Time to rethink strategies to get over 50’s back to the office
With skills shortages still impacting the economy, the government is pushing ahead with plans to get over 50s back to the office through a ‘midlife MOT’. This drive, however, is likely to hit roadblocks unless workplaces go through an MOT, too, warns workplace creation business, Unispace.
Unispace believes that workplaces are not aiding this demographic’s attraction and retention.
In a study of 3,000 office workers across Europe, Unispace discovered that 78% of those over the age of 45 would make significant improvements to the office environment. Access to free lunches (67%) and enhanced amenities (57%) were on top of the list from this demographic.
A further 45% agreed that they missed the social aspects of working in an office. The findings indicate that to encourage more over 50s back into work, businesses will need to rethink how the entire workforce uses the office to create the social environment that many in the older demographic desire.
Lawrence Mohiuddine, CEO, EMEA at Unispace commented: “With skills shortages still impacting the UK despite the tough economic climate, the plans to encourage those who retired early back into work is a move that many will welcome. However, we cannot overlook the fact that there are reasons why those that fall into this group left in the first place. While the current ‘MOT’ plans are focused on re-engaging the over 50s, the role that the office itself plays is crucial. The older segment of the workforce places a clear value on more from the workplace than just having a location to work from.
“While the older workforce clearly values better amenities in the office, it is the social interaction element that today’s firms can ill-afford to ignore. The ability to socialise with peers is a big driver for this age group, but in order to provide this for returning retirees, firms need to encourage others to also make greater use of the workplace. How we all interact with the office has evolved significantly in a short space of time and if they are to be truly used as the valuable attraction and retention tool that they should be, workspaces need their own MOT.”