Many shades of labor – older adult’s motives for active participation
“Responding to personal motives helps keep the elderly productive for society”
Productivity of the elderly involves more than just labor participation. Many 55- to 85-year-olds in the Netherlands undertake various paid and unpaid activities, that produce value to others. As age progresses, their motives for staying active also change. Financial and self-oriented (personal) motives become less important as people get older. In addition to financial incentives and regulations, responding to these different motives can have a positive effect on the productivity of the elderly at the labor market as well as in society.
Key Takeaways for the Industry
- This study highlights the importance of embracing a broader definition of productive ageing which includes activities beyond purely labor market participation of older adults.
- A better understanding of older workers’ motivation can help to keep them working longer.
- This study does not address the combination of paid work and unpaid activities that many elderly people are confronted with. This may be interesting for follow-up research.
Want to know more?
Download the paper “Shades of labor: Motives of older adults to participate in productive activities” by Sonja Wendel and Benedict Dellaert (EUR).