Flexible working is key to keeping older workers and carers in workforce
1 in 5 people in Hong Kong will be above the age of 65 by 2023
Hong Kong, 27 July 2015 – New research by global workplace provider Regus has revealed that 84% of respondents worldwide see flexible working a critical factor in keeping older, experienced workers in the economy. In Hong Kong, the figure was even higher, with some 86% of the respondents agreeing.
The world's population is ageing fast, and Hong Kong is no exception. According to population projections by the Hong Kong SAR Government Census and Statistics Department, one in five Hong Kong people will be aged 65 or above by 2023. The Regus research surveyed more than 44,000 senior business people around the world, across more than 100 countries, including 365 respondents from Hong Kong.
As the retirement age constantly increases – especially in Western economies – the proportion of those needing to remain in employment, and who are fit and willing to do so is also getting higher. In 2014, the Hong Kong SAR government has also 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.
One of the biggest challenges that Hong Kong and other geographies face is that inflexible working hours and a long commute are very off-putting to older workers, who often also have to care for family members. Flexible working gives professionals greater choice over when and where they work, thereby enabling them to continue to contribute to the economy without sacrificing their work:life balance.
The key findings of the research show that:
- 81% of respondents globally, 88% in Hong Kong, 94% in Taiwan and 92% in Mainland China think that governments should increase employees’ awareness of their right to work flexibly
- 86% of respondents globally, 87% in Hong Kong, 91% in Taiwan and 94% in Mainland China believe that governments should be promoting flexible working by offering firms tax incentives that encourage it
- 88% of respondents globally, 92% in Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as 94% in Mainland China confirm that flexible working is key to keeping those who care for a relative in employment so that they can better juggle the demands of their family and their professional life
“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 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.”
 Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Work longer, live healthier, May 2013
Regus is the global workplace provider.
Its network of more than 2,300 locations in 850 cities and 106 countries provides convenient, high-quality, fully serviced spaces for people to work, whether for a few minutes or a few years. Companies like Google, Toshiba and GlaxoSmithKline choose Regus so that they can work flexibly and make their businesses more successful.
The key to flexible working is convenience and so Regus is opening wherever its 2.1 million members want support - city centres, suburban districts, shopping centres and retail outlets, railway stations, motorway service stations and even community centres.
Founded in Brussels, Belgium, in 1989, Regus is based in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, please visit: www.regus.com