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Science: People over 60 prefer to work with 30-year-olds

Science: People over 60 prefer to work with 30-year-olds

Despite the respect for the aged co-workers, the 30-year-old men and women prefer to have people their own age as work colleagues. As ScienceNordic understood, attitudes towards seniors in the workforce for people over 60 is different, the 60-year-olds prefer to work with 30-year-olds. 

In 2017, the Norwegian Centre for Senior Policy included this question in its Senior Policy Barometer for the first time. Since 2003, a barometer was working and keeping the statistical data about 1000 Norwegians in the working population. Sixty-two 62 per cent of the interviewed people said they would prefer to work with people under the age of 30, and 23 per cent would most like to work with people over 60. Of respondents aged 15 to 29, over 80 per cent preferred working with the youngest employees.

What about age, experience and wisdom of the seniors? In a reality, it’s not that surprising that young people want to work with other young people. Among people between the ages of 50 and 59, over half said that they would rather work with employees under 30. Moreover, there is a difference between the industries.

E.g., youth orientation varies between industries. In HoReCa, youth orientation is the strongest: nearly 80 per cent prefer co-workers under 30, and only 14 per cent would most like to work with co-workers over 60. Retail employees follow close behind these figures.

If you’re getting on in years, you’ll be better accepted if you work in agriculture, the transport industry or public administration. Employees in agriculture give older and younger workers about equal marks. In transport and public administration, just over half prefer the youngest workers and over a quarter would rather work with those over 60.

Per Erik Solem at OsloMet participates in a working group that generates questions for the survey that Ipsos conducts for the Centre for Senior Policy. According to Mr Solem, traditional attitudes may change gradually as more and older people work longer and that contact with more elderly people can create more nuanced perceptions and better solidarity.

“But the attitudes towards the elderly in the workplace also depend on the labour market. If job competition is fierce, younger workers may see the elderly as less desirable,”

Solem says.