Nearly half of Millennials and Generation Z members are living pay cheque to pay cheque, according to a recent survey.
The survey suggests that in many key areas, New Zealanders are feeling worse off than their counterparts in other countries.
The Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z & Millennial Survey revealed the concerns of both generations in New Zealand and globally in a snapshot of more than 23,000 people in 46 countries.
It found 41 per cent of Kiwi Gen Zers reported living pay cheque to pay cheque compared with 47 per cent of Millennials.
Furthermore, four in 10 Gen Z members and about a quarter of Millennials in New Zealand said they worked a part-time or full-time side job to make ends meet.
When it comes to their biggest concerns, the cost of living ranked top for both generations.
More than half of New Zealand Millennials (53 per cent) said the cost of living was their greatest concern, compared with 38 per cent of Gen Z.
While the cost of living was also the biggest concern globally for both generations, only 36 per cent of Millennials worldwide said this was the case, and 29 per cent of Gen Z.
"It's not a great surprise that the cost of living came out as the top personal concern," said Deloitte NZ human capital partner Lauren Foster. "The reality facing Kiwi Gen Zs and Millennials is that house prices are averaging over $1 million, fuel prices are nearly three times the cost of other countries and many are needing to take on second jobs to help ease their financial pressures."
According to the survey, both New Zealand Gen Z members and Millennials feel less financially secure than the global trend.
Asked to strongly/tend to agree, 37 per cent of Kiwi Gen Zers and 43 per cent of Millennials said they feel financially secure, compared with 40 per cent and 46 per cent globally.
Fewer than half the New Zealand respondents - 42 per cent of Gen Z and 43 per cent of Millennials - felt confident they would be able to retire with financial comfort.
The future of work
The majority of Gen Zs (75 per cent) and Millennials (77 per cent) said they preferred hybrid work or working remotely. Both generations cited "helps me save money", "positively impacts my mental health" and "frees up time to do other things that I care about" as the three biggest impacts of remote work.
But the Great Resignation reared its head in the survey. It found that just 21 per cent of Kiwi Gen Z members said they would stay in their current job beyond five years (up from 18 per cent in 2021), while 40 per cent said they would leave within two years.
Millennials were just as likely to leave their jobs beyond five years (27 per cent), while 29 per cent said they would leave within two years.
Pay was the biggest factor for both generations when it came to reasons for leaving their job, while having a good work/life balance was the top reason for choosing to work for a particular organisation.
Last week, professor of human resource management at AUT Jarrod Haar told the Herald the Great Resignation "tidal wave" had hit the shores of New Zealand and still had legs, at least until the end of this year.
Dr Christian Yao, senior lecturer, human resource management at Victoria University of Wellington, said hybrid working and the four-day work week were the future of work.
"Apart from the historically low unemployment rate and increasingly high living costs, which drive people to rethink their jobs, another important factor behind the Great Resignation is that people are expressing dissatisfaction with the current working arrangements and the impact of work on their overall wellbeing," he said.
"The data shows that young generations of workers want jobs that give them better financial security, work/life balance and developmental opportunities.
"I call this a 'sustainable career' when healthy, long-term career goals can be maintained."
Yao said organisations needed to rethink how they design work and engage with their workers in a hybrid environment, and a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work.
"People who currently work in offices want the flexibility to work remotely, but those working in a hybrid mode also expressed dissatisfaction.
"Research shows that the lack of physical contact with others due to remote work can stifle efforts to remain engaged and consequently impede career development and progress.
"Physical isolation from the workplace has been linked to feelings of loneliness, role conflict, and longer hours overall for remote workers."
Yao said the pandemic had made businesses change their work arrangements at a speed not seen before.
"Many companies made passive changes using 'not fit-for-purpose' technologies," he said.
"Zoom meetings and online collaboration were brought in to replace traditional work methods. However, businesses do not necessarily understand or have the time to investigate whether these new approaches fit their strategic goals.
"What you end up with is old wine in a new bottle. It won't work, and indeed it will not be sustainable.
"There is an opportunity to rethink work arrangements, improve efficiency and leave more time for workers to focus on personal commitments and interests."
Stress is high
The survey revealed stress and burnout levels are high for both Kiwi Millennials and Gen Z.
More than half of Gen Z (51 per cent) said they felt stressed all or most of the time, up 6 points from last year's survey, and higher than the global rate of 46 per cent.
Meanwhile, 42 per cent of Millennials said they felt stressed all or most of the time, up 2 points from 2021 and higher than the global rate of 38 per cent.
"These statistics were set amongst underlying fear of not being financially stable in the future, worries about their day-to-day finance and burnout from workload pressure," Foster said. "These results reinforce the need for organisations to focus on integrating wellbeing into the design of work itself."
Almost half of Gen Z (42 per cent) and Millennials (46 per cent) reported having taken time off work because of feelings of stress or anxiety.
A way to go on climate change
Almost all Kiwi Gen Zs (91 per cent) and Millennials (93 per cent) surveyed said they are making efforts to reduce their environmental impact.
But they were less optimistic about the actions large companies are taking in the face of climate change.
Only 13 per cent of Gen Zs and 11 per cent of Millennials said they "strongly agreed" that large companies were making substantive and/or tangible actions to combat climate change.
And just 9 per cent of Gen Zs and 15 per cent of Millennials said they believed the Government was highly committed to combating climate change.
Respondents highlighted providing training for employees on how to make a positive impact on the environment through everyday activities, reducing business travel, providing incentives to make better environmental choices, and banning single-use plastic as areas where organisations should be investing resources to help combat climate change.
"While it's clear Millennials' and Gen Zs' commitment to societal change runs deep, it's also clear they are struggling with some significant pressures and finding a way to balance their personal needs with their advocacy," Foster said.