Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Demographic Divide in the Irish Workplace via @aon_plc #AnotherReminderOfMyAge #99

Aon has produced an interesting infographic comparing Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millenials, and Generation Z. I was born in 1959, so I guess that this makes me a Baby Boomer - these are generally classified as people who were born in the years after the Second World War. In 2010, Baby Boomers started to reach retirement age (in countries where 65 is the retirement age) - I am due to retire in 2026 at the age of 67. While a graphic like this is a reminder of my age, it also gives an interesting insight into the structure of our workforce in Ireland as the Baby Boomers are slowly disappearing, while bubble passes on to the Generation X'ers and Millenials. It will seem like in no time at all that Baby Boomers will not be on an infographic like this in the future.

Click image to enlarge.
Image source: Aon.
Note the "Communication preferences". It says Baby Boomers prefer to use "face to face", "telephone", and "increasingly email". I have been using email since 1995 on almost a daily basis since I got my first Ireland On-line account. I'm not sure that I agree with this statement about Baby Boomers, but then again I was born right at the end of this generation. I can't imagine that there are many office workers in Ireland between the ages of 57 and 67 that do not use email. Interestingly, the Generation Z preference is for instant messaging apps and social media - not a sign of face to face, telephone, or email. The business world will have to prepare for this and I'm certain that a lot of business opportunities will be created for new types of communication by some clever Millenials and Z'ers.

Even though I am technically part of the Baby Boomer generation, I feel more in tune with Generation X. I am very much a digital immigrant - I told students in a class on Tuesday that it was around 1984 (at the age of 35) when I touched a computer for the first time. So I did not grow up with computers, and only started to use them when I was doing postgraduate studies in Trinity from 1984 to 1987. I was lucky to get work (in CBT Systems in 1989) at a time when the IT industry was only getting off the ground in Ireland. I'd love to be alive in 100 years time to see what a 2116 version of this infographic would look like.

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