Half of UK millennials and Gen Zs feel stressed most of the time has been saved
Half of UK millennials and Gen Zs feel stressed most of the time
16 June 2021
- Deloitte’s 2021 Millennial and Gen Z Survey, now in its 10th year, highlights that 26% of millennials and 22% of Gen Zs in the UK have taken time off work due to stress and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic;
- This comes as belief in business drops to a historic low, with 72% of millennials and 58% of Gen Zs fearing businesses commitment to combat climate change will be less of a priority as leaders deal with challenges brought about by the pandemic;
- Younger workers are taking personal action on the types of work they are willing to do, with 35% of UK millennials and 39% of Gen Zs having already made choices over the organisations they’re willing to work for based on their personal beliefs and ethics over the past two years.
Half (50%) of millennials and Gen Zs in the UK feel anxious or stressed all, or most, of the time, according to Deloitte’s 10th annual millennial and Gen Z survey*.
Concerns over their longer-term financial future (cited by 36% of UK millennials and 35% of Gen Zs), welfare of their family (36% of UK millennials and 31% of Gen Zs) and career prospects (33% of millennials and 36% of Gen Zs) were highlighted as the leading causes of anxiety among those feeling stressed.
This comes as 26% of millennials and 22% of Gen Zs in the UK have taken time off work due to stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic. However, 44% of this group gave their employer a different reason for their absence, likely due to a continuing stigma around mental health in the workplace.
Deloitte’s research highlights that stress-levels among younger people in the UK are higher than the global average. Globally, 41% of millennials and 46% of Gen Zs say they feel stressed or anxious all, or most, of the time, according to Deloitte’s survey of 23,000 millennials and Gen Zs across 45 countries.
More than half (58%) of UK millennials have not spoken openly with their employer about their feelings of stress and anxiety.
Jackie Henry, managing partner for people and purpose at Deloitte UK, said: “There is no doubt that the last 15 months have heightened anxiety and stress among the youngest members of the UK’s workforce. They have been put under significant strain, for instance junior employees struggling with the loss of face to face interaction, often working from their bedroom, while others have been juggling the childcare demands that come with young families. Wellbeing must become a strategic priority for organisations of every size – not only to support employees experiencing anxiety and stress, but also to prevent people from becoming overwhelmed and overworked in the first place. Above all, however, businesses must shake off the stigma around mental health in the workplace. For too long workers have felt ashamed to share their struggles, and leaders must focus on empowering their employees to ask for help.”
Climate change leading concern as belief in business drops to a historic low
Deloitte’s research highlights that climate change is the leading concern among millennials and Gen Zs in the UK, followed by healthcare and disease prevention and unemployment.
On the flip side, 66% of UK millennials and 60% of Gen Zs say that that environmental changes seen during the pandemic made them more optimistic that climate change can be reversed. Meanwhile, 30% of millennials and 26% of Gen Zs think that people’s commitment to take personal action for environmental and climate issues will have improved after the pandemic.
Yet, belief in the impact of business is less positive. More than two thirds (72%) of millennials and 58% of Gen Zs fear businesses commitment to helping combat climate change will be less of a priority as leaders deal with the challenges brought on by the pandemic.
Globally, 47% of millennials and 48% of Gen Zs think business is having a positive impact on society, marking the first time that figure has dipped below 50% and dropping by almost 30 points since 2017.
In the UK, only 43% of millennials and 38% of Gen Zs think business is having a positive impact on society. Meanwhile, 35% of UK millennials and 39% of Gen Zs have already made choices over the types of work they’d do and the organisations they’re willing to work for based on their personal beliefs and ethics over the past two years.
Henry adds: “Businesses cannot afford to dismiss the opinions, ambitions and beliefs of millennials and Gen Zs. Leaders must continue to champion sustainability, clearly demonstrating the positive impact they are having on society and the steps they are taking to combat climate change. Ignoring this will not only lose the custom of millennials and Gen Zs, but also the creativity and ingenuity that these generations offer as employees.”
Pandemic marks a tipping point for positive change
Despite struggling with significant levels of anxiety and stress, Deloitte’s research highlights that the impact of COVID-19 has spurred many millennials and Gen Zs on to drive changes within their community.
More than half (57%) of millennials and 49% of Gen Zs in the UK say that in response to the pandemic they have taken actions to try and have a positive impact on their community.
Overall, 16% of UK millennials and 15% of Gen Zs have boycotted a company because of its views or behaviours. Meanwhile, 25% of UK millennials and 28% of Gen Zs have tried to educate and change the views of those around them.
Henry concludes: “Even at a time of significant personal stress, millennials and Gen Zs continue to prioritise initiatives that will make a positive impact on their communities and wider society. Businesses that share their vision and support them in their efforts to create a better future will come out on top.”
Notes to editors
*Millennials included in the study were born between January 1983 and December 1994. Generation Z respondents were born between January 1995 and December 2003.
For more information and to view the full results of Deloitte's 2021 Millennial Survey, visit: www.deloitte.com/millennialsurvey.
The 2021 report solicited the views of 14,655 millennials and 8,273 Gen Zs (22,928 respondents total) from 45 countries across North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. 879 respondents were polled in the UK, including 539 millennials and 340 Gen Zs.
The survey was conducted using an online, self-complete-style interview. Fieldwork was completed between 8 January and 18 February 2021.
This year’s report marks the first time Deloitte Global researched millennials and Gen Zs in the same number of countries. Last year, Gen Zs were surveyed in just 20 countries. Year-to-year comparisons of Gen Z responses were influenced by the addition of 25 new geographies and should be considered accordingly.
The report represents a broad range of respondents, from those with executive positions in large organizations to others who are participating in the gig economy, doing unpaid work or are unemployed. Additionally, the Gen Z group includes students who have completed or are pursuing degrees, those who have completed or plan to complete vocational studies, and others who are in secondary school and may or may not pursue higher education.
In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.
Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NSE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.
The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.
For more information, please visit www.deloitte.co.uk.