The employment landscape is undergoing a transformative shift, with hybrid and remote work models gaining traction. A recent article in Forbes predicts that 70% of the workforce will be remote at least 5 days per month by 2025. Nearly 75% of U.S. companies are using or plan to implement a permanent hybrid work model. In this article, we explore how these evolving workplace dynamics are reshaping opportunities for older workers. By debunking bias and misconceptions related to their technology knowledge, we shed light on the valuable contributions older professionals bring to the future of work.
Redefining Technological ProficiencyContrary to common belief, studies found that older workers exhibited more willingness to learn the new technology than their younger counterparts. Veteran employees were more enthusiastic about the changes, knocking the theory that older workers prevent companies from benefiting from their knowledge and experience. As the workplace embraces hybrid and remote work models, older workers are leveraging their experience and adaptability to embrace new technologies. They possess a wealth of knowledge and have the capacity to quickly learn and adapt to digital tools, making them valuable assets in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. However, approximately 90% of workforce development programs provide services to students and younger adults, leaving just 10% to address the needs of adults age 50+.
The Experience Advantage
One of the significant advantages older workers bring to the table is their extensive professional experience. They have honed their skills over the years, developing a deep understanding of industry nuances and proven problem-solving abilities. This experience is invaluable in navigating complex situations and making strategic decisions. By recognizing and harnessing the experience advantage older workers offer, organizations can tap into a rich reservoir of knowledge and expertise.
Bridging the Generation Gap
Hybrid and remote work models provide a unique opportunity to bridge the generation gap in the workplace. Older workers can act as mentors, sharing their wisdom and experiences with younger colleagues. They provide valuable insights into industry trends, client management, and relationship building. Intergenerational knowledge exchange not only fosters a culture of learning but also promotes innovation through diverse perspectives.
Embracing Continuous Learning
Contrary to the stereotype that older workers resist learning, many are eager to embrace new technologies and upskill. With the vast array of online resources, webinars, and training programs available, older professionals are actively seeking opportunities to expand their knowledge base. Organizations can foster a culture of continuous learning by providing access to relevant training and development initiatives, enabling older workers to thrive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. For businesses, turnover costs (estimated at $25,000 when a worker quits within the first year to over $78,000 after five years) can be averted or delayed by ensuring that workers have upskilling opportunities.
Overcoming Bias Through Inclusive Policies
To fully realize the potential of older workers in the future of work, organizations must actively combat bias and create inclusive policies. This involves eliminating age-related stereotypes and promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion. By recognizing the unique contributions of older workers, offering mentorship programs, and facilitating cross-generational collaboration, businesses can tap into a diverse talent pool and drive innovation.
CWI Labs Digital Certification Program (DCP)
CWI Labs is confronting the systemic inequities related to age, gender, and race by developing solutions that address the needs of the job seekers and the skill requirements of local economies. One of the cornerstones of our current work is addressing the bias related to age and technology – that older job seekers don’t know and/or are unable to learn the technology of today. A recent study by the National Skills Coalition shows that across all industries 92% of jobs now require digital skills.
We are directly confronting this myth with a unique program to train and certify that our job seekers are digitally literate for a remote and hybrid workplace through our Digital Certification Program (DCP). DCP is a one-of-its-kind training program with a curriculum that goes beyond technology platforms to train on the soft skills unique to a remote and hybrid workplace. DCP simultaneously combats ageism by directly refuting two myths holding older workers back from equitable economic opportunity – that they are not digitally savvy and that they do not want to learn digital skills. Learn more…
The future of work is being reshaped by the rise of hybrid and remote workplaces. Older workers, far from being hindered by misconceptions related to their technology knowledge, bring valuable experience, adaptability, and expertise to the table. By debunking bias and recognizing the contributions of older professionals, organizations can unlock the full potential of their workforce. Embracing inclusive policies, fostering continuous learning, and promoting intergenerational collaboration will pave the way.