The study of 15,000 UK workers by people assessment company Talent Q reveals that mature workers are more likely to be flexible and easier to manage than younger ones. They are generally more willing to take on new tasks and accept more varied roles.
Other positive findings are that older workers tend to happier to work on their own and are more likely to volunteer to take a leading role, without the need for much guidance.
An assessment of older workers' verbal reasoning revealed it to be as good as younger colleagues' and, while they take marginally longer to calculate answers to numerical problems, they are equally able.
Steve O'Dell, chief executive of Talent Q, said: "Our study defies the common stereotype of older workers who are unwilling to accommodate change and may therefore be unresponsive to new challenges presented in the workplace.
"Talent Q found that those of more advanced years are less preoccupied about climbing the career ladder and that they tend to be more happy, fulfilled and confident. As a result, they are glad to take on new work or projects, and aren't unduly fazed by lots of changes."
With many reports predicting that the retirement age will be pushed up to 70 within a generation, managing an ageing workforce will be a key challenge for employers. They could use these findings to help them build well-balanced teams.