Changes employees are asking for include enhancing diversity and inclusion practices, supporting women employees, and prioritising mental health, to name a few.

Last year, Deloitte’s survey on Millennials and Gen Zs highlighted both generations’ resilience amidst the pandemic. This year’s survey, however, revealed the two generations’ persistence—in being more vocal and calling for change at institutions, and, especially, workplaces.

Changes employees are asking for include enhancing diversity and inclusion practices, supporting women employees, and prioritising mental health, to name a few.

“In the 10 years Deloitte has been conducting the Millennial survey, Millennials and Gen Zs’ lives have changed, but their values have remained steadfast.

“They have sustained their idealism, their desire for a better world, and their belief that business can and should do more to help society,” said Michele Parmelee, Deloitte Global Deputy CEO and Chief People and Purpose Officer.

The 2021 survey solicited the views of 14,655 Millennials and 8,273 Gen Zs (22,928 respondents total) from 45 countries across Asia Pacific, North & Latin America, Western & Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Ready to return to office, but still prefer a flexible work arrangement

The survey shed light on both groups’ opinions on future work arrangements. Results have shown that Millennials and Gen Zs expect to spend more time in the office once restrictions are lifted. Many claim to be excited about getting back into a formal work environment—but not until they’re confident it’s safe, and not necessarily full time.

A quarter of Millennials (25%) and 22% of Gen Zs said they would like to work in the office “a little to a lot less often” than they did before.

Views on business’s social impact continue to decline, as job loyalty slips

In other aspects, less than half of Millennials (47%) and Gen Zs (48%) think businesses are having a positive impact on society. This marks the first time that figure has dipped below 50%. Of note, it has dropped almost 30 points since 2017.

Survey results revealed that more Millennials and Gen Zs would, if opportunity arises:

  • Leave their current employers within two years (36% Millennials and 53% Gen Zs; an increase to 31% and 50% respectively in 2020);
  • Stay with their current employers for at least five years (34% Millennials, 21% Gen Zs)

Parmelee said: “Over the years, this survey has consistently shown that Millennials and Gen Zs are values-driven and action-oriented, and they are holding themselves, and business, accountable. Even during a difficult year, they continue to push for positive societal change. Businesses that share their vision and support them in their efforts to create a better future will come out on top.”

Stress and anxiety permeate the workplace, highlighting a growing need for business to focus on better workplace mental health

Due to the pandemic, respondents have also felt immense stress. The survey showed 41% of Millennials and 46% of Gen Zs feel stressed all or most of the time.

Main stress drivers include:

  • Finances;
  • Family welfare; and
  • Job prospects

“This stress spills over into the workplace,” cited in the survey.

About a third of all respondents—31% of Millennials and 35% of Gen Zs—have taken time off work due to stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic. Nearly half of this group, however, gave their employer a different reason for their absence. The reason being, according to the survey: “Likely due to a continuing stigma around mental health in the workplace.”

It was discovered that only 38% of Millennials and 35% of Gen Zs have felt comfortable enough to speak openly with their supervisors about the stress they’re feeling. And about two in five (40%) say their employers have done a poor job supporting their mental health during the pandemic.

“Fostering open and inclusive workplaces where people feel comfortable speaking up about stress, anxiety, or other mental health challenges they are experiencing is critical,” said Parmelee. “Employers have a responsibility to create a work environment that supports employees’ mental health and wellbeing and allows them to thrive.”

Find the full report here.


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