Recent studies have revealed that by the end of 2050, one in every five people would be over the age of 60 in the workplace. The ageing workforce can provide a lot of value to a firm since they have years of experience behind them.
From guiding and training the younger members of an organization to give a fresher perspective, they can work wonders for any organization if they are given proper support to adapt to the dynamic environment. However, the question is how to provide support in the most efficient way possible? The answer lies in technology.
Lisa Samara, President of Domus Inc., an employee engagement agency in Philadelphia says, rather than looking at the ageing workforce as a problem, think of it as a big opportunity that makes up to the huge skill gaps within an organization.
Here is how workplace technology can support the ageing workforce:
#1. Artificial Intelligence & Automation
Did you know that according to a report published by McKinsey, artificial intelligence has the potential to raise global workplace productivity by 1.4%? If put to work appropriately, they can significantly influence the way the ageing workforce operates.
Through artificial intelligence and automation, sophisticated procedures can get simplified. This can be of great help for the ageing workforce because they won’t have to spend hours trying to understand how to carry out certain operations. Moreover, through the induction of technology, repetitive tasks can get pawned off to AI. This way, the ageing workforce can focus on core and meaningful tasks.
#2. Internet of Things
The Internet of Things or IoT is leaving its imprints on nearly every industry around the world. But how would it support the ageing workforce?
Let us take the example of manufacturing and utility industries- through IoT-based devices, one could stream a two-way communication between employees. One employee who is relatively new in the industry and one aged employee who has years of experience behind him.
The younger employee could gain guidance from the experienced worker without the need for him to be onsite. Moreover, IoT-enabled wearable devices could also be used in the workplace for the ageing workforce. Such devices could alert the managers in case any aged employee has accelerated heart rate or spiking blood sugar levels.
#3. Work from Home
One of the best ways through which technology is supporting our ageing workforce is through enabling work from home. Most of the aged employees generally have a hard time commuting to the office in the morning rush hour. However, through technology, they can work in the comfort of their homes.
With the availability of cloud-based technologies, firms today can make arrangements for the ageing workforce who prefer to work from home. Through cloud-based technology, an employee can gain access to the same tools that he/she uses in the office. With commuting out of the picture, the ageing workforce would have more energy, giving way to higher productivity.
The presence of an ageing workforce can pave the way for several positive changes in the workplace. They bring diversity in the enterprise, along with loads of experience. Moreover, they can mentor promising executives and make them ready to take on more challenging roles in the future.
However, to make sure that they continue to dispense such benefits, they need to be supported adequately through technology. Plus, they must also be trained so that they can make sense of the technology. If given the right technical support, they can carry on to meet their responsibilities efficiently.