Insights + interviews

In Conversation With Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy

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We interview three of Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy’s long serving staff on their thoughts of ageing well in a working environment.

Find out more about what Tamila Vythalingam (Credit Manager), Doris Lim (Chief Concierge) and Ricky Lim (Store Supervisor) have to say about the current job market as well as their own careers from the perspective of an older worker.

AA: Hi everyone, thank you for your time, first and foremost, we’ll like to find out more from you what are some challenges that older workers face in the job market, and what made you choose to continue working instead of retiring to enjoy life?

Tamila: I enjoy my job and time working with my colleagues. Furthermore it helps me stay physically and mentally healthy. Being able to do my job well gives me a sense of purpose and it also gives me the financial freedom as well as be independent.

Doris: I choose to continue to work because I truly enjoy my job, as well as the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and nationalities. Working gives me a sense of purpose and financial freedom. Given my active personality, I am worried that boredom will creep in and make me less mobile and interactive if I stop working.

Ricky: I guess working allows me to stay mentally and physically fit.

AA: How can employers better serve older employees and what are some things the company has done to make it a senior-friendly working environment for you?

Tamila: We like the fact that we are treated equally. Here in Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy, we all go through the same recruitment process and appraisal system like anyone else.

Doris: Employers can work with healthcare providers such as the Health Promotion Board and arrange for health screening buses for the convenience and benefit of older workers. For me, the management and my immediate superiors have been very supportive and understanding of my health limitations and constantly offer me encouragement and affirmation of my work.

Ricky:  Some key considerations include things such as Medisave and flexible working hours, as they are beneficial to older workers.

AA: What are certain qualities that you would look for in your working environment before you decide to stay on?

Tamila: That my work contribution is being recognised by my employer. Job satisfaction and being happy at work are major factors that would make me stay with a company for the long haul.

Doris:  Support and understanding from management and colleagues.

Ricky: Occupational safety and health benefits.

AA: We know that people are getting older and living longer, and longer lives can mean more careers throughout a person’s lifetime. Are older workers able to grab hold of this opportunity?

Tamila:  It’s subjective, however most of us believe that it is a cycle; working longer will make you live longer and when we live longer, some of us would want to continue working. As such, if the opportunity arises we will definitely grab hold of it.  Just look at our forefathers!

Doris:  This would greatly depends on the job scope and the room for growth as per the employee limitations.

Ricky: It all boils down to the individual. You can choose to make sure that you live your life to the fullest by grabbing hold of each opportunity that comes along in your career or risk the fact that there are more and more graduates out there and they are hungry and competing for jobs, and if there’s any available they will also grab the opportunity.

AA: Singapore is facing an ageing workforce, what are some ways we can better engage members of the ageing workforce?

Tamila: As an older worker, having flexible work options are important to me. The opportunity to work part-time can be of great benefit, as it helps to free up time for other priorities.

Doris: Engagement is vital not just for the ageing workforce but across the whole age spectrum. A comprehensive company communications platform or dialogue sessions such as this one would be ideal.

Ricky:  More communication channels and better work incentives.




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