'Grey brigade' may be a force to be reckoned with

As Singapore has a rapidly ageing population, the need to employ workers beyond their retirement age and getting retirees to rejoin the workforce become all the more urgent (Work for as long as you can, says Lim Boon Heng; March 25).

There is a perception among certain quarters that older workers are a liability and are not receptive to change. But while older workers may not be as dexterous as their younger colleagues, their work experience, commitment, diligence and discipline make them an asset to employers.

This is evident by the growing number of seniors who are slowly but surely picking up digital technology know-how.

In a workplace, the question of generational cohesion may arise. Older workers should interact with their colleagues instead of keeping to themselves. They should adapt and gel with others.

Likewise, the younger workers should be more accommodating.

Health permitting, older employees should continue to work and be self-reliant. This will also help boost their self-esteem.

As a senior who has been in the workforce for half a century, I can attest to the fact that the ideal workplace is one where the young and the old complement each other and are productive for the benefit of all.

No doubt, today's world belongs to the young but, in time, the "grey brigade" could be a force to be reckoned with.

Andrew Seow Chwee Guan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2017, with the headline ''Grey brigade' may be a force to be reckoned with'. Print Edition | Subscribe