Job Design to Extend Working Time: Work Characteristics to Enable Sustainable Employment of Older Employees in Different Job Types

Hiske den Boer, Tinka van Vuuren, Jeroen de Jong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Due to an aging workforce and an increasing structural labor shortage across Western economies, it is important to design jobs for older workers that support their continued employability. The aim of this qualitative study was to investigate how job type (operational, professional and managerial jobs) influences work characteristics older workers need to continue working. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 21 older (55+) Dutch employees working in the health and education sector. A full thematic analysis of interview transcripts was performed, and work characteristics were identified, coded, categorized and compared to discover patterns of similarities and differences between job types. The results show that job types have a number of work characteristics in common: operational job types share autonomy with managers and client interaction with professionals, and professionals and managers share mentorship. Unique work characteristics for operational roles are supervisor support and comfortable workspace. Professionals especially want to use their expertise and flexible working hours, and managers are different because they value personal development and contact with colleagues. In conclusion, the results show that certain work characteristics have a different impact on the design of future jobs for older workers, depending on the type of job of the employee.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4719
Number of pages22
JournalSustainability
Volume13
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2021

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