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Workplace Aging – How to Accommodate Workers Above the Age of 50?
Oct 27, 2022
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Every workplace has workers of all age groups, including individuals in their twenties and those nearing retirement. While many companies prefer hiring young and dynamic candidates today, only a few understand how important an asset an older worker can be. Although a worker who is 50 years or older can’t do any work that involves a lot of physical effort, you’ll be surprised to see how quick and efficient they are at other mental tasks.

If you’ve some workers who are over 50 years of age working for you at your office, you can’t just lay them off because you think they’re too old to work, especially if they’re working just fine. What you can do is go the extra mile for them and provide them with more flexibility and facilities that they would need to work comfortably.

You simply can’t compare the energy and vigor of young employees and older employees. Younger individuals are, of course, more energetic, more active, more responsive, and more tech-savvy. But you can’t underestimate older workers when it comes to experience and expertise. Older employees are nothing less than an institution that you can learn so much from!

If you’re concerned about your older workers and workplace aging, you can sit back and relax. This blog post revolves around workplace aging and how you can accommodate workers who are more than 50 years of age.

Benefits of Having Older Employees on Board?

Benefits of Having Older Employees on Board?

Many employers believe that having older employees on board is a wastage of resources because the efficiency of these employees isn’t as high as younger workers. If you’ve got older workers working in a department where most of the work is physical and tiring, you may be right. But where there’s not much physical work involved, older employees may surprise you with their expertise and efficiency.

Let’s have a look at the many benefits of having older employees as a part of your workforce.

Experience and Wisdom

Younger workers are sharp, but older workers are wise. A younger employee may be able to come up with quick solutions to a problem, while an older worker will be able to come up with wise advice that’ll help younger workers develop a long-term solution. Older workers have spent an entire lifetime working, and they’ve got years of experience to back them up. They’ve seen ups and downs, twists and turns, and various challenges that younger employees may not be able to find a way around. Wisdom comes with time and experience, and an older worker has got both of these things.

Reliability

You can expect younger employees to switch jobs frequently. They’ll hop onto the next generous offer they get. Most young employees, especially the ones who have just graduated, aren’t quite aware of workplace ethics and may come in late and call days off often. However, older employees are much more reliable in this aspect. They’re less likely to take casual leaves or come in late. They’re punctual and more responsible. Also, they’re quite hesistant when it comes to switching jobs. They prefer to retire from their current job, and therefore, you don’t have to worry about having to fill in their position when they show up with a surprise resignation letter.

Confidence

Older workers are very confident since they’ve given years to a job and consider themselves experts in their area. When you know your job through and through, you’ll automatically feel more confident. When confidence is combined with experience and expertise, the result is a truly valuable resource for any business.

Knowledge Base

Older employees have plenty to teach and lend to the younger employees. They can teach from experience. Most young employees tend to go by the book, but an older employee can help polish them for the practical world. Younger workers can look up to older workers for guidance, help, and advice.

You see, you may feel like older workers are high-maintenance in terms of healthcare costs, but if you look at the bigger picture, older employees are truly an asset for any business that can add value with their experience and expertise.

How to Accommodate Workers Above the Age of 50?

How to Accommodate Workers Above the Age of 50?

Now that you know how important it’s to have experienced workers on your team, let’s move on to how you can accommodate them and make them comfortable in your office.

Reduce Physical Burden

Let’s say you’ve got a worker who’s 50 years or more in a department on the first floor of your office and they’ve got to make multiple trips to another department that’s located on the third floor because that’s the nature of their job. One way to accommodate older workers and make their job comfortable for them is to reduce the physical burden on them. Assign them an office assistant or helper who can do all the physical work for them. It’ll ensure your aging worker doesn’t get tired and doesn’t compromise on the quality of their work.

Provide Them Ergonomic Office Equipment

Provide Them Ergonomic Office Equipment

Employees of all ages should be given an ergonomic working environment. It’s equally important for everyone. However, in the case of an aging workforce, it’s not an option but a necessity. Older workers are not as physically fit as your young workforce. Their bodies have started to become fragile, and if they don’t get an ergonomic environment, they’ll soon become unfit to work. Make sure you provide aging workers ergonomic chairs with breathable and flexible back support if you’ve got fixed workstations throughout your office. However, the best way to make sure workers who are 50 years or older don’t get tired of sitting all day long is to arrange for standing work desks like the L-Shaped Standing Desk E4L. Standing desks ensure that there’s no undue stress on the lower back, and the worker is protected from the consequences of sitting in an incorrect posture for extended periods.

Offer Flexibility

Offer as much flexibility as you can to workers who are 50 years or older. If your policy says that all employees have to complete an 8-hour shift, allow older workers to leave early after they’ve completed their work. Offer them more paid leaves than you usually do because as a person ages, their likelihood of falling sick also increases. Make sure that your policies aren’t so rigid that a worker aged 50 or above is compelled to come to work when they aren’t feeling the best. Apart from flexibility in leaves and working hours, also offer flexibility in timelines wherever possible. If a certain task can wait a day or two, don’t make the worker stay back in the office after working hours to complete the task the same day. The more relaxed a worker is, the better they’ll be able to perform.

Provide Them with a Quiet Working Space

Provide Them with a Quiet Working Space

Younger individuals don’t find it as hard to concentrate with distractions as older people do. You might have an open working space where all your employees are sitting at their designated workstations and are communicating openly and engaging in cheerful chatter. However, a worker who is more than 50 years of age may find it hard to focus when there’s so much noise and distraction around. One way to accommodate older workers is to provide them cubicles with a door so that they can shut the door and work in silence, where they can focus better.

Make Healthy Snacks Available

Most offices have the most-running items like chips, biscuits, and juices in their vending machine . If there are older workers in your office, make sure you’ve got something for them, too, like sugar-free beverages and snacks, nuts, granola bars, and a variety of bread and buns that they can enjoy with tea.

Simplify Tasks

Simplify Tasks

Try to simplify tasks wherever possible. Break large tasks into smaller ones so that the worker can feel accomplished and stay motivated. If a task takes them too long to complete, which they were able to complete sooner when they could, it’ll affect their self-esteem and confidence adversely. However, breaking tasks into smaller ones will not only help them get things done in less time but will also keep your aging workforce motivated.

Install Screen Shields

Light from the computer screen may not hurt your eyes, but it surely will be painful for older workers whose eyesight has already gotten weak. Another way you can accommodate workers of age 50 and above is by installing screen shields on the computers to reduce eye strain.

The better you accommodate older workers, the more productive they’ll be. It may feel like an overwhelming job, but it’s just little things that count and go a long way!



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