Every year I read the depressing letter that is my pension statement, and my dreams of retiring at forty slip further and further away.  I’m probably not the only one who is contemplating a longer working life than their parents.  This coupled with rising youth unemployment means the demographics of companies workforces are changing more towards older age brackets.  Is this a good for a company?

Yes. There are so many benefits for organisations around knowledge retention, and empathy that people staying in the workforce longer should be viewed as an advantage.

So what does an aging workforce mean for us as a headset manufacturer?

Firstly, I want to make sure that I’m doing everything I can for workers of all ages to make sure they can get through to working efficiently in older age.  For us, that means providing the best protection against both sudden unexpected loud sounds and longer term high level sounds that they are exposed to through the telephone.  By protecting against these using our audio processors or wireless headsets, we can reduce the risk of their hearing being damaged whilst on the phone.

Even with the best protection, there is still some natural hearing loss at older ages.  This usually shows up as a loss of sensitivity at higher frequencies.  Unfortunately, the sounds that use these higher frequencies are those corresponding to higher intelligibility (fricative sounds such as F, S, T). Plantronics headsets feature a ‘boost’ to those frequencies that can start to compensate for the sensitivity lost through aging.  This ensures that phone calls will continue to be heard clearly, leading to less mistakes, shorter calls, and better call resolution.

In older workers, gentle movement is encouraged to promote continuing efficient blood supply.  By using wireless headsets, older workers can be encouraged into regular movement – getting up and walking around – without losing telephone contact.

I’m not going to use The Who’s phrase of ‘Hope I die before I get old”, but I am going to hope that my pension improves a little bit…