Thursday, August 29, 2013

United Kingdom: Study Shows Older Workers Are as Productive as Younger Counterparts

According to research released by AgeUK, despite assumptions made by many employers, older workers are motivated and willing to work as flexibly as younger workers. The research investigating the evidence behind common perceptions about older workers was carried out by Essex Business School, University of Essex.

Among other things, the review found that, while there was evidence of decline in some physical attributes in some, but not all, older workers, there was little sign of a decline in overall productivity because older workers compensated with skills and experience. Furthermore, while there is evidence to suggest that while younger people might be typically faster at carrying out repetitive tasks, older people are often faster at carrying out complex tasks that allow them to draw on their contextual knowledge and years of work experience.
Dr Kathleen Riach, Reader in Management at Essex Business School who carried out the study said, ‘Our review found that stereotyped perceptions about older workers don’t stand up to scrutiny.

'Our work indicates that age doesn’t determine a person’s commitment and productivity levels at work. Other socioeconomic and psychological factors are much better indicators of the way older people behave.’
Source: AgeUK Press Release (August 28, 2013)