‘Build a Bridge’ – to your life after work
Devote 10 percent of your working hours to volunteer work – without any salary reduction
A year before retirement, senior employees will receive the opportunity of taking 10 percent of their working hours into any kind of volunteer work that match and fulfill the employee’s individual wishes and skills.
The transition from work life to retirement is perhaps the most challenging of all changes in our adult lives. The goal of this proposition is to introduce the possibility for trying out that transition before it really happens. Volunteering 10 percent of your working hours in a meaningful setting makes it possible to find new future colleagues, or to discover – or even rediscover – your own talents and their invaluable impact on your surroundings and thus your own life as well.
Never before in history have we seen a generation of 60 to 70-years-old that are in such great health and who holds such strong resources as we do now. For our society it is no longer a sustainable solution to let such a valuable resource of years of life experience withdraw themselves into isolated retirement communities, as still happens. Moreover, we see an increasing individual demand that life after work should sustain ones individual identity and allow for strong social bonds and a meaningful societal contribution to continue. Research shows that only three hours per week of volunteer work is healthy and life prolonging for you, being as well a huge benefit for society.
Every senior employee who is interested in the ‘Build a Bridge’-project joins a one-day workshop, which ends by matching the volunteers with their individual volunteering space. During the whole year, where you exchange 10 percent of your working hours with voluntary activities, we encourage the volunteers to write down and reflect upon their experience from the internship. For the record, it should be mentioned that you are in no way obligated to proceed with voluntary activities after the internship has ended – in the same way that you are not obligated to retire the day you hit the age of retirement.
For senior employees, the opportunity to volunteer will act as a bridge that makes it easier to continue a meaningful life after your retirement, where you will still be able to use your talents and contribute to a bigger community than your own private one.
From the perspective of the volunteering community your contribution means fresh energy and new eyes that can bring improvement and innovation to the place.
From the bigger perspective of the society as a whole, the voluntary internship will mean, that more senior employees continue to contribute to our welfare and that each individual volunteer stays healthy and fresh, physically and mentally, for a longer period of time.
Poul-Erik Tindbaek, May 2016