Annette, I would add, and this from the perspective of having been both a Fortune 100 employee and still a Fortune 100 consultant, that at its heart, this is a profits and shareholder issue. We can make any argument we like, but what it finally comes down to is money. Money. And money.
Ultimately, if we’re going to restructure work, and I think we really should because the definitions are changing as are the demands, part of that has to take into account much longer, productive lives that do not end at 55 or 62 or 67. The evolution of how we age needs to also be mirrored in how we work. This was a take on the age-related argument of this downsizing, which pointed out that IBM hired those very workers back as lower paid consultants.
It’s a money issue. Always and forever about money. Yes, the world of work is changing, but so is the workforce. We ar eable and productive far longer. The trend towards cutting increasingly younger employees on what IBM claimed (again, based on the story) is dangerous, to my mind. Instead, we might want to think about fundamentally retooling the nine to five, which doesn’t exist for most anyway, and how to employ folks at any decade, not only to make the best use of their skills, but also becuase study after study argues that retirement is a very bad idea for most of us.
Work per se isn’t the answer. Productive work with a purpose is. At 66 I am doing my very best work ever, have more energy and enthusiasm, and get far more results, including nailing a multi-billion dollar client for my firm.
I’m hardly alone. And that’s my point. We’re cutting our noses off to spite our faces.
The question is not how do we save money and pay our shareholders more. It might be how to we maximize our workforce, make more money and pay our shareholders more. But that’s just me.
As always, thanks for your comments.