Gen Z workforce more at risk of burnout than others, according to Microsoft findings

In its first annual Work Trend Index, Microsoft revealed that the Gen Z (18 to 25 years old) workforce is more at risk than other age groups and needs to be re-energised.

According to this study, 60 per cent of the Gen Z workforce globally said that they are merely surviving or flat-out struggling. In Singapore, that percentage is an alarming 70 per cent.

In addition, 56 per cent of Gen Z said they are likely to consider leaving their employers this year. This is more than the overall 49 per cent of the Singapore who said the same thing.

The Microsoft Work Trend Index outlines findings from a study of 30,000 people in 31 countries. Out of which, 1,002 are from Singapore. It also includes perspectives from experts who studied collaboration, social capital and space design at work for decades.

Microsoft said the findings were based on a deep analysis of trillions of productivity and labour data points across Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn.

Ms Joanna Lim, Microsoft’s modern work and security business group lead, said: “Gen Z needs to feel empowered… and they need a platform where they can express freely.”

But in this current Covid-19 situation whereby work from home is default, many Gen Zs feel they lack the platform and thus feel they are struggling.

However, more than 82 per cent of the workforce in Singapore prefers flexible remote work options to stay, according to this study. Yet, two-thirds of the workers are also craving for more in-person time with their colleagues.

“In Singapore, we recently moved from being allowed to return to the workplace, back to where working from home is once again our default. As businesses adapt to the disruptive change, business leaders must recognise that long-held assumptions no longer hold true with their employees,” said Ms Lim.

For instance, the findings also found that 51 per cent of leaders in Singapore say they are thriving right now. But only 27 per cent of employees without decision making power say the same. In other words, business leaders are out of touch with their workforce.

“Business leaders now need to dig deeper to think about shaping their culture to attract and retain talent, foster collaboration and innovation, and deliver on the extreme flexibility that employees need,” said Ms Lim.

There are tools, such as Workplace Analytics of Microsoft Viva Insights, that can give business leaders anonymised insights into team and organisational well-being for them to make better decisions.