Millennials – A disrupted and disillusioned generation

Deloitte Global’s eighth annual Millennial Survey found that, in the face of continuous technological and societal disruption, millennials and Gen Zs are disillusioned with traditional institutions, skeptical of business’s motives and pessimistic about economic and social progress. Despite global economic expansion and opportunity, the younger generations are wary about the world and their place in it. But they remain hopeful and lean on their values as both consumers and employees.

Each year, the consulting firm Deloitte does a worldwide study amongst millennials, with the current edition polling 316.425 people from 42 countries born between the years 1983 and 1994, including 300 Austrians. To sum it up, millennials are less optimistic about their future and increasingly long for more security and stability. Classic life goals like building a house or starting a family are partially giving way to environmentalism and other social values. They also extend their beliefs toward companies, expecting good governance, sustainability and social responsibility. In their leisure time, millennials are beginning to turn away from social media, spend less time in front of their screens.

Austrians are very pessimistic

Results differ from country to country. Austrian millennials, for instance, don’t believe that the economic, social and political situation will improve in the next year. According to Anna Nowshad, director at Deloitte Austria, some of their main concerns are climate change, political instability, terrorism and increased nationalism. However, they believe that universities, rather than the government, will to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. Furthermore, they generally doubt that businesses have a positive impact on society.

The Future in Work and Social Media

Millennials choose their employers according to their own values, which also affect their purchasing habits. So if companies want to attract the brightest talents from this generation, they’ll have to take social responsibility seriously. According to the study, freelancing in the so-called gig economy is quite popular, with alternatives to traditional employment constantly on the rise.

The same goes for skepticism towards social media. While quite open towards new methods of work and digitalisation in the labor market, millennials’ private use of technology paints a different picture. More than half of Austrian millennials believe that cutting down on social media consumption would make them healthier and happier. In fact, the global figures confirm that most millennials would prefer to reduce their use of social media to zero –  the first digital natives are yearning for a digital detox in their leisure time. It really is a generation full of contradictions.

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