The 'new' older worker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


J. Sharit. The 'new' older worker. Gerontechnology 2020;19(2):102-114; gt.2020. Background The expectation is that in the future there will be a greater number of older workers and that more of them will want to extend their work lives, whether due to financial need or because of the value they place on being engaged in the workforce. Research aim For many reasons, there is a strong possibility that older individuals may be viewed as less desirable for employment. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate ways in which older people can prove valuable in current and future job roles. Methods Four topics will be examined from the standpoint of their implications for the employability of older workers: the use of exoskeletons for aiding the work activities of older workers; the growing importance of teams in organizations; the importance of experienced older workers as repositories of institutional knowledge; and the role of older workers within the context of growing automation in the workplace. Results Challenges remain in determining the usability of exoskeletons for older adults within the context of work operations. While concerns exist employing older people in teams or collaborative arrangements with automation, the unique attributes of older workers may also make them valuable assets in these roles. Older workers are essential to organizations for documenting and transferring critical organizational knowledge. Conclusions The skills, abilities, and preferences within growing cohorts of older workers should be capable of being accommodated within organizations, thereby supporting older worker, organizational, and societal goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-114
Number of pages13
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Ageism myths
  • Automation
  • Exoskeletons
  • Institutional knowledge
  • Older workers
  • Teamwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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