Aging at Work – Navigating the Challenges and Opportunities


In the insightful paper “Aging at Work: A Review of Recent Trends and Future Directions” by Barakovic Husic et al. (2020), the authors delve into the critical issue of the aging trend within the active workforce. This paper, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, brings to light the concept of aging at work and the pressing need to support older employees. This support is crucial for maintaining productivity and promoting a positive work-life balance in an era where the aging population is rapidly growing (MDPI).

The Core Issues

The paper points out the extensive research on the aging population in general but highlights a significant gap in the context of aging at work. This gap has resulted in outdated and non-inclusive work policies. The authors discuss various topics, including:

  • The importance of addressing musculoskeletal disturbances among older workers.
  • The interplay between work expectations, pensions, life satisfaction, and the evaluation processes of work-life balance for older workers.
  • The impact of age and mental capabilities on the connection between job stress and negative affect.

The Implications for Retirement

While the article doesn’t specifically cover retirement, it addresses the work environment context that could potentially lead many older adults into retirement. The quality of work for older adults may determine the quality of their retirement. Issues like ageism, discriminatory work situations, or obstacles in the workplace could lead to an unhappy, isolated, and negative retirement experience. Inclusive workplace policies could allow more older people to remain happy, productive, and emotionally/physically healthy and safe in their workplace, influencing retirement outcomes.

Broader Societal Considerations

The paper also discusses broader societal trends, such as the accelerating aging population, the increasing rate of retirement, economic inflation conditions forcing older people to return to work, and the implications of artificial intelligence on job opportunities for older adults. These factors necessitate radical changes in policies to accommodate the evolving needs of the aging workforce.

The Role of Counselors

As counselors, understanding the realities of what retired people go through and their experiences during their working careers, especially leading up to their retirement, is crucial. This understanding can help validate their experiences and acknowledge the systemic challenges they face, which are often overlooked by society.


“Aging at Work: A Review of Recent Trends and Future Directions” is a pivotal study that sheds light on the often-overlooked aspect of aging in the workforce. It calls for a reevaluation of current workplace policies and practices to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for older workers, ultimately influencing their quality of life both in their working years and during retirement.

This blog post is based on the paper by Barakovic Husic et al. (2020) in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. For more detailed information, you can access the full paper here.

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