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3 Megatrends Driving the Vintage Worker Phenomenon

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1. Megatrend #1: There are 70,000,000 – that’s right, seventy MILLION – Boomers, whose mass exodus from day-to-day office life has begun. For the past several years, the Baby Boomers have been retiring at an average rate of 10,000 per day – a megatrend that will continue into the 2030’s. (See “9 Baby-Boomer Statistics That Will Blow You Away”) C-Suite folks are duly concerned with this “Legacy Drain”.

2. Megatrend #2: Technology-assisted, remote work. (See the excellent articles by Elizabeth Kordek and Deb Falco.) Work-from-home anywhere is now completely viable with technologies such as streaming video, VoIP, secure file-sharing, paperless processes, etc. In fact, stressful commuting is often cited as a leading reason to work virtually. Funny story: Driving in the middle lane, I actually heard a left-lane driver shout out as they advanced on a slower car in front of them, “WHY are you in the LEFT LANE during RUSH HOUR!” 

3. Megatrend #3: Much to the chagrin of the incoming Millennial workforce, Boomers don’t want to retire from work (but they DO want to retire from the office). Here’s a summary of the many human dynamics driving these decisions at this point in 2018., and why “70 is the new 65” as stated by Robert Johnson, CEO of the American College of Financial Services.
Health
• Boomers are healthier and more active than the previous generation. Therefore, they don’t need to retire for health reasons.
Finances
• The SSA is incentivizing delaying collection until aged 70.
• Boomers want to maintain a certain standard of living, without dipping into savings, and thus need income.
• Boomers have aging parents, co-dependent adult children, or co-signed on college loans, mortgages, property taxes. They have expenses.
Personal Preferences
• A Desire to #MakeADifference or complete a business objective.
• A spouse who is not ready to have a mate at home 24/7.
• A desire to “stay in the game” – mental, physical, and emotional stimulation

Net net, Boomers plan to live into their 80’s at least. Retiring ‘early’, seemingly attractive in their 30’s and 40’s, just doesn’t have the appeal they thought it would. “If we still have plenty of vim and vigor, why retire? It seems like a waste of time, talents, and treasures, doesn’t it?”

The WAHVE Response

How does all this play with the WAHVE business model? Quite well. In her excellent HuffPost article, Ann Brenoff references a phased retirement program at Herman Miller in Michigan, one that also includes a “knowledge-transfer plan to mentor their replacements.” Exactly. For companies that don’t have a phased retirement program, WAHVE is a great alternative. We find the part-time jobs and enable vintage experts to work them. Thus, our 94% client success rate with their WAHVE’s.

Work-at-home is now being cited as having significant ROI to core enterprise metrics like productivity, creativity, absenteeism, comradery, retention, and resulting gains in revenue and profitability. Boomers have a desire to work, have much wisdom to share, and since technology is making work-at-home not only possible, but in many cases preferable, it’s no wonder that WAHVE is seeing steady growth. Everyone Wins.

Carpe Diem! Savvy and innovative leaders are seizing the opportunity to help drive corporate initiatives by leveraging the wisdom, experience and proven success of Boomers in the technology-assisted, work-from-home setting. It also means that Boomers in particular are negotiating transitional work relationships that get them off the road, thereby converting hours and hours of non-productive time into creative opportunities for corporate growth.

Reader Comments: What other concepts do you feel are in play at this moment in time? Please take a minute to share a thought or two. Because all boats rise with the tide. Stay tuned. In subsequent articles, we will relay more specific strategies and tactics to stay competitive. – Mike Wise, Chief Sales Officer WAHVE HR

5 thoughts on “3 Megatrends Driving the Vintage Worker Phenomenon”

  1. Phased retirement has been trending for the last decade in many organizations as a positive way to aide individuals moving toward retirement and allowing the organization to maintain its current level of knowledge. This creates greater opportunities for less experienced employees to be mentored by the outgoing employee and thereby reducing the knowledge gap that often occurs.

  2. Excellent points and they certainly apply to me (and to many of my contemporaries). I definitely am not ready to retire, but was eager to give up the commute and traditional office scene. Working remotely for WAHVE (or any other company) is, in my opinion, a smart and comprehensive alternative.

  3. The evolution is ‘on’ as you mentioned. The pace of technology and change is not fast, it’s exponential. Smart business leaders should be identifying unique approaches to talent management, work environments and their enterprise operational strategy as a whole, especially digital transformation. It’s never been a better time to consider this type of workforce strategy.

  4. I’m a midlife career changer ready to plow forward for myself and show my adult kids what real work can be if you put in your hard knocks, persevere, keep learning, and nurture your newfound skills and personal reputation.

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