Gen-Zs, millennials want work-life balance but cost of living crisis hovers

Despite their desires for better work-life balance and the ability to reduce working hours, Gen-Zs and millennials have taken on extra jobs to make ends meet

Arshdeep Kaur New Delhi
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Gen-Zs and millennials in India seek greater flexibility and work-life balance, reveals Deloitte’s 2023 Gen-Z and millennial survey. However, with the cost of living so high, these generations have to resort to an additional income to make ends meet, and half of them lead a ‘paycheck-to-paycheck’ life.
The survey has explored how the disruptive events of the last three years due to the coronavirus pandemic have shaped respondents’ lives and views.

While the survey showed that both generations acknowledge the progress that employers have made from the pre-pandemic time, there is still work to do.
According to the survey, despite their desires for better work-life balance and the ability to reduce working hours, as many as 66 per cent of Gen-Zs and 57 per cent of millennials have taken on either a part-time or full-time paying job in addition to their primary job to make ends meet.

They worry that a potential economic recession will hamper their ability to ask for much-needed pay increases, continue pushing for flexibility, or find new jobs.
While approximately 42 per cent of Gen-Zs and 55 per cent of millennials surveyed in India said they are 'very satisfied' with their work-life balance, nearly half of Gen-Zs and a majority of millennials believed that their job is still central to their identities.

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According to the survey, the Indian respondents were also struggling to disconnect from work, with 37 per cent of Gen-Zs and 59 per cent of millennials saying that they answer work emails outside of normal working hours at least five days a week.
Deepti Sagar, Chief People and Experience Officer, Deloitte India, said that Gen Zs and millennials are seeking an equilibrium between their professional and personal lives, and are guided by a strong sense of purpose, with a deep concern about global issues. They aspire for a future where they can be active change agents.

In India, 53 per cent of Gen Zs and 45 per cent of millennials surveyed said that they are stressed all or most of the time. Workplace stress levels are higher among women, LGBT+ members, and those with disabilities.
Globally, Gen-Zs and millennials are stressed about their long-term financial futures, day-to-day finances, and the health-welfare of their families. While concerns about mental health and workplace issues such as heavy workloads, poor work-life balance, and unhealthy team cultures are also challenging. Linked to the results around work-related stress drivers are increasingly high levels of burnout due to work pressures.

Another global trend witnessed in the survey was that while social media is perceived as a source of income for some, it also exacerbates financial anxiety. Nearly 51 per cent of Gen-Zs and 43 per cent of millennials globally stated that social media makes them want to buy things they cannot afford.
Both Gen-Zs and millennials want flexibility in where and when they work. Many respondents now have hybrid or remote work models, which they value. Flexible work arrangements, which offer a range of work structures that alter when work gets done, or the number of hours worked, are a growing priority.

“It is incumbent on employers to align with this mindset, fueling their drive for positive impact. Businesses that respond to these needs and concerns will not only enhance their own resilience but will also contribute to meaningful societal transformations,” Deepti added.

First Published: May 18 2023 | 10:54 AM IST

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