How has COVID impacted Australians’ life and career choices?: report

| September 7, 2020

A report looking at the decision-making behaviour of Australians has provided insight into how the COVID-19 crisis has affected lifestyle, career, and other choices.

The Choosi Choices Report surveyed a representative sample of Australians at the peak of the pandemic in March and April 2020.

Not surprisingly, the impact of COVID-19 on decision-making is a standout feature.

Family first

Following the outbreak, many Australians are now prioritising health and family over career, with 27.2% saying COVID-19 had some impact on this decision.

And almost the same proportion (27.3%) said that spending time with their family was now more important than their career.

A sizeable proportion of respondents — 21.7% — stated that COVID-19 had inspired them about starting their own business or pursuing their dreams.

Fake news and faith in the experts

The pandemic has also highlighted the issue of ‘fake news.’ Of those questioned, 69.1% said that conflicting or doubtful information in the media has made it more challenging to decide how to deal with COVID-19 issues.

Only 11.4% of Australians trust COVID-19 advice available from various sources on the internet. But 51.6% of Australians say that they have faith in the advice supplied by medical experts and scientists.

And almost 60% of Australians said that they approved of their government’s handling of the outbreak. Baby boomers (those born between 1946-1964) made up the generation who were most likely to report this positivity, with 78.9% agreeing that the government had made good decisions.

Information overload

On a more general level, the abundance of choice in all aspects of life is making decision-making more difficult for Australians.

The report found that just over 50% of Australians said that having too many choices made them feel more stressed. Additionally, 7 in 10 felt overloaded with information about possible options at decision time.

Making decisions about money is also challenging. According to 51.3% of those surveyed, major financial decisions caused the greatest amount of stress and anxiety for them.

And in terms of decisions relating to careers, there are variations in how different generations experience it. Generation Z (those born in the mid to late 1990s to the early 2010s) said that choosing their career pathway has been the hardest decision of their life so far.

A new blueprint for the future

What we can deduce from these findings is that COVID-19 has had a profound effect on how we make everyday decisions.

Aside from the health crisis, the sheer amount of choice and information to guide decisions has created its own challenges.

Above all, the survey demonstrates the power of a crisis to shift decision-making and attitudes. It has prompted many to reevaluate their lives, from family to career, creating a new blueprint for the future.