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Canadian employees’ remote working experiences vary across different generations, according to a new survey by Angus Reid on behalf of ADP Inc.

It found while 44 per cent of respondents said they work longer compared to pre-coronavirus pandemic times, 48 per cent of millennials and just 31 per cent of generation Z are clocking extra hours.

Gen-Zers (36 per cent) were most excited about returning to the office, followed by 34 per cent of millennials and 29 per cent of baby boomers. Gen Z workers (34 per cent) were also more likely to note incentives offered by employers — including transit subsidies, a flexible schedule, free parking, and additional compensation — to motivate their return to the workplace.

Read: 44% of remote workers logging more hours during pandemic: survey

In a press release, Megha Makam, senior human resources business advisor at ADP Canada, said younger employees’ interest in returning to the office suggests they likely value face-to-face interaction and may even believe working remotely may hinder their career development.

“It’s important to identify these generational differences and open the conversation with each employee’s experience when developing supportive programs or initiatives. The survey findings support a call to action for employers to adjust how we communicate with and support each generation of the workforce. A blanket approach simply doesn’t work when it comes to navigating remote work.”

While 48 per cent of both millennials and gen-Xers said their employers have introduced mental-health initiatives during the pandemic, 65 per cent of gen-Zers said their workplace didn’t introduce such programs or they weren’t made aware of them if they did. Gen-Xers and baby boomers (46 per cent and 47 per cent, respectively) were most likely to report an increase in their productivity since working remotely, compared to 42 per cent of millennials and 31 per cent of gen-Zers.

Read: Offering commuting perks part of post-pandemic planning for employers

Baby boomers (75 per cent) were most likely to work on a modified schedule allowing them to take care of personal matters, followed by 72 per cent of gen-Xers and millennials. And with approximately 40 per cent of respondents across all age groups noting an increase in stress levels as a result of the pandemic, employers are in a position to encourage healthy behaviour, says Makam in an interview with Benefits Canada about the survey.

“A lot of it has to do with increased responsibilities and family care situations. Employers should be encouraging employees to take additional vacation time, schedule regular breaks and monitor their stress levels. They should also be enacting policies around after-hours work and the right to disconnect.”

Read: Pandemic highlights need to settle on right-to-disconnect rules: labour minister