Can Virtual Offices Help Diffuse the Ticking Retirement Time Bomb?

BOULDER—Did you know that there are 77 million people in the United States that are 55 or older?

Indeed, we are at a tipping point—and employers can do one of two things: watch them sit on the sidelines, drawing from unsustainable entitlement programs and the general economy, or enable them to continue working and contribute to the country's economic growth and prosperity. Virtual offices can empower the second scenario.

Recent AARP surveys indicate that 80 percent of the Baby Boomers intend to continue working after leaving their regular career jobs. More than half of them will do so on less than a full-time basis. The Center for Productive Longevity (CPL) calls this a ticking time bomb. But, again, we think virtual offices can help diffuse it.

"We have been aware of this ticking time bomb for years without taking effective action. Now it's really getting louder with the growing retirement of Baby Boomers at the rate of 4.2 million each year from 2011 through 2029, compounded by high unemployment and low economic growth for the foreseeable future," says William Zinke, 85, founder and president of CPL. "We can defuse this time bomb by creating a wave of entrepreneurship across the country and stimulating employers to take a more flexible approach in providing employment opportunities for older workers."

As CPL sees it, flexible workplace options stimulate employers to develop phased retirement programs and other flexible workplace options that will retain and attract Baby Boomers 55 and older who want to continue working but on a part-time basis. A movement is developing in this direction, but a recent Harris Interactive survey indicates that only 24 percent of Fortune 1000 companies provide such options. Virtual offices are an easy way to get the job done.

Virtual offices are an inexpensive solution to maintaining a productive workforce at any age, but especially helpful when looking to attract and retain older workers who need or want more flexibility. Virtual offices ultimately mean less overhead for employers and give older employees the ability to workshift even as they share knowledge with younger workers. So can virtual offices help diffuse the ticking retirement time bomb? Yes, we think so. Virtual offices are not the only solution, but virtual offices can offer employers more options to create flexible workplaces.


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