News & Events News News in Brief January 2020 Younger generations struggle to connect at work A study of 2,000 office workers conducted by ecommerce site Furniture at Work has found that younger workers are struggling to make friends in the workplace. 36% of Generation Z workers reported that they struggle to make friends in the office, compared with only 26% for the whole workforce. In explanation, a similar percentage of Generation Z workers said that they get social anxieties. 29% of workers also said they don't have the time to maintain friendships at work. The research also pointed to key benefits that workplace friendships provide individuals and the organisation, including promoting mental health, happiness, motivation and productivity. Friendships can also be a major contributor to staff retention, with 38% of workers saying they would stay in a job they didn't like just because of workplace friendships they had there. Collapse in teen employment signals 'death of the Saturday job' According to new research, the number of people of working age (16-64) who have never had a paid job has risen by over 50% since 1998, from 5.4% to 8.2%, despite unemployment reaching its lowest level since 1975 last year. This is almost entirely attributable to the collapse in teenage employment as more younger people focus on further and higher education. A report from the Resolution Foundation has indicated that only 25% of 16-17 year-olds were in any form of paid work between 2017 and 2019 – down from 48% since 1997-1999. Laura Gardiner of the Resolution Foundation commented that "With young people today expected to end their working lives at a later age than previous generations, it's understandable that they want to start their working lives at a later age too. But this lack of work experience can create longer-term problems, particularly if they hit other life milestones like motherhood or ill-health before their careers have got off the ground." UK Professionals at risk of mental breakdown from work According to a survey of 2,000 UK professionals from CV-Library, 42% are currently on the verge of burnout, with over two thirds (68%) listing work as the primary factor. More broadly, workplace stress is attributed as the cause of a wide range of symptoms include having trouble sleeping (45%), feeling exhausted (39%) and suffering from negative thoughts (40%). The number one cause, cited by 31% of respondents, was pressure to meet unrealistic targets (31%) followed closely by excessively long hours (30%) and an excessively high workload (29%). Despite these problems, workers are feeling under pressure not to take much needed time off, with 65% of professionals worrying about letter their team down if they take time off sick and 58% feeling that doing so would be letting down their employer. Lee Biggins, CEO of CV-Library, commented "The stress epidemic is becoming a serious issue in the UK and isn’t set to disappear any time soon. But that’s why employers need to understand how to tackle it and support employees in the workplace."