Flexible working key for older workers

Nine out of 10 (92 percent) senior business people in various industries in Singapore see flexible working critical for keeping older, experienced workers in the economy, according to the latest research by global workplace provider Regus.

The study also found that 96 percent of respondents confirm that flexible working is key to keeping carers and post-retirement workers in employment so that they can better juggle the demands of their family and their professional life. The study surveyed more than 586 people in January this year.

As the retirement age is constantly increasing especially in Singapore where by the year 2030, the country would have some 900,000 people aged 65 or older – more than four times the number just 15 years ago. Singapore will grow older “faster than nearly every other society” in the world, and the proportion of those needing to remain in employment, and who are fit and willing to do so is also getting higher.

In reality, inflexible working hours and a long commute are very off-putting to older workers who often also have to care for family members. With the push for productivity and the expected growth of the workforce not expected to exceed two percent per year, flexible working is an option companies can think of to retain the skills and expertise of an ageing population.

Flexible working gives professionals greater choice over when and where they work, enabling them to continue to contribute to the economy, without sacrificing their work-life balance. Added Paul MacAndrew, country manager for Regus Singapore: “Older workers often have caring responsibilities, potential health problems, and a desire to spend more time with their partner or family, or to take up a new hobby or skill. Flexible working therefore is an ideal solution for those who want to remain in the workforce past retirement, but maintaining control of their schedule and reducing lengthy commutes in to work.

“Flexible working can also provide older workers with a ‘bridge’ into retirement. Reports show that often the complete loss of professional work can leave retired workers feeling depressed and unmotivated even to the point of affecting mental health. Flexible working can help older workers delay retirement without giving up too much of their hard-earned freedom.”




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