Pinoy millennials are anxious and stressed about the welfare of their family amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new Deloitte survey released locally by Deloitte Philippines.
The 2020 Deloitte Global Millennial Survey revealed that 57 percent of Filipino millennials feel anxious or stressed all or most of the time, compared to 44 percent of their peers globally.
For this fraction of Filipino millennials, 65 percent reported that concerns about the welfare of their family contribute a lot to their feelings of stress, followed by their physical health (54 percent), their long-term financial future (53 percent), their day-to-day finances (51 percent), and their job/career prospects (47 percent).
The strain is affecting their professional lives. Sixty-six percent of Filipino millennials said they have taken time off work in the past 12 months due to anxiety or stress, compared to just 29 percent of their peers around the world.
But less than half (46 percent) of these Filipino millennials told their employers the real reason they filed for leave, even though three-fourths of all Filipino millennials who were polled agreed that stress is a legitimate reason to take time off work.
“This disconnect suggests that millennials still feel like there’s a stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace, that they still can’t be open about their anxieties in the work setting,” Eric Landicho, Managing Partner & CEO of Deloitte Philippines said.
“If left unaddressed, this could be yet another stressor on workers. Business leaders have to set the tone at the top and make sure their workplaces are safe spaces for discussing mental health issues, especially now that everyone’s lives have been disrupted by the pandemic,” he added.
While legwork for the 2020 Millennial Survey was completed before the outbreak of the coronavirus, in April and May Deloitte conducted a pulse survey of 9,100 millennials in 13 countries to understand how the pandemic has affected young people.
Life under lockdown
Interestingly, the fraction of millennials who reported feeling stressed most or all of the time contracted: from 50 percent pre-pandemic to 42 percent during the health crisis (for the 13 countries included in both the primary survey and the pulse survey).
The general slowdown of life, the opportunity to spend more time with family, and the elimination of commutes for many may have contributed to the slight drop in stress levels.
The Philippines was not included in the pulse survey, but Deloitte Philippines conducted an informal poll of its own millennial workers in June and found a similar trend, with young workers focusing on the positive aspects of their new normal.
Eighty-five percent of the respondents said having the option to work from home, one that has been available to all Deloitte Philippines employees even before the pandemic, has helped relieve stress, while 71 percent said remote working has enabled them to achieve a better work/life balance.
Sixty-two percent said that since working from home during the pandemic, they have felt more able to bring their true selves to work, suggesting an enhanced feeling of comfort and safety.
As with their global peers, the pandemic has inspired Deloitte Philippines’ millennials to look at how they can effect positive change in society: 91 percent said they have already taken immediate action to have a positive impact on their communities, compared to 71 percent globally, while 96 percent said they will take further action to have a positive impact on their communities once restrictions are lifted, compared to 74 percent globally.
Personal values drive consumer decisions
One area where Deloitte Philippines’ millennials are looking to have a positive impact is in their support of local businesses: Nearly all respondents – 99 percent – said they will make an extra effort to buy from smaller, local businesses to help these enterprises stay operational, while 79 percent said they plan to buy more from large businesses that haven taken care of their workforce and have had a positive impact on society during this pandemic.
“As in our previous surveys, we can see that personal values continue to drive millennials’ attitudes when it comes to supporting brands and exercising their purchasing power,” says Landicho.
“This is a clear signal to business leaders that in order to gain traction with this increasingly influential generation, they are going to have to show a sincere commitment to making the world a better place for everyone, to having a purpose beyond merely profit.”
In the Philippines, it appears the private sector is succeeding on that front. Even as millennials’ view of businesses continues to decline globally (51 percent say businesses have a positive impact on society, compared to 55 percent last year), 82 percent of Filipino millennials believe businesses have positively affected wider society, up from 76 percent last year.
Further, Deloitte Philippines’ informal poll showed that 74 percent of millennials have an improved opinion of businesses because of the actions their leaders have taken during the pandemic, and 79 percent say these actions have shown a genuine commitment to society.
“These results reflect the undeniable mobilization of the private sector during this health crisis, which is all the more crucial in an emerging economy such as the Philippines,” Landicho said.
“As the country begins to plan for a post-pandemic normal, the private sector will continue to play an important role in getting us back on track. Let us hope that business leaders carry this goodwill forward and not lose sight of their workers and their communities even as they shift their focus to recovery,” he added.