Blended work as a bridge between traditional workplace employment and retirement: A conceptual review

Jonathan Dropkin, Jacqueline Moline, Hyun Kim, Judith E. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Because of population aging, the consensus among policy makers is that employment in older workers must increase. However, methods for attaining this are uncertain. Blended work, which consists of working anywhere and anytime with information and communication technology, may help achieve this goal. The article focuses on 4 topics related to older workers and blended work: the benefits, risks, individual- and organizational-level barriers, and organizational and government interventions and policies designed to remove these risks and barriers. Legislation to protect against age discrimination and disability associated with age is also reviewed. The objectives are to discuss the literature on blended work and the older worker and highlight some consequences the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and American with Disabilities Act may have on blended work. Delaying retirement through blended work could promote older workers' health and well-being, but risks and barriers at individual- and organizational- levels are not inconsequential. At the individual level, these include social isolation, and managements' loss of control over employees at the organizational level. Potential interventions include developing blended work as an employee benefit to replace long distance travel. Federal policies include providing subsidies to state and local governments to reduce costs of upgrading broadband fiber-optic cables. Specific subgroups of workers are more likely to benefit from blended work. Older white collar professionals with good technological and computer skills and who can work independently are one subgroup that might fit a blended worker personality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-383
Number of pages11
JournalWork, Aging and Retirement
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

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