Demographic Changes in the Workplace

global business strategy

By Andrés Hatum

The global ageing population and the new generation of young professionals entering the market are changing the shape of the workplace. Companies need to look forward and prepare for the workforce of the future and understand the organizational changes this will bring.

While new ways of organizing will be increasingly important for firms to succeed in the future, it will also be important to take into account the deep demographic changes occurring in the workplace. Indeed, firms are already facing the challenge of transforming their structures and ways of organizing to incorporate the new generation.

Never before have organizations seen three and even four generations working together. These overlapping generations have great implications; not only for the way work is performed, but also for the way firms need to think about their future talent management strategies and the HR practices required to support their human capital. Heterogeneity and diversity have replaced the homogeneous workforce that pervaded before.

The generations working together today that are relevant for the purpose of our study are: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y, or the so-called Millennials. Baby Boomers refers to the post-war generation, born between 1946 and 1964; Generation X (Gen X) refers to individuals born between 1965 and 1980; and Generation Y (Gen Y) refers to persons born between 1981 and 1997. Although no longer in the workplace, I refer also to the Traditionalists, born between 1922 and 1945.

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