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Older office workers ‘add value to organisations’

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As employers look to maximise the value of their workforces, they should perhaps question whether they have access to a full range of skills and experiences.

Office workers come in all shapes and sizes – and also all different ages.

Particularly with people living longer, and the retirement age gradually creeping towards 70, the sight of older people in the office should perhaps become more common.

However, it has been suggested that many employers are reluctant to employ people who are more advanced in years – despite the wealth of experience they may bring.

Dr Dianne Bown-Wilson, chief executive of In My Prime, noted that such individuals also tend to bring greater stability to organisations.

This is because once they have a job, they are likely to remain in it for a number of years – unlike young people who are more concerned with climbing the career ladder as quickly as possible.

“Obviously, if you have invested in taking on somebody, ideally you want them to stay with an organisation. Older workers will stay with the job,” Dr Bown-Wilson claimed.

“They have also shown their reliability is higher than younger people generally. They turn up for work on time and on the day to day basis, and they take less sick leave.”

She added that the underlying benefit of older office workers is that they have the experience of life.

“Hopefully if they are taken on, they will have actual skills for the role they are being employed for. Younger people sometimes may not have them because they haven’t been working for as many years,” Dr Bown-Wilson said.

She claimed that only the best candidates for jobs should be hired – meaning that over-55s should have equal access to advertised roles as their younger counterparts.

“Look at the individual candidate on what they have to offer,” the expert urged.

“That generally isn’t happening now, because despite the legislation, people do still look at people’s age and think ‘they are too old’.”