The growing number of people older than 60 has raised numerous questions concerning their financial security and society’s ability to sustain it. Therefore, governments worldwide have proposed various initiatives with the aim of encouraging older adults to continue working instead of retiring as early as possible. Despite the fact that retirement is something that most workers look forward to, there is a wide range of factors that often stand behind employees’ decisions to stay in the workplace.
There have been numerous debates on the sustainability of the extension of working lives as a means to address demographic issues. Martin (2018) claims that the aging of the population poses stark dilemmas for labor markets, social protection systems, and cultural norms. People, in general, want to have a well-deserved rest after all the years of toil. Therefore, the necessity to continue working for older adults demonstrates deep problems rooted in inefficient social security funding.
What is more, older adults demonstrate hardships when trying to find a new workplace. According to Harris et al. (2018), stereotypes regarding aging influence older workers, which contributes to injustice and inequality. Moreover, many older adults do not demonstrate a high level of education that is highly desired by most employees nowadays. In most cases, even excellent working experience cannot make up for the absence of a diploma.
An atmosphere is created where millions of senior citizens feel anxious about their ability to earn their living. Can this approach be called a sustainable one in the 21st century? Does fear need to be a significant factor that makes people continue working? It has become vivid recently that, in the case of senior citizens, other types of motivation tend to be much more efficient and lead to increased productivity in the workplace. Older workers seek to provide assistance by sharing their valuable working experience. These people do not necessarily need to compete with recent graduates for the same positions.
There are numerous psychological aspects of aging, most of them centering around the necessity to stay an important member of society. Therefore, older adults should not be deprived of an opportunity to learn new skills that, together with their experience, can boost the overall performance of a company. The ability of governments and businesses to develop and establish a framework that distinguishes older adults as a unique part of the workforce that needs special assistance will undoubtedly create beneficial trends in the world economy.
Older adults need a comfortable working environment where duties and respect play a more crucial role than salaries. Millions of older adults worldwide have incentives to continue working that goes far beyond purely economic factors. In modern societies, where people usually have few children and grandchildren, older adults desperately need something that brings meaning to their lives. If they do not have a hobby that helps them interact with people, work sometimes stays the only opportunity for them to feel needed. Moreover, most seniors are used to identifying themselves with their careers, which few Millennials truly understand.
Lifelong learning opportunities and inclusive labor markets are what older employees desperately need. The fact that the younger generations have been using various gadgets and new technologies since childhood does not mean that they are, by default, the best in some new branches, such as SMM. Recent cases have proven that older adults can quickly learn how to employ various new tactics that imply the extensive use of advanced software and social media presence. Therefore, companies should realize the scope of new business opportunities that older adults can open.
Older adults do not lose the inner striving for self-realization. The vast majority of them desperately want to feel that they are productive workers who are valued for the social impact they make. The most important thing every older worker needs is some attention to his efforts. If younger employees show little respect for the expertise that older workers have acquired throughout their lifespan, it undermines any company’s culture.
Martin, J. P. (2018). Live longer, work longer: The changing nature of the labour market for older workers in OECD countries. IZA Discussion Paper, 11510. Web.
Harris, K., Krygsman, S., Waschenko, J., & Laliberte Rudman, D. (2018). Ageism and the older worker: A scoping review. The Gerontologist, 58(2), e1-e14. Web.