Most Workers Consider Age Irrelevant at the Office, Survey Finds

MENLO PARK, CA -- They say age is a state of mind, and a new survey suggests this may be particularly true in the office. Eighty-four percent of workers polled said they would be comfortable reporting to a manager who is younger than they are; 89 percent said they wouldn’t mind supervising employees older than themselves.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 567 individuals 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.

Workers were asked, “How comfortable would you be reporting to a manager who is younger than you?”  Their responses: 

Very comfortable   51%
Somewhat comfortable   33%
Somewhat uncomfortable   11%
Very uncomfortable   3%
Don't know/no answer      2%

Those polled also were asked, “How comfortable would you be managing a worker who is older than you?” Their responses: 

Very comfortable   70%
Somewhat comfortable   19%
Somewhat uncomfortable   9%
Very uncomfortable      2%

“For the first time in history, four generations of employees are in the workforce, from the Silent Generation and baby boomers to Generations X and Y,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Companies recognize the benefits of having diverse, well-rounded teams, and employees may be just as likely to report to a younger supervisor as an older one. In either case, the boss’s management abilities are more of a factor in employee job satisfaction than his or her age.”

Domeyer added that employees today are recognized more for performance than tenure with a company. “In an ideal office setting, managers and staff are focused on the skills and knowledge people bring to their roles, not what year they were born,” she said.

OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at

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