Plans to encourage early retirees back into work will hit a road block unless offices are given an MOT too, that’s according to global workplace creation expert, Unispace.
With the Government pushing ahead with plans to encourage over 50s back into employment through a ‘midlife MOT’ as skills shortages continue to impact the economy, Unispace has warned that workplaces themselves are not aiding the attraction and retention of this demographic of the workforce.
In its study of 3,000 office workers across Europe, the firm found that 78% of those over the age of 45 would make significant improvements to the office space and environment. Incentives including access to free lunches and enhanced amenities were ranked as top desires from this demographic by 67% and 57% of respondents respectively.
Almost half (45%) revealed that they missed the social aspects of the office while working remotely. This suggests that in order to encourage more over 50s back into work, businesses will need to rethink how the office is used by the entire workforce in order to create the social set up that so many in the older demographic desire.
Lawrence Mohiuddine, CEO, EMEA at Unispace commented:
“With skills shortages still impacting the UK despite the tough economic climate, the plans to encourage those who retired early back into work is a move that many will welcome. However, we cannot overlook the fact that there are reasons why those that fall into this group left in the first place. While the current ‘MOT’ plans are focused on re-engaging the over 50s, the role that the office itself plays is crucial. The older segment of the workforce places a clear value on more from the workplace than just having a location to work from.
“While the older workforce clearly values better amenities in the office, it is the social interaction element that today’s firms can ill-afford to ignore. The ability to socialise with peers is a big driver for this age group, but in order to provide this for returning retirees, firms need to encourage others to also make greater use of the workplace. How we all interact with the office has evolved significantly in a short space of time and if they are to be truly used as the valuable attraction and retention tool that they should be, workspaces need their own MOT.”