How does the workplace have to change because of the aging boomers?
I believe we'll see more and more older workers in the workplace. I recently downloaded data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey that demonstrates a fundamental shift in workplace demographics that I believe will continue for years to come. The following chart shows the number of workers in the B.C. labour force who are younger (under 25) and older (aged 55 and older). The largest core of workers is aged 25 to 55 and is not shown on the chart but as you can see, older workers now outnumber younger workers in the BC employed labour force.
I’m not the only one who is predicting that we'll see more older workers in the labour force in the future. We don’t have enough young people to replace those that are retiring so many older workers will be enticed to work longer. Some will have to work longer for financial reasons but most will want to work to some degree because research has shown, work is good for you. Even if older workers want more flexibility so they can travel and enjoy family, many will also want an opportunity on a part-time basis to be engaged in the labour force, and use the skills and knowledge they've developed over a lifetime.
I gave about a half dozen interviews on this topic and one interviewer turned the question around and asked what older workers can do about their workplace health and safety. The traditional advice still stands: eat right, get plenty of exercise, get regular check ups, etc. Be aware of changes in your body, the effects of aging, age-related health conditions, and the effects of medications you may have to take. When you think about it, that advice applies to everyone.
About Terry Bogyo:
Terry is the Director of Corporate Planning and Development for WorkSafeBC. His current responsibilities include environmental scanning, strategic planning and inter-jurisdictional comparisons.
Terry says of himself: I am a student of workers’ compensation systems. Many years ago I discovered two things about this area. First, workers’ comp and OH&S are of vital importance to people. Protecting, caring for and providing compensation to workers are important, noble and morally responsible endeavors. The second thing I learned was that no matter how much I knew about workers' comp/OH&S, there was always so much more to learn. This is an endlessly challenging area of study. My purpose, therefore, is not to lecture, but to reflect on the ideas and issues that are topical in this area... and to invite others to share in a learning experience. By adding your knowledge and insights, others with similar interests can participate in the discovery and study of this important domain.
His blog is "Workers' Compensation Perspectives".