Current Research

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

Self-Employment Issue Brief Series

Engaged as We Age

The purpose of this initiative is to develop a series of research studies and articles that asks the broad question: What is the impact of multiple engagements — in continued work, in volunteer activities, in education and other learning activities, in care-giving for family members and friends—on the mental and physical health of older people?

Completed Research

Time & Place Management (TPM) Study

TPM policies refer to a specific subset of flexible work options that business leaders and employers can use as tools to manage when, where, and how much employees work. Examples of TPM policies include options for start/quit times, compressed workweeks, part-time options, e-work, part-year options, and phased retirement.

Age & Generations 

This study was conducted in 2007-2008 processed and examinesd similarities and differences in employees’ perceptions of their work across ages/generations, career stages, life stages, and job tenure. More than 2,200 employees ages 17 to 81 participated in the survey, representing nine organizations across the nation from a range of industry sectors.

To access the dataset:

Changing US Workforce and Older Workers

In collaboration with the Families and Work Institute, data from the National Study of the Changing Workforce were used to examine differences in the employment experiences of male and female older workers and the experiences of older workers and younger workers who are employees, self-employed, and small business owners.

The Citisales Study: Work Culture & Flexible Work Arrangements

This 2008 study gathered survey data from employees and conducted interviews with selected managers at a national retail company, “Citisales.” Factors related to the implementation of flexible work options and employees’ utilization of options available to them were investigated. Analyses focused on issues such as flexibility, generational differences, and worker-supervisor relationships. While workers of all ages were interviewed, particular attention was paid to older workers of both the Traditionalist and Baby Boom generation.

Country Context Study

This study brought together the expertise of an international community of collaborators, providing high-quality and comparable data about employers and employees in a growing number of countries. Individually, the studies: provide demographic, workplace, and social statistics on a country’s context accessible to employers, scholars, and others; investigate the differences in quality of employment both by country and by age; and give overviews of policies within a country that affect quality of employment across the life course.

  • Armenia (June 2009)
    compiled by Shoghik Hovhannisyan
  • Australia (November 2009)
    by Tia Di Biase, Joanne Goodall, Annie Chen and Philip Taylor
  • Brazil (July 2010)
    by Camila Veneo Campos Fonseca, Luisa de Azevedo & Adriana Fontes
  • China (November 2008)
    compiled by Qingwen Xu & Farooq Pasha
  • Denmark (August 2009)
    compiled by Julie A. Norstrand
  • France (December 2009)
    compiled by Shanyuan Foo & Ariane Ollier-Malaterre
  • Germany (November 2009)
    compiled by Cornelia Spross, Heike Schroder & Dirk Hofacker
  • Greece (May 2009)
    compiled by Rea Prouska
  • India (September 2009)
    compiled by Rucha Bhate
  • Ireland (March 2010)
    by Jean McCarthy
  • Italy (July 2009)
    compiled by Isabella Blengini
  • Japan (August 2008)
    compiled by Masa Higo
  • Kenya (September 2009)
    compiled by Elizabeth Okongo
  • Mexico (March 2010)
    by Laura Ruiz Pérez
  • Netherlands (November 2010)
    by Josje Dikkers and Esha Zaveri
  • Nigeria (July 2010)
    by Ngozi Onyejeli
  • Pakistan (September 2008)
    compiled by Farooq Pasha
  • Singapore (July 2009)
    compiled by Shanyuan Foo
  • South Africa (August 2009)
    compiled by Rene Carapinha
  • South Korea (October 2008)
    compiled by Jungui Lee, with Min-A Jung
  • Spain (January 2010)
    compiled by Rene Carapinha
  • Sweden (December 2009)
    compiled by Karin E. Anell
  • United Kingdom (January 2010)
    by Matt Flynn
  • United States (April 2008)

Cross-National Policy Comparisons

This project made available summaries of public policy provisions related to diverse facets of working time.

Family Caregivers of the Elderly

The purpose of this project was to investigate the impact of the work and the medical/caregiving environments on the family caregiver's experiences at work, in medical settings, in their communities, and at home during and following the caregiving experience.

Flexibility and the Engagement of Older Workers

Analyzing data gathered by WFD from employees at more than 30 workplaces, this study investigated how flexibility affects older workers’ engagement compared to that of younger workers. Using hierarchical linear modeling, the analyses put the employees’ responses in the context of the work environments at their organizations.

Generations of Talent (GOT)

This study gathered data in 2010 from 11,298 employees at 24 different worksites in 11 different countries in Africa, Asia, South America, North America, and Europe to: provide global workplaces with leading evidence and strategic business tools; and offer experiential learning opportunities for participating worksites.

We collected data from 11,298 people working for seven multinational employers at 24 different worksites in 11 countries in Africa, Asia, South America, North America, and Europe.

To access dataset:


The Importance of Bridge Jobs

This investigation used the Core and War Babies samples from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to examine factors that explain the utilization of flexible work options by older workers. The study included three phases, each exploring some aspect of bridge jobs, in which workers gradually leave the labor force. First, during year 1, the research focused on the reasons for and economic consequences of gradual exits from the labor force. Second, during year 2, the investigation turned to self-employment and retiree well-being as facets of bridge jobs. Finally, the year 3 investigation focused on re-entry into the labor force.

National Study of Business Strategy and Workforce Development

The 2006 National Study of Business Strategy and Workforce Development surveyed organizations about their responses to the aging workforce including the adoption of a range of flexible work options. Information was gathered about a range of factors that could explain variation in workplace responsiveness, including: characteristics of the business environment, priority business strategies, HR challenges, workforce development, and workplace culture and workforce demographics. Data were collected to distinguish “early adapters” from other organizations.

To access the dataset:

States as Employers-of-Choice

This project was an ongoing collaboration between the Twiga Foundation, Inc. and the Center on Aging & Work that occurred in 2008. The project aimed to shed light on the dynamics of aging in the state public sector workforce and the responses of state agencies, such as with the adoption of flexible work options.

To access the dataset:

State Contexts 

This project focuses on the “facts” of the aging of the population, juxtaposed with the “realities” that state leaders are facing. The insights from the State Context papers bring the facts to life, offering glimpses of the opportunities that can be seized as state leaders move from awareness of the situation into action steps.

Talent Management

The purpose of this study was to learn more about talent management strategies at U.S. workplaces given today’s business environment and the changing demographics of the workforce (2009). We gathered information about very current issues and directly shared the information with employers in a number of ways. In particular, the study aimed to elicit perspectives about today’s business environment and information about: organizational approaches to talent management; key business strategies; workplace flexibility; benefits; and workforce demographics.

To access the dataset: