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New Survey Shows More Workers Choose Mind Over Money



If you’ve ever walked away from a high-paying job that gave you a steady stream of anxiety dreams, headaches and downhearted days, you’re not alone. Nearly two-thirds of employees surveyed in a report by Lincoln Financial Group said they’ve left a job or would like to leave their current job because it harms their mental wellbeing.[1]

And if employers think that giving a raise to long-suffering workers in a toxic workplace will keep them around, they could be in for a big surprise. The same survey found that more than half of respondents would rather work for a company with a less stressful work environment, even if that means they would earn a lower salary.

Mental wellness frequently wins out over wealth

Two out of three employees surveyed said they would choose mental wellbeing benefits at their jobs versus a higher salary, according to a report by Lincoln Financial Group.[2] The same survey found that 55% or workers say their mental wellness has become more important to them during the pandemic.

Work-life balance more important than money

Around 68% of workers in the Lincoln Financial Group survey said they would choose a company with a more flexible work schedule and better hours over a job where they could make more money. And the company’s commitment to mental wellness matters, too.

The report also found that 47% of full-time employees said that a potential employer’s commitment to employees’ mental wellbeing is an important factor during a job search, and 48% said that it is very important for employers to help their employees improve mental wellbeing.

Workers often quit when mental wellness suffers

Roughly 20% of workers from different generations say they left a past role or job because their mental health suffered, according to a Paychex survey about mental health at work.[3] The tolerance level for sticking around at a job that caused negative mental health was lowest for Gen Z workers, 78% of whom quit a past job to save their mental health. And 55% of Millennials surveyed said they’ve also given a toxic workplace the boot for their own mental wellbeing.

The Lincoln Financial Group survey found that 53% of workers left a job because it wasn’t good for their mental wellbeing – and another 10% said they’d like to leave if they could.

Workplace mental health benefits often inadequate

Around 29% of employees surveyed rated their company’s mental health benefits as “poor,” and only 11% considered mental health resources in the workplace “very good,” according to the Paychex survey. And the industry of employment often dictated the quality of workplace mental health benefits, according to the survey.

Employees working in the hotel, food services, and hospitality industry more often rated their company’s mental health resources as poor, followed by wholesale, retail and education industries. Meanwhile, workers in technology, medical and health care, and government and public administration frequently rated their mental health resources at work as very good or excellent.

Work and mental health are linked

Work and mental health are “inextricably tied,” according to a study by Mind Share Partners.[4] Yet 60% of employees surveyed admitted they were afraid to talk about mental health at work, and 52% who braved the conversation with a supervisor, human resources or a coworker about their mental health issues described the discussion as neutral or negative.

Another 60% of respondents across different levels of seniority told surveyors that experiencing symptoms of negative mental health at work “is the norm, not the exception.”


[1]Lincoln Financial Group
[2]Lincoln Financial Group
[4]Mind Share Partners

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