Flexibility Is Key For Over 50s: 62% Want A Job That Fits Around Their Life

54% said they need work that fits around health, caring, or family responsibilities...

Nearly two thirds (62%) of over 50s said they would like a job that fits around their life, according to a new report from WLB member Fuller, Smith and Turner PLC, a family-run premium pubs and hotels business and Rest Less, a digital community and advocate for people aged 50 and older.

Rest Less surveyed 1,000 of its job-seeking members aged 50 and older on behalf of Fuller, Smith and Turner, to ask about their attitudes to work. When questioned on what their top priority was when looking for a job, 62% said they wanted a role that fitted around their life, 34% said earning enough money to pay the bills and just 4% said their priority was to progress their career.

Respondents were questioned about how work needed to fit around their life. One in five (20%) said they needed to balance work with caring responsibilities. One in five (20%) said they needed to balance work with their own health conditions and 13% said they had children or grandchildren to look after. When given the opportunity to provide more detail, many respondents also added they wanted to balance work with enjoying their free time to pursue personal interests.

Dawn Browne, Fuller’s People & Talent Director, commented on the findings: “People aged 50+ are a really important talent pool for Fuller’s. At Fuller’s we find that our older employees bring valuable skills, wisdom and insight to the table thanks to their years of experience both inside and out of work. Their softer skills, typically honed through years of practice, make them excellent candidates for customer service roles – the lifeblood of the hospitality sector.
‘Our report with Rest Less shows us that flexible work practices are of the utmost importance to this demographic. Fuller’s is a family business and we understand just how difficult it is for our older workforce to juggle health, family or caring responsibilities alongside a job. That’s why we’re hoping our flexible shift lengths and work patterns give all of our team members the flexibility they need to live their lives alongside earning an income.

Stuart Lewis, Chief Executive of Rest Less, commented: “The benefits of a multigenerational workforce are huge and with almost all of the UK’s future population growth coming from people over the age of 50, embracing age is becoming an essential part of future workforce planning for most large organisations. As leading advocates of age inclusivity in the workplace, Rest Less is proud to partner with some of the UK’s most progressive employers such as Fuller’s, which are leading the way on how to build age diverse, multigenerational teams.

‘Our report, in partnership with Fuller’s, shows that flexibility is an absolute priority to today’s midlife employees. Part-time work and flexible shift and working patterns – which are increasingly being adopted in the hospitality sector – are resulting in a significant increase in applicant interest amongst midlife workers in the hospitality sector.

‘We also see a lot of interest in the hospitality sector, from candidates keen to remain active, social and visible in their local communities in front line roles.”

To apply for a role with Fuller’s, please click here.


Tracy Allen – Front of House Team Member, The Bay Tree, Burford

Tracy Allen is a 52-year-old grandmother and has worked in hospitality since 2010 – prior to which she worked in marketing, before being made redundant in 2008. She took a job in hospitality to meet people – and has never left. Tracy joined the team at The Bay Tree two years ago, attracted by an advert that offered a Monday to Friday shift from 7am to 3pm.

Tracy has two children and five grandchildren. Her daughter and three of her grandchildren live just a couple of miles away, and the 3pm finish on her daily shift gives her the flexibility she needs to be a hands-on Granny.

“It’s great,” says Tracy. “I can easily go and pick the kids up from school in bad weather and I can be on hand to help out if my daughter needs it.”

Tracy also brings additional skills to the team at The Bay Tree: “I can relate to families and small children, and when I’m dealing with a busy breakfast shift, that can be really helpful. I understand the importance of ketchup and the short attention span of a three-year-old!”

While the job gives Tracy flexibility within the working environment, her grandkids give her the lift you need after a tough shift. “It’s great,” she says. “If I’ve had a rough day dealing with some difficult customers, my grandchildren really cheer me up. This position really does provide the perfect balance – I need to work, but I need to be there for my family too. And my job at The Bay Tree allows me to do exactly that!”

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