Workingwise.co.uk’s annual survey was published for National Older Workers Week and...read more
Here are the full results from our workingwise.co.uk survey 2022.
2107 people responded to our 2022 Annual workingwise.co.uk survey. Here we profile who our respondents are, and what their work and living situation is like.
84% of respondents are female, with ethnicity broadly matching the UK’s general ethnicity profile (census 2011).
49% are between the ages of 51 and 60. 32% 61 or above.
37% are located in the South East and London, 17% in the North and Yorkshire, 14% in the Midlands, 17% in the South West and Wales, 7% in the East of England, 7% in Scotland and 2% in Northern Ireland.
55% are currently in employed work. 8% are self employed, with 3% being both self-employed and employed. 22% are currently not working but looking for a job. The rest are not working and not looking to work.
Of those working, 42% are working part time and 58% full time. 29% work in a hybrid way, 12% work fully remotely and 58% work at a place of work.
Only 19% have been promoted in the last 5 years at work.
30% have felt excluded at work due to their age – for example left out of social events or office chat.
14% said they were not in work due to health reasons, 1% due specifically to Covid, 29% due to retirement, 12% for caring reasons, 8% due to needing time out and 43% for other reasons, including bereavement.
We asked our respondents if they have had recent access to training for new skills or updating skills. 54% said they had. Of the 46% who had not had access, when asked why not 25% said that training opportunities were mainly directed at younger workers.
66% who had had training said they found it useful. The survey also shows a big appetite for change – 51% want to change career and 90% say they are open to learning new skills.
When asked how they would rate their employer regarding its policies and practices for older workers 7% said ‘bad’, 21% said ‘not great’, 34% said ‘good’ and 14% said ‘excellent’. The rest had no opinion.
5.28% would recommend their employer to workers age 45+
Of those who had found a new job within the last 5 years, 13% took more than a year to find the job. 11% took between 6 and 12 months, 19% took between 3 and 6 months.
37% of those who found it difficult to find a new job said age played a part versus 11% who said it didn’t. The rest were mainly don’t knows. 69% say the length of time they have been searching for a job has affected their confidence.
55% changed sector the last time they got a job.
63% would like to take early retirement. When asked why, 48% say it is due to dissatisfaction with their job, 34% said due to health issues, 13% due to caring issues and 15% due to their ability to draw down pension at 55. Other reasons included wanting to travel and being bored in their job.
74% said they would like to retire early but can’t due to financial reasons. 33% don’t feel comfortable talking about retirement openly at work.
For those who are already retired, 37% think they might have to return to work or may be tempted back to work.
For those that are currently self-employed, 56% became self-employed because they wanted more freedom and control over their hours. 10% said it was because they had had a great business idea, 6% because they wanted a challenge 30% because they could not find good flexible employed jobs in their line of work.
18% say that the pandemic has put them off being self employed.
56% have experienced ageism in the recruitment process generally. 45% of these say that they have altered their CV or left out their age in the application process as a result.
For those who felt they have encountered ageism in the recruitment process, 30% say it was down to the way the job advert was worded or presented, 54% picked out the application process and 33% agreed that it was the interview process and lack of older people on the interview panel.
71% think the soft skills gained through years of experience of life are not valued by employers.
51% say that they feel they need more support with the job application process due to changes in recent years.
Looking at the changes since last year, the survey showed how many older workers are struggling in the cost of living crisis, with 30% saying they do not have enough income for basic living costs.
Asked if the cost of living crisis had changed their retirement plans, 46% said they will have to work longer due to cost of living pressures, 9% will have to unretire and 7% will have to work more or change jobs. Only 34% said their retirement plans would not change.
When it comes to Covid, 34% say their physical health has deteriorated over the course of the pandemic [21% say this is due to Covid itself while 24% say it is due to NHS backlogs; 55% gave other reasons such as cancer, other health issues that have cropped up, etc]. 44% say their mental health has deteriorated.
Asked what might make them consider staying in work longer, beyond retirement, or returning to work if they are already retired, 62% said greater flexible working, compared to 51% who said being valued more, 43% who said higher pay and 38% who said a good employer benefits package.
85% say what they want from work has changed since they were younger. 73% said they want more work life balance. 44% said they are less focused on career progression. 45% said the working environment is more important to them now.
For 45% flexible working is a deal breaker in a job. Meanwhile, 66% of older workers said they would like to reduce their hours, but 41% can’t afford to. 44% would consider a job share [only 2% actually do one].
With thanks to the workingwise.co.uk 2022 survey sponsor, Santander Consumer Finance.