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51% Gen Z & 54% millennials embrace GenAI in the workplace to free up time for creativity: Deloitte survey

Deloitte’s 2024 Gen Z and Millennial Survey explores how Gen Zs and millennials perceive the transformations occurring in the world around them. The survey delves into how the workplace experiences have evolved for these generations. While work-life balance flexibility is critical, having a sense of purpose at work is central to overall job satisfaction and well-being. The report further adds to how Gen Zs and millennials continue to make lifestyle and career decisions based on their values.

The 13th edition of the survey gathers insights from more than 22,800 Gen Z and millennial respondents across 44 countries. The report underscores continuing concerns about the environment and work-life balance. It also examines the shifting career decisions and behaviour of Gen Zs and millennials to drive climate action on both professional and personal fronts.

“Millennials and Gen Zs are an integral part of every business today. They are the agents of change and contribute significantly to shaping the future of work. More than half of the respondents are excited about GenAI and believe that this new technology will positively impact their work-life balance, allowing more time for creative and strategic work”, says Deepti Sagar, Chief People and Experience Officer, Deloitte India.

However, environmental concerns remain high among these respondents. They are more inclined than the global average to urge their employers to take climate action and be willing to pay more for sustainable products and services.

Gen Zs and millennials are excited about GenAI

Gen Zs and millennials believe GenAI will have a positive impact on their work-life balance and how they work. More than half of the Gen Zs (51 per cent) and millennials (54 per cent) frequently use GenAI at work and strongly feel that it will free up their time for creative and strategic work. However, they are equally convinced that they will need to reskill and GenAI will influence their career decisions and cause some job loss. The survey also highlights how women are more upbeat about GenAI and slightly more comfortable working with it than men.

Both generations across genders are expected to seek training around GenAI. In addition, 8 in every 10 Gen Z (81 percent) and millennial (88 percent) respondents feel that their employers are providing sufficient training on the capabilities, benefits and value of GenAI.

Environmental sustainability needs to be addressed at various levels

Climate change is a major concern for Gen Zs and millennials. More than 80 percent of both groups say that they felt anxious about the environment in the past month and feel that governments can push businesses to take climate-positive actions. Simultaneously, both generations are more likely than the global average to urge their employers towards sustainable initiatives. Today, more than 40 percent of respondents are doing thorough research about companies’ environmental impact before accepting a job offer.

Indian millennials and Gen Zs are more aware of the environmental effects of their consumption behaviour and their association with companies. More than 30 percent of Gen Z and millennials have ended or reduced their relationship with an organisation because their products and services affect the environment. Both generations are equally concerned about climate change, with 84 percent of Gen Zs and 90 percent of millennials actively trying to minimise their impact on the environment. Respondents are taking several initiatives, such as avoiding fast fashion, reducing air travel, eating a vegetarian or vegan diet, purchasing an electric vehicle, and paying a premium for sustainable products and services, to reduce environmental impact.

“Both millennials and Gen Zs are increasingly becoming conscious of environmental sustainability and rethinking their personal and professional relationships with brands and organisations. Keeping this consciousness in mind, businesses should incorporate eco-friendly practices into every operation and display their commitment towards environmental sustainability to gain a competitive advantage,” says Deepti.

“Sense of purpose” is key to job satisfaction

Purpose is key to workplace satisfaction and well-being, according to 86 percent of Gen Zs and 96 percent of millennials. These generations are willing to reject assignments and employers based on their ethics or beliefs—more than two-thirds of Gen Zs (69 percent) and millennials (67 percent) have rejected assignments. The same number of Gen Zs (64 percent) and more than half of millennials (57 percent) have rejected employers. Gen Zs and millennials have high expectations from businesses addressing social inequality issues related to—environment protection, inclusive employment opportunities, equal pay, mentorship, educational programmes, etc.

Mixed feelings about “return-to-office” policies

The ideal working arrangement has been a topic of debate since the onset of the pandemic. The past year has seen a continued shift towards more on-site work, with more than two-thirds of respondents returning to work. Employers recently implemented a return-to-office mandate, either bringing people back fully on-site or moving to a hybrid model. These changes have yielded mixed results as both generations are more likely than the global average to prefer the hybrid work model, with Gen Zs more inclined towards remote working. While Gen Zs in India would prefer to see their colleagues with them, they feel that return-to-office policies increased their financial burden (commutation and accommodation costs). However, one of the top two reasons cited by Gen Zs (21 percent) for leaving an organisation, along with a lack of growth opportunities, is not being able to physically interact with their colleagues.

Stress levels remain high despite a dip

Stress levels and mental health continue to be another concern. There are some signs of improvement this year with two-thirds of Gen Zs (64 percent) and more than three-fourths of millennials (76 percent) rating their mental health as good or extremely good. And up to 4 in 10 millennials (40 percent) and Gen Zs (48 percent) say they feel stressed all or most of the time (down from 45 percent and 53 percent in 2023). Apart from work, respondents emphasize their finances and the health and welfare of their family as other top stress drivers.

Employers have made progress in addressing mental health concerns in the workplace. Today, they are openly talking about mental health. More than 8 of 10 millennials (85 percent) feel comfortable openly speaking to their managers about feeling stressed or facing other mental health challenges. More than 7 of 10 Gen Zs (71 percent) and millennials (77 percent) believe that their employers are prioritising mental health at the workplace.

Gen Zs and millennials are confident of improved economic and social outlook

Millennials are feeling more optimistic about the overall economic, financial, and social outlook compared with their global counterparts. This sentiment is boosted by India’s sustained economic growth amid a global slowdown. Two-thirds of millennials (65 percent) and more than half of the Gen Zs (58 percent) expect the country’s economic outlook to improve in the next one year. It is a significantly better situation compared with the previous year, as more Gen Zs (62 percent) and millennials (64 percent) are now confident of their financial situation.

Employers must focus on creating a purpose-driven workplace

Companies must harness the power of purpose, leading to increased employee engagement, a strong sense of belonging, and therefore, high employee retention. Those working with companies with a clear sense of purpose will feel more invested in their role in the organisation and can dedicate more time and energy to their work.

You can view the full report down below: 

 

Source: Social Samosa

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