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More workplace flexibility could boost employee efficiency as America ages — The Conversation

4 November 2014—Dr. Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes' article "More workplace flexibility could boost employee efficiency as America ages" has been published on The Conversation.

There are two quiet trends that might very well transform the structure of work in the near future.

First, a majority of today’s employees expect to work beyond the traditional retirement age of 65, with some projecting that they might never retire. In fact, workers aged 55 and older will make up about one-quarter of the US workforce by 2022, according to a US Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast.

Clearly, it is in employers’ self-interest to ensure that these employees are as productive and engaged as possible. Employers searching for ways to bolster employee engagement often find that flexible work options – whether in terms of schedules, reduced hours, remote working or some combination – contribute to their dedication and commitment.

Secondly, most employees aged 50 and older would prefer to have access to some type of alternative schedule, reduced hours arrangement or possibly project-based work that allows them to cycle in and out on a project or consulting basis. While there are many different definitions of workplace flexibility, it is generally understood to refer to policies that allow employees and their supervisors some choice about when, where and the number of hours an employee works.

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