I’m grateful to Jon Pollard for this..
Employment in the UK has risen by 296,000 since the start of 2010, and 75% of those jobs – or 222,000 – have gone to people over 50. Just under 44% of the jobs have gone to the 3% of workers over 65. For comparison, the number of 16-17 year olds in work has fallen by nearly 8% over the same period, while the number of working 18-24 year olds has been more or less flat (in urban areas the unemployment rate amongst 16-24 year olds is running at 20%, which is desperate). Many employers seem to be adopting the B&Q approach (a firm who predominantly recruit older workers). Their view is that older people have normally undertaken the responsibility of raising families, paid mortgages and held down responsible jobs for many years – and as such are more likely to be more reliable than their youthful job-seeking rivals. Maybe the employment opportunities are now swinging in favour of the older worker.
This idea of reliability is important. In the olden days we measure reliability by attendance but I think the measure is changing to productivity. Do we mind if an employee is seldom seen in the office if his or her output is on or above target?
Indeed the very term “going to work” has for many of us become obsolete, work comes to us, we deal with it as we go about our daily activities.
I give myself targets for the week , things that I must get done, things that I’d like to get done and a great big bag of time for the unknowns that could be described as opportunity.
Like many others, I do not sit in a physical or virtual production line. Workflow processes sit ill with my work style which I check for efficiency;
Time in car/tube – inefficient I can only receive information , I cannot interact (even with hands free communication)
Time on train/bus – semi efficient; not an ideal working environment due to interruption .
Time with people (whether colleagues/clients/prospective clients) highly efficient.
Time at home (pretty-efficient) on-line but not fully interactive
Lesson for me, spend as little time travelling, as much of the time interacting – priorities meetings but use home for as much non-face to face work as possible. Where does an office come into it – a meeting place but no more.
Lesson for me – I do not need to go to work – work needs to come to me.
Maybe by not going to work, I am going to go on working for longer. Would I feel this confident if I was younger? IF you told me to organise myself this way as an 18 year old I suspect I would screw up. Certainly I valued communal workplaces more in the early years of my career.
So maybe workplaces need to be places of training for youngsters where the role of older employees is to pass on experience. Maybe older employees – of which I must now class myself one – need to think of work less in terms of 9 to 5 and more to do with throughputs – achieving self-defined goals.
The words that define the value of the older worker become “independence” and “reliability”. The value of our going to work is to share experience rather than to be monitored.
The words that define the value of the younger worker are “energy” and “originality” but younger people seem to have a higher requirement for formal working structures (going to work).
The B and Q experience is of older people stacking shelves – this is the wrong deployment of older people who are least equipped for this kind of thing. We should be looking to release our older workers to train up the youth and deploy their reliability and independence the way they see best. That may not require them going to work.
- A new age for older people? (ageukblog.org.uk)
- Number of older people forced out of work reaches record high (telegraph.co.uk)
- A lump of fallacy, or two plus two does not equal five (ageukblog.org.uk)
- Government data shows workforce contains a growing number of older people (employmentlawupdate.wordpress.com)
- Speaking Up and Speaking Out! (thesilvervoice.wordpress.com)
- Over 40 Job Seekers (jdineen03.wordpress.com)
- Baby Boomers and the Labor Force (blogs.wsj.com)
- Old People Using The Internet? (lukejconnolly.wordpress.com)
- Retirement rules clarification could help firms avoid business insurance claims (premierlinedirect.co.uk)
- “Dignified Care?” (careintheuk.wordpress.com)
- What we can and cannot do (to provide our staff with better DC pension outcomes) (henrytapper.com)
- Modern Ideas for Managing the Aging Workforce (brighthub.com)
- How to help the older worker left behind in the recovery? (theglobeandmail.com)
- Business owners can prevent worker defections (chron.com)
- Recycling Firm Fined after Teenager Injured at Work (first4lawyers.com)
- Govt fund to boost worker health (premierlinedirect.co.uk)
- Foundation helps workers defeat Big Labor (raysrope.wordpress.com)
- Cost of Workplace Incivility (rickdacri.wordpress.com)
- Can Cyber-Slacking Be Good? (psychologytoday.com)
- Workplace Ethics (natashamrtn.wordpress.com)
- Massachusetts job fair canceled due to lack of employer participation (justjobs.com)
- N.J. unemployment rate rises to 9.2 percent as ‘discouraged’ workers resume their job search (nj.com)
- Older Workers More Likely to Be Employed Than Teens (blogs.wsj.com)
- Rex Flexibility: Approaching Retirement Age And Still Doing The Work-Life Juggle? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Pension age workers on the rise (bbc.co.uk)
- Optimism About Jobs Turns Higher (247wallst.com)
- More Lessons From “Scratch Beginnings” (chronotek.wordpress.com)
- Elderly workforce doubles as over-65s struggle to make ends meet (telegraph.co.uk)
- The Decoupling of the Unemployment Rate and the Employment-to-Population Ratio (delong.typepad.com)
- Julian Knight: Pension timebomb? Call the forces of political correctness (independent.co.uk)
- For Older Workers, the 21st Century Job Hunt Doesn’t Come Easy (dailyfinance.com)
- The Rapidly Changing Labor Force (creditloan.com)
- What Senior Workers Want as the Economy Improves (money.usnews.com)