Blended work among older workers: A multi-level perspective

M. Damman

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeContribution to conference proceedingsScientificpeer-review


In the retirement literature, the concept of “blended work” has been introduced recently as a form of work that may enable older workers to prolong their working lives. Blended work refers to time- and location-independent working, which is made possible by the increasing reliance on ICTs in organizations. Empirical insights on this issue are still limited though, especially with regard to the question which older workers actually have the opportunity to blend work. This paper aims to fill this gap, by paying attention to the role that both organizational and individual level factors play for explaining perceived blended work opportunities. Multi-level data collected in 2015 among a sample of about 5000 older workers (age 60–65 years) employed in more than 400 organizations from the government, education, construction, care, and welfare sectors in the Netherlands were analyzed. The results show a large variety between sectors in blended work opportunities (as measured by four items). For instance, among employees working in government organizations almost 30 percent agrees with the statement “I can decide myself where I work,” and this is only the case among less than 10 percent of employees in educational and care sector organizations. Higher educated older workers have more opportunities to blend work as compared to the lower educated, and men report having more opportunities for blended work than women. The findings suggest that blended work is only available to a select group of older workers, which raises questions about its potential effectiveness for prolonging working lives more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovation in Aging
PublisherOxford University Press
Volume1, Issue suppl_1
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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