Nearly Two-thirds of Americans Experience Post-Pandemic Shift in Work Habits

Staff Report

Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

More working Americans (52%) say they are spending more time on devices over the past two years and this additional screen time has taken both a physical and emotional toll on both remote and in-office workers, according to a new 2022 "Work Habits Study' commissioned for National Business Furniture by Material+, formerly Kelton Global.

The study, which surveyed adults ages 18+, examines how the past two years have affected how people are working and how that has impacted their work habits and spaces.

Trouble logging off. Screen time is on the rise for most employed Americans.
37% of working Americans are spending more time in front of the computer with 26% working more hours in the evening.
Increase in pain. Longer periods of sitting and less activity have led to increased physical discomfort for working Americans.
34% surveyed say they've gained weight with 32% snacking more throughout the day.
30% report more frequent backaches or neck and shoulder pain.
26% are experiencing more headaches and sore eyes.
Anxiety on the rise. Over the past two years, there's been a noticeable increase in emotional distress for employed Americans.
40% say they are more depressed and anxious.
30% are experiencing more loneliness.
The good news is Americans are reimagining how and where work happens.

WFH as medicine. Thirty-six percent of working Americans say that working from home is beneficial to their physical and mental health. One benefit may be the ability to take more breaks as 25% of those surveyed are spending more time outside than they did previously.
Taking more breaks. Thirty-six percent are taking more time during their workday to take a walk or do chores. 23% say that playing with a pet is beneficial to their work environment and 16% enjoy sitting outside while they work.
Comfort is key. Thirty-five percent of working Americans surveyed say having a window or natural light supports their health while 16% are investing in office furniture like an ergonomic desk and chair to support their overall health.
"At a time when people are adjusting to new ways of working, it's more important than ever to create an environment that promotes good health, productivity and low-stress," said Tonya Dybdahl, space planner and design department manager for NBF.


Hues you can use. The colors you select for your workspace can have a major impact on your well-being. A sunny color palette can add a little bit of pep to your workday, using inspired yellows, pastels, and bright whites to wash the room in light. Darker colors can create a studious and serious atmosphere that aids in concentration. If you are working in a corporate office and can't paint, add splashes of color through artwork and accessories.
Appeal to all your senses. Oil diffusers are a great way to enhance your space and invigorate workday productivity. Look for bright, vibrant scents like lemon, orange and peppermint to stay energized or alleviate stress with calming scents like lavender.
Organize your environment. Remove excess clutter that crowds your workspace. Investing in a few desk accessories such as paper trays and wall-mounted pin boards can help you stay organized and avoid brain overstimulation which occurs when there's too much 'stuff' distracting us from the task at hand.
Research ergonomic furnishings. Rather than using your dining room chairs and table for work, take time to understand how ergonomic furniture designs can impact your long-term health.