A UK study has found that men are less enthusiastic about work than women until retirement time comes, when they are seen bouncing back with renewed interest in their jobs.
The research, which was carried out by University of Portsmouth scientists, Darren Van Laar and Simon Easton, comes as the Government plans to raise the retirement age for men and women.
The research found that women started their careers with very high levels of employee engagement, and then there is a steady drop over the course of their working lives until retirement when they renew their work interests, but not as much as their male colleagues.
Dr Van Laar and Dr Easton said their findings appear to offer encouragement to employers who want to take advantage of the high level of commitment of older workers who would like to work beyond the current statutory retirement age.
The research reflected the pre-retirement "bounce" in the quality of working life of employees found in an earlier study, but the results of the latest research exploring employee engagement came as a surprise.
"The quality of people's working lives is not as straightforward as it at first might appear," the Telegraph quoted Dr Van Laar as saying.
"We had already discovered that men experience more of a pre-retirement 'bounce' as they neared retirement.
"But, until now, we hadn't realised that men, unlike women, start their careers with very low levels of employee engagement, and only catch up with women at the very end of their working lives," he stated.
The researchers used the Work Related Quality of Life Scale (WRQoL) to gauge nearly 4,000 people's quality of working life in nine large educational organisations in the UK.