Seven in 10 Americans are comfortable with less social interaction than before the pandemic


CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital and in-person total wellness solutions, today released its monthly Mental Health Index™ which showed that 69% of Americans are comfortable with less social interaction than before the pandemic and that this group has a better mental health score above the national average. Additionally, nearly half of Americans are, or may be, rethinking their career goals in terms of focus and longevity in the wake of the pandemic.

The index found that American workers are still under pressure with a negative mental health score for all 23rd consecutive month. US workers’ score declined from January, with this month’s score remaining below the pre-pandemic mental health benchmark of 0.0.

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

The prolonged impacts of the pandemic have American workers considering career changes that may include retraining, not just job changes

  • Twenty-eight percent of Americans have changed their career goals due to the pandemic, with workers 40 and under more than twice as likely to say their goals have changed as 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 plan to retrain for another career.

  • Eighteen percent plan to retire and this group has the highest mental health score.

  • Executives are nearly twice as likely as non-executives to say they will change careers due to the pandemic.

Comments from President and CEO, Stephen Liptrap

“Long-term decision-making patterns are changing due to the pandemic as it continues to pose significant uncertainty and change for American workers. As many employees consider significant career changes to prioritize their overall well-being, it is essential that employers ensure that the needs of employees are met on an individual level to ensure retention.

Commentary from Global Leader and Senior Vice President, Research and Total Wellbeing, Paula Allen

“With seven in 10 workers comfortable with less social interaction, there is sure to be a shift in interpersonal relationships at work. We had already seen evidence of this in the Mental Health Index with deteriorating work relationships. The thing to know is that relationships don’t always get worse because of bad interactions, they can get worse because of limited good interactions. As we think about reshaping work, this needs to be taken into account.

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

About the Mental Health Index™

LifeWorks’ monthly survey was conducted via an online survey from February 1-8, 2022 with 5,000 respondents in the United States. All respondents reside in the United States and have been employed within the past six months. The data was statistically weighted to ensure that the regional and gender composition of the sample reflects this population. The Mental Health Index™ is released monthly, starting in April 2020, and compares to baseline data collected in 2017, 2018, 2019.

About LifeWorks

LifeWorks is a global leader in providing digital and in-person solutions that support the total well-being of people. We provide a personalized continuum of care that helps our clients improve the lives of their employees and, in doing so, improve their business.


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