Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Over the years it is a recurring theme in the media that people should work longer in order to deal with the fiscal pressures that comes with our aging population. In theory this makes sense – how else will we be able to maintain our Social Security benefits and the living standards that we are used to?  Reality however proves to be more complex. Up to now the number of people working over the age of 50 is still too low. So how do we increase this number?

Promoting sustainable work and healthy ageing from the beginning of ones working life makes a good start. A sustainable working life simply means that work is made sustainable over the lifespan of an individual.  In other words, work that is causing little or no damage to the worker so it can be continued over a longer period of time. In order for this to be achievable, work requirements  and the individual needs of the worker should be brought into line...

Although much has been written on what makes work sustainable for workers, it proves difficult to turn the recommendations into action. Thus, a sustainable working life often remains a hollow phrase.
It should be made clear, that sustainable work is not solely the responsibility of the government and companies. The individual worker needs to take responsibility for his/her career and employability also. By doing this healthy aging at work can be achieved. This should result in more engaged, productive and motivated employees who will be able and willing to work longer.

In April 2016 a campaign was launched by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. “It’s overall aim is to help workers, managers and employers to recognise and manage the challenges of the aging workforce, focusing not only on one age, but on workers of all ages” (www.healthy-workplaces.eu). For those interested in more information check out the website, here you can find information and practical tools on the topic.

Rather than digging deeper into what has been published on this topic, we want to bring you a positive story around this theme. Keep following us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and read about the career of energetic, enthusiastic 50+ Valesta employees. Stay tuned!

Author: Danielle Van den Bosch, HR Projects, Valesta Belgium