Hiring Gen Zs? They shun ‘toxic’ workplaces – survey

Hiring Gen Zs? They shun ‘toxic’ workplaces – survey

/ 05:34 AM November 09, 2023

Hiring Gen Zs? They shun ‘toxic’ workplaces – survey

A woman goes to a job fair in Marikina City in July 2022. (File photo by LYN RILLON / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Generation Z members, or people born between 1997 and 2012, have a “strong sense of self” that makes mental and emotional well-being a priority for them when they enter the workforce, a wellness survey has shown.

And the youngest workers also tend to have an entrepreneurial mindset, with many of them aspiring to start their own business, rather than keep being an employee, the study found.


These were some of the results of the “Philippine Workplace: The Rise of Filipino Gen Z,” a survey conducted by health maintenance organization PhilCare in August this year involving some 400 individuals from ages 16 to 26 as participants.


Led by Fernando Paragas, also dean of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication, the survey suggested that employers might need to adjust to the nuances that distinguish the “digital savvy and health-conscious” Gen Z workers from their older colleagues, such as millennials (or those born between 1981 and 1996).

The former has a “strong sense of individualism” and is “very conscious of what makes something toxic” to them, Paragas said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

“For the older Asian generation, it is important to [have] collective [beliefs]—heeding what our families or society tell us to do—but [Gen Z], they do things on their own terms, so they have a greater sense of self,” he explained.

READ: For Gen Zs, success can mean different things

READ: More millennials, Gen Zs get side jobs – survey

‘Toxic rituals’

Paragas cited some “toxic rituals” shunned by Gen Z but which earlier generations had come to consider as acceptable, such as devoting a huge chunk of time for work at the expense of personal activities.

The online survey asked the Gen Z respondents to rate their work priorities using a seven-point scale, with the highest score range of 1 to 1.84 to represent “strongly agree.”

It found that health benefits (2.96), such as a health insurance covered by their employer, topped other priorities. This was followed by “ease of travel time to and from the workplace” (3.47), “job satisfaction” (3.57) and monetary benefits (3.58).


Among their work preferences, Gen Z members would rather be an entrepreneur than work for a company not their own, which garnered a mean score of 1.92. This was followed by “flexible work arrangement over fixed hours” (2.26),” “having a number of part-time work rather than one full-time work” (2.72) and “being able to work independently over having to collaborate” (2.73).

“Zoomers are not just looking for a job; they’re seeking a meaningful career that resonates with their personal and professional goals,” said Paragas, adding: “This generation isn’t working to live, they’re working to thrive.”

He said: “I think in the last decade or so, this perspective [on holistic wellness] has gained traction… They have subscribed to it, and it’s already in the psyche of society, whereas for our generation, there was no such conversation.”

For former Health Secretary Enrique Ona, chair of PhilCare’s wellness index, this behavioral trend among the younger population “should be an eye-opener for companies.”

“It would seem the young workers of today put a premium on their overall physical, mental and emotional well-being as soon as they enter the workforce,” Ona said in a separate statement.

Mostly single, unemployed

Coming from all 17 regions in the country, the survey participants were mostly single individuals (71 percent), from ages 18 to 26 years old, and who are living without children (64 percent).

“Being parents is an important marker for Gen Z respondents,” noted Paragas.

Others were living with their partners (15 percent) or were married (10 percent).

Majority of them were also female (63 percent), most of whom identify as heterosexuals (78 percent). The rest were bisexual (10 percent), those who “prefer not to say” (4.3 percent), asexual (2.5 percent), gay (2.3 percent), and lesbian or queer (1 percent each).

The highest educational attainment of most participants was high school or lower (57 percent).

Most respondents were not currently employed (65.5 percent).

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A separate study by the Institute for Labor Studies released in December last year found that skills gap and job mismatch were the main concerns of Gen Z, highlighting “the need for education and training opportunities” for this growing labor workforce. INQ

TAGS: Gen Z, toxic workplaces

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