One of the biggest concerns raised by society is the decrease in productivity among the older populations. Many people aged 50 and older wonder if they can adapt to changes in their minds and bodies while maintaining their productivity.
Age and the Individual
Medical studies that involve individual measures of productivity are diverse among older people of different ages. The links between age, cognition ability, and work productivity vary among different individuals. This means that an older individual with more education or work experience can be more productive than one with fewer years of education or experience.
Cognitive Test Results
The General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB) is a well-known cognitive test that evaluates the relationship between intelligence and job performance. This analysis measured the cognitive abilities of thousands of workers of varying ages. It concluded that there was little variance in the test scores among very young and very old workers. It also showed that work experience had little influence on productivity levels for simple jobs.
Some studies have shown mixed results. In some cases, the peak level of productivity is reached around the age of 40. In other studies, the peak levels are found in the 50s, 60s or 70s. A few studies have shown that productivity levels increase with age. Researchers have concluded that older workers make more small mistakes, but younger workers make more significant mistakes.
Studies made about inventors and innovators show that the peak levels of productivity rise sharply in the 20s and 30s. They reach their peak levels in their late 30s to early 40s. In later years, however, the levels decline gradually. These studies show that the levels of high achievement is between 30 and 40 years old.
What This Means for Older People
Cognitive tests show promising results for older individuals. Most tests prove that personal value and productivity depends more on the individual’s abilities than his or her age. Many researchers state that measuring individual productivity levels is a complex process. Also, the dependence of technology is a factor that could interfere with the study.
When people grow older, they may worry about their abilities to think and function at work. Many employers worry about hiring older people and assume that they are less productive than they were a few decades before. However, various medical studies show productivity levels remain high among the older population, making them valuable assets in the workplace.