HR Management & Compliance

No Lack of Stress Among Millennials

Burnout, a syndrome stemming from workplace stress, has, at one time or another, affected virtually the entire U.S. workforce. Lhasa OMS recently did a study of 2,010 young Americans, with the goal of learning more about their stress levels at work. The findings showed that 4 out of 5 Millennials were stressed several times per week, with 2 out of 5 experiencing stress every day.

Source: G-Stock Studio / shutterstock

If you are not familiar with burnout, which received an official classification from the WHO recently, check out this article. Additionally, you can read the full results of the study here.

Why Study Millennial Stress

According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials make up at least 35% of the workforce. They are therefore the largest working generation in the United States. While engagement in the workforce has reached record levels—34%, according to Gallup—that still leaves the overwhelming majority of workers disengaged. You do not have to look far to see the extreme costs of disengagement in the workplace.

If most of the workforce is disengaged, and the largest portion of the workforce is Millennials, then Millennial disengagement hits organizations the hardest.

What’s Stressing Them Out?

Millennials have more stressful lives than previous generations, at least according to the Millennials—the study shows that 78% felt that way. When asked what made life more stressful for them in particular, they answered according to the following table:

More debt 78%
The job market is more competitive 76%
More expensive health care 70%
Future of the nation 64%
Political climate 63%
Future of the planet 61%
Technology or media overload 56%
Social pressure online 55%
Dating is harder 31%
Risk of identity theft 29%
Online bullying 26%


Respondents were also asked what caused them the most stress (not just what they felt was unique about their stress compared with other generations). The top 5 reasons are as follows:

Finances 74%
Work/career pressure 65%
Work/life balance 56%
Mental health 55%
Relationships with family or friends 44%


Significantly, at least 2 of the top 5 stressors were work-related (3 if you count finances). In fact, 91% of respondents said they would feel less stressed if they had a higher income.

The Effects of Stress

Many of the behavioral and physical side effects of stress reported by respondents are not unique to Millennials. However, the Millennials who took the survey ranked their behavioral and physical side effects, as can be seen in these charts.

Behavioral Side Effects

Social withdrawal 54%
Poor communication 37%
Changes in diet 36%
Drug or alcohol misuse 21%
Missing commitments 18%


Physical Side Effects

Fatigue 64%
Insomnia 53%
Physical burnout 49%
Restlessness 48%
Increased headaches 40%


More Resources

While employers can’t be expected to address stress outside of the workplace, there are many things that they can do to manage stress in the workplace. Here are a few articles that offer helpful suggestions: