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Workers Say They Are Better Off Than They Were Two Years Ago in Job Satisfaction, Family Life and Overall Happiness

Last updated:  March 10, 2022


2022-03-10

68% of employees say they have grown closer to family members since the pandemic started  

PROVO, Utah and SEATTLE, March 10, 2022 — Two years since COVID was declared a pandemic, employees say work and family are the areas of life that have shown the most change for the better. Despite the devastation and tragedy many have suffered over the course of the pandemic, remote and flexible work options have brought benefits to families. Sixty-eight percent of employees say they have grown closer to family members over the past two years, and 89% of remote workers with kids say their kids are happier when they are working from home, according to new research from Qualtrics (Nasdaq: XM). See full study results here.  

Even pets have seen life improve. Nearly all (95%) of remote workers with pets say their pets are happier when they are working from home.  

Employees are better off when it comes to work as well, with flexible work, remote work and hybrid work being the most favorable changes. Nearly half (43%) of U.S. employees say their work-life balance is better now than it was pre-pandemic. Employees also report better job satisfaction, career progress, finances and overall happiness.

Area of life Percent who say they are better off than they were two years ago Percent who say they are worse off than they were two years ago
Work-life balance 43% 18%
Job Satisfaction 39% 20%
Career Progress 36% 17%
Finances 38% 27%
Mental Health 31% 31%
Family Life 40% 19%
Overall Happiness 41% 24%
 

Mental health, however, is the one area where employees are split — 31% say they are better off and 31% say they are worse off than they were two years ago.  

As employee needs and priorities have shifted during the pandemic, nearly half (47%) have changed jobs, including 15% who changed industries in the past two years. The top reasons employees gave for seeking a new job were: they wanted a more flexible schedule (16%), they wanted more growth opportunities (14%) and they wanted to work remotely (11.5%). All of these reasons beat out higher pay (10.5%).  

“It’s clear that the past two years have brought lasting change to work-life for American employees,“ said head of employee experience advisory services at Qualtrics, Benjamin Granger, Ph.D. “As we enter a new phase of COVID, where measures like remote work and social distancing may become optional, it’s time for us to take stock of what we’ve learned so we can be intentional about what changes from the pandemic are worth keeping and which should be discarded. It’s critical that leaders don’t forget how flexibility and new ways of working have made life better for employees.”  

More key findings:

  • 93% of employees say the pandemic has forever changed the way we work
  • The pandemic words employees are most eager to erase from their vocabulary are:
    • 1) The new normal 2) Quarantine 3) Burnout 4) Social distance 5) The Great Resignation
  • Most workers are pleased with the way their company has handled the pandemic — 83% give an above average grade (A or B on a grading scale)
  • 69% of employees agree they have been more productive at work during the pandemic

Methodology:  

This study was fielded between Feb. 18 and Feb. 22, 2022. Respondents were selected from a randomized panel and considered eligible if they live in the United States, are at least 18 years of age and are employed full-time. The total number of respondents was 1,050. Respondents who did not pass quality standards were removed. See full results here: qualtrics.com/blog/work-life-balance-improvement/  

About Qualtrics  

Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the Experience Management (XM) category, is changing the way organizations manage and improve the four core experiences of business—customer, employee, product and brand. Over 16,750 organizations around the world use Qualtrics to listen, understand and take action on experience data (X-data™)—the beliefs, emotions and intentions that tell you why things are happening, and what to do about it. The Qualtrics XM Platform™ is a system of action that helps businesses attract customers who stay longer and buy more, engage employees who build a positive culture, develop breakthrough products people love and build a brand people are passionate about. To learn more, please visit qualtrics.com.