Nearly Two-Thirds of Canadians Are Comfortable With Less Social Interaction Than Pre-pandemic

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LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ reveals 66 per cent of Canadians comfortable with reduced socializing have a better mental health score than the national average

LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital and in-person total wellbeing solutions, released its monthly Mental Health Index™ that showed 66 per cent of Canadians are comfortable with less social interaction than pre-pandemic and that this group has a mental health score two points higher than the national average. Additionally, nearly half of Canadians reported they are, or possibly are, rethinking their career goals in terms of both focus and longevity as a result of the pandemic.

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

  • The Mental Health Index™ score for February 2022 is -10.6, an almost one-point improvement from January’s score of -11.3.

Prolonged impacts of the pandemic are driving working Canadians to consider career changes, including retiring and retraining

  • Thirty per cent of Canadians have altered career goals due to the pandemic, with workers ages 40 and younger more likely to report their goals have changed.
  • Eleven per cent of Canadians will make a career change. This group has a mental health score of -21.3, more than 10 points below the national average.
  • Thirty per cent are considering retraining for a different career, while 24 per cent are considering resigning and moving to a different role.
  • Twenty-one per cent are considering retiring and this group has the highest mental health score.
  • Managers are 55 per cent more likely than non-managers to report they will be making a career change because of the pandemic.

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Comments from president and chief executive officer, Stephen Liptrap

“Canadians continue to face many challenges, both within and outside of the workplace as a result of the pandemic, across the full physical, mental, financial and social wellbeing spectrum. The decisions being made are largely due to people seeking opportunities to improve their overall wellbeing. As organizations throughout Canada navigate this complex time, it is critical that employee wellbeing remains top of mind in retention and as a driver of longer business success.”

Comments from global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing, Paula Allen

“It is clear that people are comfortable interacting and seeing other individuals less, and even though less interaction is what we have become used to, it does not mean that it is best in the long term. There was a trend toward increased isolation before the pandemic, which has now been exacerbated. This is yet another risk factor for mental health that both individuals and employers need to be concerned about. It might take some time, but we need to start connecting to others more than we are now.”

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