April 16, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Generation Z is the most anxious and stressed

Research shows Gen Zers are the most stressed in the workplace and struggle to cope.

The instability of the employment market caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the wave of layoffs even in global concerns, as well as the “crinkling” of wages due to rising inflation, are alarming workers of all levels and ages everywhere.

However, according to researchers and experts, in the global chaos, some are dismissed as a “permanent crisis”, there are one class of workers who are considered the most troubled of all. These are the young people of the so-called Generation Gez Z (born in the mid to late 1990s – early 2010s) who started their professional career just a few years ago.

According to a Cigna International Health survey of almost 12,000 workers worldwide, 91% of people aged 18 to 24 say they are stressed.

Research shows that Generation Z becomes the most stressed demographic group working people struggling to cope with difficulties. The same data show that almost a quarter of the “Zilelenial” respondents (23%) consider this stress unmanageable, and an overwhelming number of 98% state that they experience burnout symptoms. And yet, why is it becoming increasingly difficult for young people in the labor market to meet the requirements of professional activity?

Although the widespread panic caused by the coronavirus pandemic around the world and in all areas of life has largely subsided, 2023 continues to be an extremely busy year for workers. Many companies, as part of the return to normal work, are asking their employees to return to their offices (from remote work). And as economic uncertainty persists and some companies, including giants like Alphabet, Suisse Credit, Ford, Zoom, Pinterest, Disney, CNN head for mass layoffs, workers fear they could be next on the “unemployed list.”

However, it is more general economic hardships that exacerbate problems in the workplace enormously. Inflation causes stress and anxiety for 84% of UK workers, according to this year’s Workhuman report. A similar situation is also observed in many parts of the world, from Ireland to the US and Canada. Data from McKinsey & Company last October showed that Zillennials were more likely than other respondents (26% vs. 20%) to say their wages don’t allow them to have a “decent quality of life.”

In the short term, Gen Z’s constant anxiety leads to uncertainty and even early retirement, which analysts say should be worrying.

However, in addition to the economic factor, younger workers experience great difficulties in interpersonal relationships. “They still have a lot of questions about work etiquette, office attire and professional boundaries,” explains Eliza Philby, research consultant. The work environment itself can be stressful, especially for younger employees., she notes, but “the need to go to the office, communicate and comply with the requirements and “keep up” with the team is alien to many young people. The social aspects of work seem intimidating to them.” Philby believes Generation Z perceives the work environment as hostile due to the special conditions under which they entered the labor market. Young people graduated from universities during the pandemic, almost immediately “plunging headlong” into an emergency and unstable working and financial situation, with the threat of permanent dismissal.

In the short term Generation Z stress leads to uncertainty and even early retirement. According to Gallup’s 2022 data, millennials are the most job apathetic, stress-resistant, and burnout group compared to other generations, such as millennials.

According to the study, during the pandemic, a large proportion of Z employees admitted that they did not make much effort at work, which in itself is a symptom of burnout and other unacceptable (reducing efficiency) forms of behavior in the workplace, such as indifference, apathetic communication, lack of attention and support from superiors and isolation,” says Sandor Nishizaki, organizational leadership expert and author of Working with Generation Z.

In the long term, constant stress and burnout in the workplace will affect productivity and career development, and increase the chances of being fired.

By 2025, Generation Z will make up 27% of the workforce in the countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). And if the majority continues to be in such a “hopeless” stress, then according to Nishizaki, it will turn out to be “a disaster – in the economic, social and many other areas.”

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