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


LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ reveals 71% of Australian workers would be ok with reduced socializing

MELBOURNE, Australia, March 16, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital and total in-person wellness solutions, today released its monthly Mental Health Index™ which showed that 71% of Australians are at comfortable with fewer social interactions than before the pandemic and that this group has a mental health score two points higher than the national average. Additionally, more than half of Australians are, or may be, rethinking their career goals in terms of focus and longevity in the wake of the pandemic.

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

The prolonged impacts of the pandemic are pushing working Australians to consider career changes which may include retraining, not just job changes

  • Thirty-six per cent of Australians have changed their career goals due to the pandemic, with workers aged 40 and under being 65% more likely to say their goals have changed than those aged 50 and over.

  • Fifteen percent of Australians will make a career change. This group has a mental health score of -20.8, more than nine points below the national average.

  • Thirty-one percent plan to retrain for another career.

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

  • Executives are nearly 70% more likely than non-executives to say they will change careers due to the pandemic.

Comments from Vice President and General Manager, Asia-Pacific, Jamie MacLennan
“The many challenges and uncertainties that workers have faced over the past 23 months continue to impact Australians both personally and professionally. It has also significantly changed the way employees view the job. future of their careers. While acknowledging this trend is an important first step for employers, tangible action is needed to ensure that employees feel supported and remain engaged not just to their organizations, but to their fields in general. .”

Commentary from Global Leader and Senior Vice President, Research and Total Wellbeing, Paula Allen
“With isolation, remote working and social distancing becoming the new norm, individuals across Australia have become accustomed to and feel comfortable with reduced social interactions. As organizations prepare for a return in their post-pandemic environment, it would be wise to be aware that previous levels of interaction may not return immediately Managers need to ensure that employees feel connected, whether they are working from home, in the office or in hybrid mode. Individuals should be aware that less social interaction may not be in their best interest, as social experiences are helpful for stress and well-being.”

The full Australian LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ report is available here. This month’s report includes additional information on Australians’ 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 1,000 respondents in Australia. All respondents reside in Australia and have worked for 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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Heather MacDonald

jennifer farr
Kaiser & Partners

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