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Deloitte Survey Unveils Gen Z and Millennials' Optimism and Climate Concerns

Updated: May 23

Gen Z and Millenials prioritizing climate concerns in their career and consumer decisions, according to Deloitte’s 2024 survey.

The 2024 Deloitte Global Gen Z and Millennial Survey provides an extensive look at the attitudes and expectations of younger generations. This year's findings, based on responses from over 22,800 participants across 44 countries, highlight key concerns and emerging trends as Gen Zs and millennials navigate a rapidly changing world.


Key Highlights from Deloitte’s 2024 Gen Z and Millennial Survey

  • Climate Concerns Influencing Career Choices:

  • 46% of Gen Z and 42% of millennials have or plan to change jobs due to environmental impact concerns.

  • Nearly two-thirds (64% of Gen Z and 63% of millennials) are willing to pay more for environmentally sustainable products.

  • Importance of Purpose in the Workplace:

  • 86% of Gen Z and 89% of millennials say having a sense of purpose is important for job satisfaction and well-being.

  • Half of Gen Z and over 40% of millennials have rejected assignments or projects based on their personal beliefs, including environmental impact and non-inclusive practices.

  • Rising Climate Anxiety:

  • 62% of Gen Z and 59% of millennials felt anxious about climate change in the past month.

  • 57% of Gen Z and 56% of millennials believe they have significant influence over environmental protection.

  • Employer Expectations:

  • 59% of Gen Z and 62% of millennials research companies' environmental impacts before accepting job offers.

  • Top desired employer actions include educating employees on sustainability, providing subsidies for sustainable choices, and greening office spaces.

  • Consumer Behavior and Climate Action:

  • 64% of Gen Z and 63% of millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable products.

  • Over 60% avoid fast fashion, more than 50% reduce air travel, and over 50% adopt vegetarian or vegan diets.

  • GenAI and Technological Concerns:

  • 59% of Gen Z and millennials believe GenAI-driven automation will eliminate jobs.

  • Only about half feel their employers provide adequate training on GenAI capabilities and benefits.

  • Work/Life Balance and Work Patterns:

  • Work/life balance remains a top priority, with flexibility in work arrangements highly valued.

  • 45% of Gen Z and 36% of millennials have side jobs, primarily for additional income and flexible work options.

  • Mental Health and Workplace Stress:

  • 40% of Gen Z and 35% of millennials feel stressed most of the time, though there are signs of improvement.

  • Major stressors include long working hours, financial insecurity, and a lack of control over work conditions.

  • Return-to-Office Policies:

  • Two-thirds of Gen Z (64%) and millennials (66%) work for organizations with return-to-office mandates.

  • Mixed results: some report improved engagement and routine, while others face increased stress and decreased productivity.

  • Positive Workplace Trends:

  • Over half of respondents agree their employers take mental health seriously.

  • 51% of Gen Z and 50% of millennials have seen positive workplace changes related to mental health over the past year.


Economic Optimism Amid Uncertainty

While economic uncertainty remains a significant concern, this year's survey reveals a cautious optimism among Gen Zs and millennials.

Approximately 32% of Gen Zs and 31% of millennials believe their country's economic situation will improve in the next year, a notable increase from last year and the highest optimism since pre-pandemic surveys.

Additionally, 48% of Gen Zs and 40% of millennials expect their financial situation to improve, though financial insecurity still plagues many, with over half living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Top Concerns: Cost of Living and Climate Change

The cost of living continues to top the list of concerns for both generations. This issue, along with unemployment, climate change, mental health, and personal safety, dominates their worries.

Notably, 62% of Gen Zs and 59% of millennials reported feeling anxious about climate change in the past month. These concerns drive their actions, with many actively seeking to minimize their environmental impact and urging governments and businesses to take more significant climate action.

Workplace Evolution: Flexibility and Purpose

Flexibility in the workplace remains a crucial priority for Gen Zs and millennials. Despite a shift toward more on-site work, these generations value the ability to balance work and personal life.

Two-thirds of respondents now work for organizations with a return-to-office policy, yet many continue to advocate for flexible working hours and less traditional employment models like part-time roles and job-sharing.

The sense of purpose in work is paramount for job satisfaction among Gen Zs and millennials. An overwhelming 86% of Gen Zs and 89% of millennials say having a sense of purpose is essential to their job satisfaction and well-being.

This emphasis on purpose-driven work influences career decisions, with many rejecting employers or assignments that do not align with their values. Companies that align their operations with societal impact and employee values tend to enjoy higher loyalty and engagement from their younger workforce.

Gen Z and Millennials on Generative AI

The rapid advancement of Generative AI (GenAI) has introduced both excitement and uncertainty. While a significant portion of Gen Zs and millennials are not yet using GenAI at work, those who do report higher levels of trust and excitement about its potential benefits.

However, concerns about job displacement and the need for reskilling are prevalent, with many respondents believing GenAI-driven automation will eliminate jobs and make workforce entry harder for younger generations. Training and preparedness for these technological shifts remain areas where employers are seen as falling short.

Mental Health: Improvements and Ongoing Challenges

Mental health continues to be a critical issue, with 40% of Gen Zs and 35% of millennials reporting feeling stressed most of the time. Despite this, there are signs of improvement, with many noting better mental health compared to the previous year.

However, stress from financial concerns, job insecurity, and work/life balance persists. While more than half of respondents believe their employers are taking mental health seriously, there remains a need for more open discussions and better support systems within organizations.

Adapting to Gen Z and Millennial Expectations for a Sustainable Future

The Deloitte 2024 Gen Z and Millennial Survey highlights the evolving priorities and concerns of these generations. Economic optimism is tempered by significant worries about living costs and climate change. In the workplace, flexibility and purpose are key drivers of job satisfaction, and the integration of GenAI presents both opportunities and challenges.

Mental health remains a critical area for improvement. As Gen Zs and millennials continue to shape the future of work and society, businesses that align with their values and address their concerns will likely thrive in this dynamic environment.

To access the full report, click here.


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