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Understanding the impact of generational issues in the workplace

James Bennett (Drivers Jonas Deloitte, Leeds, UK)
Michael Pitt (Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, University College London, London, UK)
Samantha Price (Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, University College London, London, UK)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 18 May 2012




Now there are four generations of people sharing the workspace, each group brings different views, expectations, desires, dreams, values and ideas about work and life. This paper will examine how four generations work together in different ways and explores organisational strategies for managing the transition of knowledge through the generations. The factors of team working, mentoring and the design of the physical and virtual workplace are considered.


The paper is an examination of the workplace using a literature review. The content reviewed explores the characteristics of each generation, their cultural values and identity and the method to incorporate this into strategy, workplace design and workplace productivity.


The results of the paper demonstrate that it is vital for organisations to actively facilitate the transition of knowledge which is currently taking place within the multi‐generational workplace. The findings demonstrate that the changing pattern of work and life dictate that organisations have to adapt their culture to meet the demands and expectations of new generations in the workplace.

Research limitations/implications

The paper does not look at workplace scenarios as a possible method of testing the theories suggested.

Practical implications

By understanding the make up of the workforces, facilities can be adapted to take advantage of employee characteristics which may lead to productivity improvement.


The link between the transition of knowledge and the management and design of facility space is made. Embracing workplace styles of flexible work locations, informal and fluid use of space, space for mentoring and team work, fun, open collaborative spaces, plug and play technological environments and non‐hierarchical organisational structures are just a few of the strategies which will have to be implemented in order to attract and retain high performance individuals.



Bennett, J., Pitt, M. and Price, S. (2012), "Understanding the impact of generational issues in the workplace", Facilities, Vol. 30 No. 7/8, pp. 278-288.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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