saving time on the move is seen as the main benefit of telecommuting for senior professionals (85%), while 6 in 10 are inclined to increase productivity and the possibility of being better organized. Working from home also reduces stress, but it was the last reason respondents (25.8%) used to defend teleworking against face-to-face working at company facilities.
Regarding the disadvantages of this type of work, the majority (75.6%) agree that the work environment is removed and, with it, the possibility of detecting complicity and collaboration with colleagues, while 60.4% are most concerned about a possible disconnect with the corporate culture of the company.
New technologies as a key ally in job search
During the pandemic, 67,600 people over 50 lost their jobs, having to adapt to the job search in a new context. For 56.2% of survey participants, new technologies are not just a great ally, but they will not be able to do without their use in this task. At the same time, 9.9% admit to using technology in the job search process only when it is strictly essential, and 9.4% say they prefer face-to-face interviews.
Faced with this situation, the debate on the digital divide linked to age differences cannot be put aside. According to the results of the study, only one in ten seniors think the gap is real, compared to 35.7% who consider that there are people who interact more or less easily with technology, whether they are young or older. In addition, 30.8% say that the digital divide is a subject that negatively influences their employability and 2 in 10 think that, if the training offered by the company to its employees is adequate, there should be no difference in the usability of the technology by staff as a function of age.