Gen Zs and millennials are deeply concerned about the state of the world and are trying to reconcile their desire for change with the demands and limitations of everyday life, according to the Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial study.
They are struggling with financial concerns while trying to invest in environmentally sustainable choices. They feel burned out, but many are taking on second jobs while pushing for more purposeful—and more flexible—work.
The survey, fielded between November 2021 and January 2022, and the subsequent qualitative interviews, held in April 2022, connected with 14,808 Gen Zs and 8,412 millennials across 46 countries.
Gen Zs (29%) and millennials (36%) selected cost of living (e.g., housing, transport, bills, etc.) as their greatest concern. Of note, 12% of Gen Zs and 11% of millennials selected political instability, war, and conflicts between countries as their greatest concern.
They don’t feel financially secure personally, and at a broader societal level, they are deeply concerned about wealth inequality.
Almost half of Gen Zs (46%) and millennials (47%) live paycheck to paycheck and worry they won’t be able to cover their expenses.
The Great Resignation may continue for some time. While job loyalty is up slightly from last year, four in 10 Gen Zs and nearly a quarter of millennials would like to leave their jobs within two years, and roughly a third would do so without another job lined up, signalling significant dissatisfaction levels.
But businesses can learn from this period and implement workplace changes that will help to attract and retain talent. Pay is the top reason why Gen Zs and millennials left a role in the last two years. However, good work/life balance and learning/development opportunities were the top priorities when choosing an employer.
Nearly two in five say they have rejected a job or assignment because it did not align with their values.
There is also a clear demand for more flexible working: currently, 49% of Gen Zs and 45% of millennials work remotely at least some of the time, while three-quarters say this would be their preferred mode of working.
Protecting the environment remains a top priority for Gen Zs and millennials. About three-quarters of respondents believe the world is at a tipping point in responding to climate change, but less than half are optimistic that efforts to protect the planet will be successful.
Gen Zs and millennials want businesses, and their own employers, to do more. Only 18% of Gen Zs and 16% of millennials believe their employers are strongly committed to fighting climate change.
Burnout and mental health
Gen Zs are regularly stressed and anxious. Nearly half say that they feel stressed all or most of the time. Millennial stress levels are also high but are down slightly from last year. Long-term financial futures and day-to-day finances continue to be top stress drivers for both generations.
Meanwhile, burnout is very high among both generations and signals a major retention issue for employers.
46% of Gen Zs and 45% of millennials feel burned out due to the intensity/demands of their working environments. 44% of Gen Zs and 43% of millennials say many people have recently left their organization due to workload pressure.
Employers do seem to be making progress when it comes to prioritizing mental health and well-being in the workplace.
More than half agree that workplace well-being and mental health has become more of a focus for their employers since the start of the pandemic. However, there are mixed reviews on whether the increased focus is actually having a positive impact.