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Pandemic fallout: One in four Canadians considering a career change

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a host of changes to our everyday lives, both personal and professional, over the last 10 months. That will likely continue for the foreseeable future, and that has many Canadians considering even more change.

Morneau Shepell, a leading provider of mental health and digital mental health services, released its monthly Mental Health Index report December 9. Not surprisingly, the report has shown a consistent negative mental health score amongst Canadians for eight consecutive months and the latest findings show that worsening psychological health, an increase in employment dissatisfaction and extended mental strain continue to impact the mental wellbeing of Canadians.

The pandemic has created both challenges and opportunities for Canadians, leading many to consider the future and, in some cases, a change in employment. Overall, 24% of respondents to the latest Morneau Shepell survey indicated that the pandemic has led them to consider a career change. Additionally, 20% said they are undecided, suggesting that a greater proportion of workers may be at risk of turnover.

“We’re at a pivotal point in navigating the pandemic,” Stephen Liptrap, Morneau Shepell president and CEO, said in a press release. “On one hand, the recent news about potentially life-saving vaccines being administered in the first half of next year should bring Canadians some encouragement. On the other hand, we are also approaching some of the most difficult months of the year for many Canadians as we approach the holidays and winter months.

“Information overload will continue to be an issue in the coming months,” he said. “Employers cannot assume that all employees are feeling positive about the new pandemic-related developments and must continue to check in on their wellbeing to maintain a productive workforce.”

Overall, most survey respondents have been satisfied with how their employer has handled the pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic, almost one in five (18%) indicated that their view of their employer worsened, while 12% said it became more positive. However, the majority of employees (72%) said they believe that their employers are handling health and safety well, while only 7% believe it has been handled poorly. Further, 63% of employees believe their employer is handling technology well, 56% believe their employer is handling flexible work hours well and 50% believe work-from-home policies have been handled well.

“Employers have been faced with many challenges throughout the pandemic, with one of the most significant being their ability to sustain the relationship with employees as virtual communication replaces in-person conversations,” said Paula Allen, global leader, research and total wellbeing at Morneau Shepell. 

“Beyond the perception of how employers are handling the pandemic, we’re also seeing that some employees are viewing their employer more negatively than before the pandemic,” she said. “This demonstrates that maintaining the status quo is not enough and employers need to take a proactive effort to prioritize communication and put the needs and wellbeing of employees first in everything they do.”


Published on Dec. 15, 2020.