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Seven in 10 Americans are comfortable with less social interaction than pre-pandemic

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Corporate / United States / ID-CORP / ID-MH

Seven in 10 Americans are comfortable with less social interaction than pre-pandemic

LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ reveals 69 percent of American workers would be fine with reduced socializing

LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital and in-person total wellbeing solutions, today released its monthly Mental Health Index™ that showed 69 percent of Americans are comfortable with less social interaction than pre-pandemic and that this group has a better mental health score than the national average. Additionally, nearly half of Americans are, or possibly are, rethinking their career goals in terms of both focus and longevity as a result of the pandemic.

The Index found that American workers are still under strain with a negative mental health score for the 23rd consecutive month. The score of American workers declined when compared to January, with this month’s score remaining lower than the pre-pandemic mental health benchmark of 0.0.

  • The Mental Health Index™ score for February 2022 is -5.3, declining from January’s score of -4.9.

Prolonged impacts of the pandemic are driving working Americans to consider career changes that may include retraining, not just job changes

  • Twenty-eight percent of Americans have altered career goals due to the pandemic, with workers ages 40 and younger more than twice as likely to report their goals have changed than those 50 and older.
  • Twelve percent of Americans will make a career change. This group has a mental health score of -18.6, more than 13 points below the national average.
  • Twenty-six percent are considering retraining for a different career.
  • Eighteen percent are considering retiring and this group has the highest mental health score.
  • Managers are nearly twice as likely as non-managers to report they will be making a career change because of the pandemic.

Comments from president and chief executive officer, Stephen Liptrap
“Long-term decision-making patterns are shifting as a result of the pandemic as it continues to pose significant uncertainty and changes for working Americans. As many employees consider significant career changes to prioritize their overall wellbeing, it is critical for employers to pay attention to meet employee needs at the individual level to ensure retention.”

Comments from global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, Paula Allen
“With seven in 10 workers comfortable with less social interaction, there will certainly be a shift in interpersonal relationships at work. We had previously seen evidence of this in the Mental Health Index with a worsening of workplace relationships. The thing to be aware of is that relationships don’t always worsen due to bad interactions, they can worsen because of limited good interactions. As we think about reshaping work, this needs to be considered.”

The full American LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ report can be found here. This month, the report includes additional insights on Americans’ ability to be themselves at work and the prevalence of career changes unrelated to the pandemic.

About the Mental Health Index™
The monthly survey by LifeWorks was conducted through an online survey from February 1 and 8, 2022 with 5,000 respondents in the United States. All respondents reside in the United States and were employed within the last six months. The data has been statistically weighted to ensure the regional and gender composition of the sample reflect this population. The Mental Health Index™ is published monthly, beginning April 2020, and compares against benchmark data collected in 2017, 2018, 2019.

About LifeWorks
LifeWorks is a world leader in providing digital and in-person solutions that support the total wellbeing of individuals. We deliver a personalized continuum of care that helps our clients improve the lives of their people and by doing so, improve their business.


Heather MacDonald

Jennifer Farr
Kaiser & Partners

Source: LifeWorks