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The Implications of an Aging Population

Posted on 05 Aug, 2009 by in Huddle news | 1 comment

Recent US Census reports project that the population 65 and older will increase from about 1 in 8 people to 1 in 5 people by 2030, so that older workers will likely compose an increasingly larger proportion of each state’s workforce. The aging population is a direct result of the large wave of workers born during the Baby Boom of 1946 to 1964 will be aged 48 to 66 in 2012.  For the first time ever, the retiring population is a much larger percentage that those remaining in the workforce.  In addition, there is a significant age gap between the aging population that are retiring and those workers left in the workforce.

The UK also has an aging baby boomer population, and is facing a similar situation.  For the first time ever, the percentage of population aged under 16 has dropped below the percentage of those eligible for state pension.  The fastest growing age group in the UK are those aged 80 years and over, a group that comprises 4.5 percent of the total population.

Aging Population in the UK

Aging Population in the UK

While this growing population has implications not only on healthcare, and social security, and the global economy, the mass retirement of this aging population demographic could be a huge opportunity for younger generations to dramatically change the way businesses run.  As members of the baby boomer generation retire, they will relinquish their senior management positions to younger generations.  Generations of workers who are more comfortable leveraging technology will be able to renovate and integrate new tools to change the way businesses are run.  These changes could have implications on traditional dress codes, a greater acceptance towards remote offices and global workforces, communication tools and mobile platforms, and traditional office cultures.  This is an opportunity to question why and how we do things, and find methods that not only take full advantage of internet technologies, but also allow us to redefine how we work together.  Furthermore, business leaders who can leverage the experience and knowledge of the retiring generations, through extended and flexible mobile communication, may be able to benefit.  Although older generations will be looking to retire from traditional working commitments and workday procedures, modern communication and collaboration platforms could provide a flexible and global way to stay connected with those who have decades of work experience.

How will the aging population affect what the workplace of the future might look like? You decide.


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1 Comment

  1. Ian Stobie

    August 5, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    There’s two things that are going on that will affect the world of work in the US, Europe and Japan.

    Firstly the number of older retired people each person of working age has to support is rising. So the remaining workers will have to work longer, harder or smarter to carry the increased load.

    Secondly governments are aware of this, and are likely to try and force older people to stay in the workplace for longer. (This starts in the UK from next year, with women having to wait longer to get their state pension).

    So the workplace of tomorrow will have more people in their 50s and 60s in it it. But all workers will still have to work harder to support the growing number of elderly retiired people in their late 60s, 70s and beyond.

    So we do need more efficient tools to make those of working age more productive. Including tools like Huddle – especially as it can enable more effective collaboration with part-timers and those working outside the organisation

    But given that the workforce will be greyer, those tools can’t be built just for cool 20 and 30-year olds. They must be accessible to all – including those with the vision, hearing and manual dexterity problems that do sadly afflict some older workers.

    So the future is about working smarter and more collaboratively – but also catering to the real accessibilty needs of workers of all ages.

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