Flexioffices iconthe workspace people
area guidescontact usblogpopular locationsresourcespeople
0333-011-6200Search icon

Start typing your ideal location here!

Mind the Generation Gap

Arrow down blue

Authored by Michael Dubicki   

Published 17/08/2022 

When I hear the term ‘generation gap’ I don’t imagine so much a crevasse as I do a crack in the pavement. Let me explain. The conversations I often hear about generation gaps, centre largely around the negative characteristics that are apparently ‘inherent’ to each generation, characteristics which cause all manner of problems. It just seems we’re missing an obvious flaw in the logic here; they exist simply because we keep the stereotypes alive, not questioning if any of them hold any water. Defining entire groups of people based on a few anecdotes passed around and made into (dare I say it) memes just seems too easy. Side note: If a teenager hasn’t said “Okay, Boomer” to you with not just a hint of snark, then you’re one of the lucky ones. May the odds be in your favour.

I digress.

To be clear, these stereotypes are not based on empirical, but rather anecdotal evidence. And would you believe it, there is actual evidence that strongly suggests that it is the belief in the existence of these differences that is responsible for creating this divide. A social construct built on perception and assumption, not reality. The very definition of ‘’The more you fear something the more power you give it.’’

The ugly (or beautiful, depending on your mindset) truth is that different age groups have far more in common than they do differences. When has placing all the emphasis on our differences rather than our similarities ever seen a positive outcome? The evidence is pretty clear, regurgitating this narrative only serves to magnify conflict within the workplace, getting in the way of what matters: collaboration, growth and understanding. 

And a more opportune time to make lasting changes in how we work I’ve never seen. The pandemic caused us to pivot dizzyingly, and rather unprepared, to solve the urgent need for adaptation of the working models we’d held dear for decades. And it had the effect of making our so-called generational divides seem all the more pronounced. Take, as an example, the fresh faces so full of hope, entering the workplace for the first time in 2020 only to be sent home with a laptop and a headset. I imagine it was far trickier to connect with peers, or to learn the proverbial ropes from an excitable line manager, or put themselves in the best possible position to be seen as an unpolished diamond by senior management. Fewer opportunities for elevator pitches if you’re missing a critical element. And while none of those things are impossible to achieve in a remote or flexi environment, it’s not as if anyone had a handbook to pass on to them - we are all still writing it as we go.

What of the millennials or GenXers who finally know which drawer the cutlery lives in and want to keep it that way? The C-Suite execs celebrating the return to corner offices and the buzz of a busy department floor? Well, here’s where I finally get to my point.

As we take a (thankfully) deep breath and turn our attention to how we want to move forward it’s vital to draw from our very recent experiences. This is not another obstacle, this is an opportunity to flex our newly found, well, flexibility.

Our core values are pivotal in how we make decisions, choose to lead, functionally operate, and behave. Not just in a professional sense, but in all aspects of our lives. By understanding the core values and the motivations of each of the generations that make up the workforce, we already stand on more sturdy ground.

Imagine what we could achieve if we unburdened ourselves from these divisive perceptions and instead sought to create organisational infrastructures that allow strong, intergenerational relationships to flourish? Imagine if we ignored the ugly lie that we should all have to change in order to fit a singular bygone modality. What if we made flexibility a priority, leveraged our unique strengths, turned differences into opportunities, and focused on creating spaces for true connection for everyone, regardless of the generation they were lumped into.

Anyway, I do like to test out my hypotheses (no one’s ever accused me of shying away from a debate). So, I’ve tasked my team with getting the opinions of the fine citizens of London. If you spot them on the streets, take a snap of them – I like them to think I have eyes everywhere…

Navigating the vast portfolio of options that suit you can prove to be difficult. Let us help. No mountain is ever too high, we’re not afraid of hard work, and we go the extra mile everyday. Get in contact.

Your Basket ()
Request Quote