Taking the pulse: Work, wellness, finances and more

What is the employee mindset as we navigate today’s dynamic economic, political, work, health and family situations? And, what are employers doing to address the shifting landscape? We are continuing to track people’s attitudes and actions, and wanted to share some of our latest insights with you.


  • Optimism is on the rise, driven both by the vaccine rollout and the start of the new presidential administration.
  • Right after health, finances are the top personal concern Americans are confronting.
  • Politics divide Americans on many fronts, but there is wide agreement that all people should have equal access and opportunities. Slightly more Americans expect or would like to see companies promote diversity, inclusion, equality and advocacy.

Financial wellness

  • Most Americans say finances are extremely or very important, with half saying they feel good about their finances, a third feeling so-so and the rest not feeling good. 2 in 5 say finances are a top concern confronting them personally in 2021.
  • Gen Z, millennials and Gen X do not feel as good as boomers and seniors about their finances.
  • In social media channels, 23% of health and wellness conversations mention finances, and 82% of those mentions are about stress and anxiety.*


  • Younger generations, women, urban residents and people of color have been more likely to be affected by loss of jobs, hours or income in 2021.
  • A quarter of Americans say employment is a concern confronting them personally in 2021. Most working Americans say their job is important, but only half feel good about their job and working conditions. For some, work is a cause of anxiety and frustration.
  • While half expect the job situation to remain the same in the near future, many are optimistic that it will improve, especially among those groups hit the hardest so far.

* Ipsos’s industry-leading social listening platform, Synthesio, searched social media mentions across core social networks like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, as well as a wide variety of forums.

Source: Bank of America Navigator, Issue #2 (Fielded: 1/27/21–2/03/21). Surveys conducted among general consumers (clients and prospective clients). As online panels are sourced (Bank of America Customer Advisory Panel and third-party research panels), certain populations will not be represented (i.e., consumers who are not online, unbanked consumers, etc.).

How trends are influencing workplace strategies

So, what do these trends mean for the workplace? Employers are keeping a close eye on employee engagement and well-being and are using their observations, survey data and learnings from the past year to rethink operational strategies and communications.

  • 95% of employers plan to make changes to workplace policies and practices.
  • 40% plan to implement new ways of working.
  • 37% will use new technology and collaboration tools to meet their goals.
  • 74% plan to use surveys to gauge employee interest in benefits and programs.

Source: Employee Benefit News, March 8, 2021.