MILLENNIAL and Gen Z workers in the Philippines reported higher levels of stress or anxiety compared with a year earlier … citing worries about finances, mental health, and family problems, according to a survey conducted by Deloitte Global.

Deloitte Global’s 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey released on Tuesday indicated that 48% of Filipino millennials and 68% of the Gen Z generation reported anxiety all or most of the time, up 2 percentage points and 1 percentage point respectively from year-earlier levels. 

The survey also showed that over 50% of millennials and over 40% of Gen Zs expect overall economic and socio-political conditions to improve in the next 12 months.

 “Asked what issues contribute to their feelings of anxiety or stress, more than 60% of Filipino Gen Zs pointed to four: their longer-term financial future, their day-to-day finances, concerns about their mental health, and family/personal relationships,” Deloitte said.

“As for their millennial peers, 63% said concerns about their mental health contribute to their feelings of anxiety, followed by their longer-term financial future, which is a stressor for 56% of Filipino millennials,” it added.

According to Deloitte, the 2022 survey was conducted between November 2021 and January 2022, with 23,220 respondents from 46 countries. Philippine participants included 300 Gen Z respondents and 100 millennials.

Deloitte’s study defined Gen Z as those born between January 1995 and December 2003 and millennials born between January 1983 and December 1994.   

Fredieric B. Landicho, Deloitte Philippines managing partner and chief executive officer, said in a statement that stress and anxiety levels among millennials and Gen Zs will likely not ease in the near future due to adverse conditions on top of the pandemic, and urged business leaders to be ready to provide support in the workplace.

“It appears that our youngest work colleagues in particular have a lot weighing on their minds, which is not surprising considering the circumstances surrounding their milestones,” Mr. Landicho said.

“This is the generation that graduated from high school or college in the middle of a pandemic that transitioned to the workforce at a time when the world of work looked nothing like it did before, and that was probably inundated with news of uncertainty and disruption,” he added.

According to Deloitte, support services could include mental health resources and more manageable workloads.

The survey found 70% of Filipino Gen Zs and 63% of millennials reporting burnout due to their workloads, while 58% of Filipino Gen Zs and millennials said that many of their colleagues have recently left their company due to work stress. 

The Deloitte survey also showed that 80% of Filipino Gen Zs and millennials agreeing with the statement that workplace well-being and mental health have become a point of emphasis for their employers since the beginning of the pandemic.

However, 74% of Gen Zs and 72% of millennials said that the increased focus on mental health had no meaningful impact on them.

The survey found that 27% of Filipino Gen Zs and 21% of millennials said that if they were in charge of their organizations, they would consider as a top priority effort to foster supportive leaders via mental health-related training and measures to improve work-life balance.

Mr. Landicho said that mental health is a complex issue that requires a deeper understanding and more deliberate action.  

“Looking at longer-term initiatives, organizations may want to consider investing in training programs that help build empathetic leadership skills and that equip managers with capabilities to recognize and help with mental health challenges,” Mr. Landicho said. 

“The mental health talks, the free yoga or meditation sessions that organizations rolled out to help people manage their anxiety levels at the height of the pandemic may have helped workers up to a point, but it appears it’s not enough,” he added.

The survey also showed that the top concern of Filipino Gen Zs is the cost of living (30%) while the top concern for Filipino millennials is unemployment (37%). 

As a result, 63% of Filipino Gen Zs and 61% of millennials said that they have taken either a part- or full-time job in addition to their primary job.

“The most popular side jobs for Filipino youth are: selling products or services online (32% of Gen Zs and 37% of millennials); consulting/running their own business (22% of Gen Zs and 14% of millennials); and child/pet care (16% of Gen Zs and 14% of millennials),” the survey found.

“Juggling more than one occupation, while probably necessary for millennials and Gen Zs to meet their financial obligations, could also be contributing to their stress, anxiety, and feelings of being burned out,” it added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave