So you woke up dreading work… again. You know you’re just not feeling it, but for the nth time, you just dismissed it as your “laziness” acting up. Look around, though, and you’ll see unfamiliar faces with similar stories.
It’s not just you: Around the world, two entire generations supposedly at the prime of their lives—millennials and Gen Z—feel like they are trapped in an endless cycle of stress, anxiety, and burnout, and we have a survey to show for it.
According to the latest Deloitte Gen Z and Millennial survey, 38% of millennials and 46% of Gen Zs say that they’re stressed or anxious “all or most of the time” due to various reasons: financial security, health, and personal relationships, among others.
When it comes to workplace stress, Deloitte revealed this about Gen Z: “A third of those who feel regularly stressed say their workload (34%) and a poor work-life balance (32%) contribute significantly to their stress and anxiety, while one in four has selected their inability to be themselves at work as a significant issue.”
It was also found that young women reported feeling more stress. In a related survey, more than half of women of different ages said that their stress levels are higher than a year ago, while almost 40% of them are looking for new employers due to burnout.
Despite burnout being a common issue and an increase in mental health awareness, a quarter of millennials and 20% of Gen Zs agree that their employers aren’t taking significant steps to help them manage job-related stress. This likely means companies have yet to realize the impact employee burnout has on their bottom line—and that they still have to learn how to address it, too.
Financial anxiety is real, whether it’s worrying about daily expenses or having long-term funds (recent high levels of inflation probably don’t help either). The survey found that many young adults (33% of millennials and 43% of Gen Zs) are taking on side hustles, and this could be a way to earn more as well as to learn new skills. Remote work has been a help in saving money for 39% of millennials and 33% of Gen Zs, and the chance to cut on costs is a top reason for their choice to do hybrid or remote work.
The “Great Resignation” is still upon us
Meanwhile, 32% of millennials and 35% of Gen Zs are willing to leave their current jobs even without another job lined up. Pay was cited as the top factor for resigning, followed by a workplace affecting their mental health and burnout. When it comes to turning down jobs, almost 40% of millennials and Gen Zs rejected a new job because a company didn’t align with their values.
The good news is that employee loyalty isn’t impossible. When it comes to staying with their current organization, the top priority for millennial and Gen Z workers is good work-life balance. Next in line are learning and development, and a high salary.
Fostering an environment that empowers employees to speak freely is also a good way to drive loyalty among millennials and Gen Zs. Listening to their concerns and allowing them to be part of the change within the organization can give them a sense of belonging.
Plus, millennials and Gen Zs want to be part of organizations that give importance to climate action by investing in “visible, everyday environmental actions where they have an opportunity to be directly involved.”
“Those who are satisfied with their employers’ societal and environmental impact, and their efforts to create a diverse and inclusive environment are more likely to want to stay with their employer for more than five years,” the survey observed. In simpler terms, the more employees feel that their values matter and are acted upon by the company, the less likely they’ll leave in search of greener pastures.
The survey was conducted from November 2021 to January 2022 through subsequent qualitative interviews among 23,220 millennials (born 1983 to 1994) and Gen Zs (born 1995 to 2003) in 46 countries.
Art by Yel Sayo