While concerns of stress and anxiety remain for many young adults, the latest edition of The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey finds that many are looking at the current cultural moment as an opportunity to reach for something higher.
With layoffs, mass protests, and an uncertain future facing their generation, young people may have it tough right now, but they can see the flip side of the current crises.
That’s a key finding from the 2020 edition of The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey, which also brings Gen Z into the mix. The annual report—made up of two separate surveys, one done last fall and a COVID-19-focused “pulse” update done this spring—highlighted continuing (if declining) stress and anxiety about the world at large, but an overarching sense of resilience.
“Last year’s Millennial Survey exposed a good deal of uneasiness and pessimism; perhaps surprisingly, the pandemic doesn’t appear to have exacerbated those feelings,” the report states [PDF]. “In 11 of the 13 pulse countries, respondents actually expressed lower levels of stress than they’d reported in the primary survey five months earlier. Overall results also showed greater optimism about the environment, a strong commitment to financial responsibility and saving, and favorable views of the responses to the pandemic by government, business and their own employers.”
That resilience has definitely shown itself with the pandemic—which has apparently led around three quarters of millennials (76 percent) and Gen Z (74 percent) to become more sympathetic to the world around them. Similar totals said that it led them to take positive action in their lives and a more active role in their local communities.
As far as work goes, the report finds a growing appreciation of remote work among both millennials and Gen Z workers, with more than 60 percent saying they’d like the option to continue working remotely more frequently, citing benefits for stress relief and work-life balance.
And many younger workers are less likely to leave their current roles than they might have been in the past, even if they remain critical of corporate environments in general. In the post-COVID pulse survey, 41 percent of millennials and 43 percent of Gen Zers said they felt business was a force for good, a decline of roughly 10 percent for each from the primary survey from last fall.
In a news release, Deloitte Global Chief People and Purpose Officer Michele Parmelee noted that the study underlines the need for organizations to highlight the positive impact of their work to younger staff members.
“Job loyalty rises as businesses address employee needs, from diversity and inclusion to sustainability to reskilling,” Parmelee said. “For businesses, the message is clear—young people believe in companies with a purpose-driven strategy. These are the companies that will lead in the post-pandemic future.”