If bosses in Hong Kong want to retain members of their older workforce, they should consider offering them flexible working hours.

A research by Regus revealed that 86% of respondents in Hong Kong see flexible working a critical factor in keeping older, experienced workers in the economy, higher than the global average of 84%.

The research surveyed more than 44,000 senior business people around the world, including 365 respondents from Hong Kong.

Pushing back the retirement age is a common practice to allow older workers to remain in employment and to ensure maintain the society’s productivity.

In 2014,  the government extended the retirement age of newly hired civil servants from 60 to 65 to tackle the problem of an ageing population and a shrinking workforce.

According to predictions from the government, one in five Hong Kong people will be aged 65 or above by 2023, keeping elderly in the workforce has never been more crucial but the inflexible working hours and a long commute of Hong Kong workplaces are very off-putting to older workers.

“Older workers often have caring responsibilities, potential health problems, and a desire to spend more time with their partner or family or to take up a new hobby or skill. Flexible working therefore is an ideal solution for those who want to remain in the workforce past traditional retirement age, but maintaining control of their schedule and reducing lengthy commutes to and from work,” said Michael Ormiston, Country Manager, Regus Hong Kong.

Flexible working gives professionals greater choice over when and where they work, allowing them to better manage their work-life balance.

“Flexible working can also provide older workers with a ‘bridge’ into retirement. Reports show that often the complete loss of professional work can leave retired workers feeling depressed and unmotivated, even to the point of affecting mental health. Flexible working can help older workers delay retirement without giving up too much of their hard-earned freedom.” said Ormiston.

Image: Shutterstock


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