Stress does not get evenly distributed at work, a new survey of 4,500 people from the Mental Health Foundation has found. Turns out, age makes a significant difference in whether you find the workplace an oasis or a stressful nightmare.
Survey: Millennials more stressed than baby boomers
Twenty-seven percent of millennials said that stress often bothered them at work, compared to the 12% of baby boomers that said the same. Millennials were the group most likely to have stress interfere with their work. About a third of millennials (34%) said that they felt stress made them less productive, while only 19% of their older colleagues felt the same.
Why do millennials feel so stressed out? Increasingly insecure job prospects and overwhelming workloads, MHF believes.
“Millennials are more likely to have insecure contracts, low rates of pay and high entry-level workloads. The pressures they face in today’s employment market are very different to past generations,” MHF’s Richard Grange said.
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Millennials did share one anxiety with their older colleagues — the fear that they could talk to no one at work about it. Across the generations surveyed, only 14% of employees said they were comfortable talking to their manager about their stress.
If we want to break the silence around mental health struggles, it would begin with managers communicating that it is okay to talk about it.
“If everybody from upper management to bottom management engages in a practice where they’re openly talking about their mental health problems, then it sends a message to the entire community [that] it’s OK to talk about these issues,” Theresa Nguyen, vice president of policy and programs at Mental Health America, advises. “The goal is to allow people to feel like they can talk about this earlier instead of waiting ’til it’s a problem.”