The Surprising Silver Lining of Inflation for Businesses and Organizations

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For businesses and organizations, there is a surprising silver lining to the dark cloud of inflation that has jumped 7.9% over the past year: the highest peak since 1982.

The black cloud

New inflation forecasts

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First the bad news: according to a report published last Friday by Bloomberg, “Economists have raised their inflation forecasts for the United States – again – and have revised down expectations for economic growth for most of 2023.” This, Bloomberg said, points to “growing risks to the outlook as the Federal Reserve attempts to rein in the fastest price growth in decades.”

Increased risk of recession

“The consumer price index will now average 5.7% in the last three months of the year, down from an estimated 4.5% a month ago, according to the median forecast from 72 economists in a Bloomberg survey. The probability of a recession over the next year also increased to 27.5% from 20% in March. walking CPI report will be released on Tuesday,” the outlet reported.

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Impact on retirees

The recent rise in the cost of living is forcing retirees to turn to skilled self-employment to supplement their income. According to some studiesmore than 20% of them have returned to the workforce as independent contractors, said Zoe Hartethe director of human resources for the job market platform Upwork.

The silver lining

The good news and good news is that retirees returning to work are a welcome and unexpected source of knowledge, expertise and competitive advantage for businesses and organizations.

A recent study of 700,000 older workers in New York City by Columbia Public Health found that, for small businesses in the Big Apple, there are 10 benefits to retaining and hiring older workers.

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The list includes:

  • Older workers are skilled and experienced.
  • They keep their jobs longer and take fewer days off.
  • They have a strong work ethic.
  • They retain a company’s knowledge and networks.
  • The perceived technology gap can be overcome.
  • Seniors ensure that the best teams are multi-generational.
  • Older workers play a vital role in training the next generation of workers.
  • They offer customers consistency and personal attention.
  • Older workers attract more companies.
  • Older workers are part of the company brand.

reality check

Upwork’s Harte observed that “the past two years of the pandemic have created a phenomenon we call ‘work awakening’ where professionals are rethinking their careers, reassessing their priorities and exploring new ways of working. This approach has led people to place more emphasis on flexibility and spending time with family and friends, and less time on commutes or an outdated “9 to 5.5″ work model. days a week”.

“In this new era, remote work has become highly valued, and rather than returning to a full-time job with strict hours in an office building, many seniors are turning to freelancing to increase their ability to gain, gain professional flexibility and pursue their passions, while maintaining their independence and ability to set their own schedules,” she said.

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“This particularly applies to older workers when they reach retirement age or plan to return to the workforce after retirement,” Harte concluded.

Profile of Boomer freelancers

According to a report commissioned by Upwork and conducted last year by independent research firm Edelman Data & Intelligence, 21% of Boomer workers are freelancers; 8% of self-employed baby boomers are retired.

Baby boomers vary in how they categorize their self-employment, this includes full-time self-employed (23%), part-time self-employed (59%) and full-time employees who derive additional income from self-employment (16%).

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Advice for entrepreneurs

Harte noted that “companies that bring in older retired freelance professionals to fill the talent gap can do several things to help them acclimate and successfully navigate remote freelance work.”

She said the list includes:

  • Added age diversity training to their broader DEI programs.
  • Be as inclusive as possible for meetings and gatherings.
  • Be very clear about expectations and overly communicative as much as possible.
  • Build or incorporate existing tools and resources, like manuals or training, that teach team members how to work better together as a distributed team.
  • Provide accommodations for flexible working.
  • Provide opportunities that allow older workers to leverage their years of expertise or seniority.
  • Reassess job descriptions for jargon and generational jargon (digital ninja, rockstar consultant, etc.) that could turn older workers away.


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