The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on older workers: The role of self-regulation and organizations

Dorien T.A.M. Kooij*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)
162 Downloads (Pure)


We live in an unusual time, which effects all of us in different ways. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some people are working harder than ever, some people have lost their job, some people can only work from home, and some people have to reinvent how they work (Kniffin et al., 2020). Older 50+ workers might even be more affected by the pandemic compared to younger workers because they are labeled as vulnerable and as being at risk in terms of Covid-19 (Ayalon et al., 2020). However, emerging studies on the impact of Covid-19 suggest that older workers respond more effectively to measures that counter Covid-19 (Losada-Balter et al., 2020). This is in line with the lifespan developmental perspective, which theorizes and demonstrates that older adults generally are very capable of adapting and very effective in dealing with the aging process (Baltes and Baltes, 1990; Freund, 2008). Multiple studies show that older adults engage in various self-regulation strategies aimed at continuously maintaining or restoring person-environment fit (e.g., Kooij et al., 2020; Taneva and Arnold, 2018; Zacher, Kooij, & Beier, 2018a) thus helping them to age successfully at work. In this commentary, I will take a more positive perspective on older workers and discuss the self-regulation strategies that older workers engage in and how organizations can stimulate this. I will end my commentary with some suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-237
JournalWork Aging and Retirement
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020




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