Generation Z and millennials are less concerned about job security

Amidst the rise of silent churn and with it questions about how business owners or HR and internal communications leaders should respond, iStock, a leading e-commerce platform that provides premium content for small and medium-sized businesses, creatives and students everywhere, has launched to explore uncovers new attitudes influencing how workplace life is viewed in advertising/media and the wider effect this can have on the engagement of younger employees. The data shows that Brazil’s Generation Z and Millennials (44%) are more focused on achieving a better work-life balance than achieving job security (22%).

Findings from iStock’s visual search platform VisualGPS show younger generations are rethinking and redefining “success” to include more of their well-being, with 67% believing a successful life is one where their abilities, physical, mental and emotional needs are met.


This research is consistent with the generational divide effect of “silent opt-out” shown by a recent YouGov poll. This found that 82% of adults aged 65 and over who responded to the survey believed employees should always go the extra mile at work, but only half of younger adults aged 18-29 agreed. Furthermore, this same group of young adults (65%) believes that employees should do exactly what they are paid for – no more, no less. The majority of older people (72%) disagree with the same statement.

The VisualGPS survey also found that, of all generations, Gen Z and Millennials are most eager to achieve success in their work/career (57%) and that financial security (61%) is their top priority. This data suggests that they do not want to completely disconnect from their professional life. Furthermore, 65% believe it is important for them to have a job/career they are passionate about, and 48% feel motivated to succeed financially.

“We noticed that in the period before the pandemic, the classic way to balance work and yourself was to leave the office. Now younger generations are working from home and struggling to define their own work-life balance,” said Dr. Rebecca Swift, Global Director of Creative Insights at iStock. “Our VisualGPS research tells us that the silent quit, most popular among Gen Z and millennials, is how younger workers are reconfiguring old learned ways of working to shape new ways that help them come to terms with their mental health and physique in this new working environment”.

For business owners or HR and internal communications managers who want to promote new policies that demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of younger employees, Dr. Rebecca Swift shared three tips:

Give preference to peace

Generation Z and Millennials take mental health seriously, so images showing what young people are doing to gain peace of mind will resonate with them. Our VisualGPS found that, contrary to popular belief, Generation Z and Millennials (53%) are actually more likely than Baby Boomers (41%) to struggle to keep up with the pace of today’s world. Although all generations agree that people should talk about mental health, younger generations are more likely to solve their problems on their own, with stress management techniques or meditation than young adults.

Wellness looks different for everyone

Younger generations at the head of the “creative class” are twice as likely to learn a new skill or engage in artistic activities such as crafts, painting and photography, rather than just practicing relaxation exercises. This is an opportunity to connect with younger employees, celebrating the ways they prefer to improve their mental health, using images and videos that show them doing activities that cause them to “slow down”.

turn off technology

Our VisualGPS survey found that 7 in 10 Gen X and Baby Boomer consumers say technology helps them feel connected to each other. This situation is reversed for Gen Z and Millennials – almost half of them blame social media for the deterioration of their relationships. This means that younger generations rely less on technology to feel connected to the world, 40% realize that the main benefit of social media is to keep them entertained. Your younger employees are more likely to resonate with visuals that demonstrate the power of technology to help or enhance their daily lives in ways that also allow them to switch their brains off at work. Choose images and videos that strike the right balance between reliance on technology, but remember that sometimes young people also use technology to disconnect.

Photo: Publicity/iStock

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