2 July, 2020

It’s not a job for old people

Looking at the data, the current average age in design studios is 45.

Certainly, this average age has raised since the Fornero act which increased the number of years, when one is working and paying contributions, that are necessary to have a pension.

Overall, our cities are ageing, and with them our offices, our employees and their needs, and their needs are resulting in an increased labour cost.

With respect to the market, this increased labour cost is clearly inversely proportional to its competitiveness. And this factor often forces our companies to turn to countries beyond our borders that can offer the same services at a lower cost.

But this is all becoming questionable, especially post-Covid, as we are rediscovering our national pride, and people are recognising that the quality offered by other countries is inferior to that of Italian companies.

The real question is: Why do we no longer believe in our young people? Do we truly think they are less capable than those outside our borders?

Are we threatened by the litany “I want them young, bright, inexpensive and with proven expertise”

We acknowledge that such a demand is partially inconceivable unless scientific research develops the ability to endow us with work expertise from birth!

Perhaps we are forgetting that we are talking about our youngsters, with whom we share our evening meals and constantly encourage to do their very best to engage socially!

I wonder if, together with our cities, offices and salaries we too are growing old, forgetting that this unique resource, that we have at a moderate cost and is a major contributor to our pensions, is deeply important to our system.

It is said that it is in your fifties and sixties (a major age group in our technical offices) that one feels the need to transfer knowledge. Have we lost this wonderful habit?

Are we so old that we have lost the will to teach and gain pleasure from it? Or are we so greedy that we no longer take an interest in passing on our knowledge, but would rather spend our last years retaining the top positions for ourselves?

I believe that our ego has lost another healthy habit. Careerism includes renewing a business and the ideas that characterise the business.

This renewal includes the ideas of younger minds, with their fresh thinking unhampered by the obsolete mechanisms that have been solidifying under our office dust for decades.

A year ago we launched “jungdip” project, and it has proven to be a winner.

We invested in young graduates; Gigi, a dear colleague, dedicated half of his time to them without taking it away from his work.

And surprisingly achieved an increase in productivity of 150% finding in them the motivation that was necessary to overcome his limitations.

With the help of an internal senior team, we have selected schools and resources and created an increasingly close collaborative network.

We have taught our expertise to “our kids” and in return we take pride in having built a fresh, fast, capable, and motivated team whose cost is proportional to age.

And it is this young age that we have discovered to be truly competitive.

Today the whole company believes in this project, believes in these young people and we appreciate that they believed in us.

Thanks to them our average age has fallen to 39.

But what is most important is the transformation they have bought to us and to our work environment.

We have rediscovered the pleasure of sharing our expertise and seen it appreciated as a precious gift.

We are willing to risk investing in the future again, knowing that it belongs, not to us, but to them.

.…” and, yes, now we are sure we want to be part of the future, a future closer to our dreams than we could have ever imagined. We are ready to guide you while you pursue that which we did not have the courage to believe in”…

I would like to thank:

  • My team (Gigi, Silvietta, Ramy, Tano, Bob, Andre, July, Aure and now also Riky) who follow me with enthusiasm in my beliefs, often against the tide.
  • The Professor, who, from the beginning, believed in us and who every day teaches her students supporting them in their abilities.
  • My Friend who has my back when my commitments do not allow me to focus, and who guides me back to our main goal, our children’s future.

But most of all, you guys: Nik, Ale, Fabietto, Gabry, Fra, Fede, Ele, Manu, Mihai, and all those to come, because you have made us return to loving our job!

Ah! When looking at the photo, one might realise we had to do a little photo montage. This is because Manu isn’t in the office, firstly due to Covid lockdown then to consequential logistical difficulties.

Even though she has been with us everyday through the use of technology, she’ll be physically back in September. We cared for her to be in the photo too, regardless how!