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.

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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