Report: Millennials reeling from ‘unrealistic’ workplace demands

Work/life imbalance and data overload can cause younger employees to feel mentally fatigued, a new US survey has found.
By: | June 21, 2019

The idea that millennials love putting in long hours, enduring excessive work demands, and practically living in their workplaces is apparently more myth than reality. It’s probably also hurting their mental health and their employer’s overall productivity, according to a recent survey.

The study, from Mental Health America and Total Brain, found that more than 60% of US millennials (aged 18 to 34) reported that stress from work/life imbalance or unrealistic work demands was causing them to be mentally unproductive at work.

In the 2019 Total Brain survey of 1,008 Americans, other interesting results included:

  • More than one in three 18-34 year-olds say text messages, emails or social media updates contribute to being mentally unproductive at work.
  • More than half of 18-34 years olds describe themselves as severely or moderately mentally fatigued by the current stressors in their lives.

“With work being such an integral part of a person’s life, we can’t ignore the mental-health implications,” says Paul Gionfriddo, MHA’s president and CEO.

“At MHA, we know it’s so important for workplaces to consider physical AND mental health, and these results indicate that more employers need to pay attention to both.”

As noted, the survey comes out just as Mental Health Month is winding down. MHA began marking May as Mental Health Month in 1949.

“In today’s digital working culture, people can’t turn work off as easily as they could in previous generations,” says Louis Gagnon, CEO of Total Brain, a company that offers a mental health and fitness app that, among other things, screens for risk of possible mental conditions.

“While the total impact of this cultural shift is still being studied, our research shows most millennials are definitely being impacted by stress from work/life balance and increasing workplace demands.”

This story was originally published on, HRM Magazine Asia’s sister publication in the US