Young Workers Report Feeling Lonely and Stressed

By Alana Smart / July 2, 2024 / Blog ,

Young Workers Report Feeling Lonely and Stressed

According to a recent survey, nearly half of workers aged 18-25 report feeling lonely and stressed at work. This finding highlights a significant and urgent challenge younger employees face in today’s evolving workplace. Here’s what employers need to know and do to support their younger workforce effectively.

 The Harris Poll conducted The 2024 Work in America survey on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA). More than 2,000 working U.S. adults participated. The survey also found that younger workers feel their ideas are undervalued and prefer working with colleagues of similar age. These findings highlight the challenges younger employees face in today’s evolving workplace. 

Key Findings

  • Loneliness and Stress: Nearly half of workers aged 18-25 feel lonely (45%) and stressed (48%) at work. This is significantly higher than the figures for older age groups.
  • Feeling Undervalued: 48% of younger workers believe their ideas are not valued by colleagues of different ages, compared to 32% overall.
  • Preference for Age Peers: Younger workers, especially those aged 18-25 and 26-43, prefer working with colleagues of a similar age.
  • Self-Consciousness and Job Security: 43% of younger employees feel self-conscious about their age, and a quarter worry about job security.

“With more workers retiring later in life, the workplace demographics are changing. Younger workers seem to be having the hardest time adjusting. At the same time, with increased remote work and the use of new technologies like AI, younger and older workers alike are facing a paradigm shift around where and how we work,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, APA’s chief executive officer, in a press release. “To remain competitive, employers should invest in strategies that support their workers’ well-being and mental health to help them navigate these new norms and evolving professional landscape.”

Importance of Psychological Safety

Psychological safety is the shared belief that it is safe to speak up and take risks in the workplace without fear of blame or criticism. Employees who feel psychologically safe are more likely to admit mistakes, seek help and feedback, trust in their value to the team, and be their authentic selves. This sense of safety leads to higher job satisfaction and well-being. The survey finds that workers who feel psychologically safe report a stronger sense of belonging (95%) and are more comfortable being themselves (95%). These employees are significantly less likely to perceive their workplace as toxic.

Inclusivity and Respect

Employers should ensure that all employees, including those with disabilities, feel respected and valued. The survey indicates that workers with disabilities often experience lower levels of psychological safety and greater job insecurity. Providing necessary accommodations and equal opportunities is essential.

The APA’s 2024 Work in America survey underscores the importance of addressing younger workers’ emotional and psychological needs to cultivate a supportive and productive work environment. By fostering psychological safety, promoting inclusivity, and proactively addressing burnout, employers can enhance the well-being and satisfaction of their workforce, ensuring long-term organizational success.



Ready to elevate your workforce’s health? Partner with NMS Health for your occupational health screenings. With NMS Health, you are not just identifying and preventing future illness; you’re investing in a safer, healthier future for your team. Get started today!

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