Tuesday, January 22, 2008

United Kingdom: Study Released on Workplace Design and the Older Worker

The Strategic Promotion of Ageing Research Capacity (SPARC) has released a study of older workers that finds that their motivation to continue to work could be greatly improved if more attention was paid to both the way they are managed and their physical working environments. According to "Workplace Design for the Older Worker", led by Professor Peter Buckle of the University of Surrey, this could include small steps to reduce the physical consequences of manual work, such as redesigning equipment and training workers in its use. The research also suggests that scheduling work in a way which respects the capabilities of the older worker may become more important as the workforce ages. According to Buckle:
Our research has enabled us to create a new model which identifies factors important to the ageing workforce. By mapping existing practices to the new model, and by identifying and resolving areas of difference, organisations and managers will be able to maintain and motivate their older workforce.
In addition, the impact of shift work is identified as a cause of some health concerns, as is the working environment (dust, heat and noise), to which older workers are more sensitive, and manual tasks such as lifting and manipulating heavy objects.

See also, a presentation on "Understanding the Design of the Workplace for the Older Worker" at a workshop jointly organized by SPARC and TAEN discussing showcasing the research.

Source: Strategic Promotion of Ageing Research Capacity News Release (January 22, 2008)

No comments: