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How to navigate the multi-generational workforce

7 Feb 2020

While baby boomers and millennials may have different experiences and motivations in the workplace, they also have plenty in common.

Last year, Dell published a report on how technology is impacting workforces of the future. At the time, we spoke to the company’s general manager for Ireland, Mark Hopkins, who stressed that a “multi-generational workforce” is good news for innovation, diversity of thought and challenging ourselves to do better.

“I think any generation can contribute to disruption,” he said. “We’re multi-generational in the workforce now and that’s positive in terms of continuing to challenge and to think about things in a different way.”

But navigating a workplace where colleagues of multiple generations may have different interpretations of success or levels of digital literacy, for example, can be difficult.

Instant Offices recently reported that the global workforce in 2020 will be made up of 35pc millennials, 35pc Gen X, 24pc Gen Z and 6pc baby boomers. With people from each generation bringing something different to the table, people leaders and HR professionals will need to be flexible and adaptive to make sure all voices are heard.

But there are significant benefits for companies who can really make this work. Instant Offices highlighted that through their “effortless grasp of technology”, younger employees can help their older colleagues who can, in turn, “impart their knowledge to less-experienced staff members”.

Some facts and figures

To help visualise the make-up of the multi-generational workforce, as well as the differences people may have in terms of motivations, schedules, skills and preferences, Instant Offices has created an infographic about the generation gap at work.

Check the infographic out below or click here to view it as a larger image.

An infographic detailing differences and similarities in a multi-generational workforce.

The clash of generations in the workplace. Image: Instant Offices

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Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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