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Returnships are the new workplace phenomenon

With new research from Lottie revealing more retirees across the globe looking for new opportunities to return to the workplace through ‘returnships’ than ever before. Chris Donnelly, Co-Founder at Lottie shares how to support a multigenerational workplace.

This follows an increase in older adults opting to return to the workplace over the last 12 months. ONS data has found that 67% of over 50s are considering returning to the workplace for financial reasons, whilst 46% would return for social reasons. 42% of those surveyed were keen to return to employment to improve their mental health.

With the number of older adults ‘unretiring’, here are some older workers that have decided to return to the workplace*:

Julia (65)
When I was eligible for my NHS pension, I decided to retire due to the poor management and wanting to work fewer hours. Whilst I was still working, I saw my ideal job being advertised. I needed to supplement my pension. So, I guess it was both a career and financial decision.

Mary (65)
I had always planned to return to work part time after retirement, the decision was partly financial but mostly to do with retaining structure to my week and because I love my work and I’m not ready to give it up completely.

Chris Donnelly, Co-Founder at Lottie shares the positive impact of returnships in supporting a multigenerational workforce:
“It’s great to see the Government are pledging more support to older workers. Over the last few years, we have seen the number of adults aged 55 and over leave the workforce for various reasons – and returnships offer older workers the opportunity to continue expanding their expertise and experience – supporting a multigenerational workforce.

When looking at offering returnships employers must consider all aspects of older employees’ wellbeing. Over the next few years, we will see retiree’s prioritise retirement planning more than ever before as they research and consider all their options. With an increase in popularity for part time work, we are starting to see flexi retirement grow as a trend, and this will only increase over time as older adults are able to supplement their pension budget with an additional income.

Whilst remaining in the workforce offers benefits, for both employees and businesses, many older workers are facing wellbeing issues at work. This is a problem employers must actively address – especially when providing returnship programmes.

From providing practical, financial and emotional support businesses must work hard to create age friendly workplaces to reap the rewards of multigenerational workplaces without relying on the review of pension saving legislations.”

Extending working lives: 4  practical ways to support older workers returning to work

1. Help employees plan for their future
As employees approach the latter stages of their careers, many may start to think about their financial situation, including what the next few years at work will look like, what age to consider retirement and what life after work means for them.

Businesses can help employees plan ahead and make the transition from work to retirement easier by providing support for anyone approaching retirement.

For example, you could provide practical workshops aimed at helping older workers to achieve any career milestones, explore what the future may look like for them and share advice when it comes to financial planning

2. Encourage career development
Career development boosts employee motivation and it is just as important for older workers, as it is for those starting out their careers.

Encouraging all employees to follow their aspirations, achieve their goals and continue to develop their skill set, helps to build a resilient workforce. Offering on-going training will also ensure all employees remain up to date with the latest industry changes.

3. Promote a positive work life balance
Previous research has found nearly four fifths of workers over 50 years of age desire flexible working hours.

Flexible working allows older employees the flexibility to remain in the workforce longer, whilst also gradually winding down from full time employment. This can help many workers ease the transition to retirement.

4. Consider the unique needs of older workers
Health has the biggest impact on many older workers’ decisions to remain in the workplace. Many older employees face a unique set of challenges in the workplace and the adjustments required differ for each employee.

Supporting your employees with health and wellbeing initiatives and access to healthcare not only encourages a happy and healthy workforce, but also helps older workers to feel supported in the workplace.


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