Rethinking office space for an aging workforce

October 7, 2016 Sanjana Saluja

Workplace initiatives are often targeted at the younger demographic, often overlooking the older generation. JLL Real Views explores why businesses around the world are coming under increasing pressure to ensure their offices meet the needs of an aging population.

From HR policies to office furniture, the workplace faces the challenge of adapting to support employees in their 60s and beyond as well as its Millennial workers, despite the different expectations and priorities of different generations.

Technology, for example, is a given in the modern workplace – and although it is generally an enabler, it can also be a barrier. “I’ve seen technology-enabled buildings which have very poor acoustics so it sounds like a jumble of voices,” says John Symes, Director of Workplace Strategy at JLL. It can be difficult to pick out the key points, especially for people who are ageing.”

Employees are increasingly using Skype to communicate with one another remotely, but if the bandwidth isn’t good enough the quality of speech can be poor. “Offices also need to have good access to technology – employees need to be able to go into every room and communicate, and this has to be enabled by the design of the building,” says Symes.

Space planning is another key consideration. Although health and safety regulations cover the basic needs of older workers, employers need to go beyond this.

Find out more on how employers can cater to the needs of older workers here.

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