A few weeks ago, this 1 Million for Work Flexibility blog firmly debunked the misconception that it’s only working parents who want greater flexibility at work. There are many segments within the workforce that benefit from flexible working arrangements. Today we’re delving further into one of these groups: mature workers.
By 2020, one billion people around the world will be aged 60 or over. This demographic shift is having a huge impact on the global labour market. With retirement ages around the world increasing, people are staying in work for longer and longer. On the back of this shift, growing numbers of mature workers are starting to demand more flexible working arrangements.
Mature workers often want to continue working later into life, but at the same time the demands of full-time employment no longer appeal to them. Being able to work flexibly allows mature workers to scale back their work commitments, while still keeping their foot in the professional world. Work flexibility can take on many forms, whether it’s contract, part-time, job share, consulting, temporary or project-based work.
And this is also great news for companies, because this talented segment of the workforce is no longer being lost after years of developing skills and knowledge.
Companies are slowly realising that mature workers represent a massively underutilised pool of talent. It’s high time that employers started to understand how to engage this talent with flexible work. Mature workers have often accumulated extensive skills, knowledge, practice, intellectual property, and industry connections over the course of their careers. These are irreplaceable assets that provide inherent value to employers.
According to Rohan Squirchuk, an Australian employment law specialist, mature workers provide an unmatched level of experience—both professional and life—to employers. As Rohan says, “Decades of experience in the workplace give these individuals a superior understanding of how tasks can be carried out more efficiently.”
Flexible work arrangements can be an effective way for companies to tap into this talented segment of the workforce. With greater flexibility, mature-aged workers can lend their specialised skills and knowledge to a company on a non-permanent basis. In this way, companies can get access to valuable, high-caliber talent, as required.
“As they’re often the employees with the most experience, these workers can be enlisted on a contingent basis to supplement an organisation’s permanent workforce under flexible working arrangements,” Rohan explains.
With the flexibility to pay for best-in-class talent on a contract or contingent basis for as long as they need it, organisations can increase their workforce capacity without incurring ongoing employment costs over the long-term. Employing mature workers on a flexible basis therefore gives companies the opportunity to gain critical competitive advantage. And as we continue to see an increasing number of professionals switching to contract and contingent work, including mature workers, there’s never been a better time to make use of this talented segment of the workforce through flexible work arrangements.
It’s a no-brainer really. Mature workers and flexible work are a match made in heaven. It’s time for companies to start making the most of this win/win.
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