New data from Momentive-Tableau collaboration shows Americans split over mask wearing in the workplace

Explore data on how Americans are thinking about work in a changed America in the latest mask-wearing sentiment dashboard from Momentive and Tableau.

As workplaces across the country welcome back employees and customers, it appears people are still divided on if and how long they’ll be wearing face masks. 

Just 53% of workers say they are “very likely” to wear a mask while at their workplace now, down from 78% in early February.  Through the data we can see that masking at work rose steadily beginning last summer, peaked in mid-December, and since then has tapered off to pre-June 2020 levels.

The data comes from Tableau and Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey) through Pathway to a New Normal, a new year-long public opinion research initiative that will explore through data how people are thinking about work in a changed America. 


The newest addition to the series, the mask-wearing sentiment dashboard—which includes data from 1,840,250 respondents—makes it easy to see what behaviors have changed over time as vaccinations have rolled out and restrictions are lifted. This data was collected in partnership with Outbreaks Near Me, a collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School to help citizens and public health agencies identify current and potential hotspots for COVID-19 and the annual influenza.

“Through real-time data and visualizations we have a great opportunity to understand the impact of different behaviors and provide an insight into how we are responding to the pandemic. This mask wearing dashboard is a great example of that, highlighting the effectiveness of the science-driven policy about the much lower risk of disease spread outdoors v. indoors,” said John Brownstein, Chief Innovation Officer and Infectious Disease Epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital.

“You can see in the data on how people think about wearing masks outdoors where the disease is far less likely to spread—be it in the workplace in jobs like construction, or just getting our for exercise—and how a majority still intend to wear their masks in indoor workplaces like hospitals, schools, offices and retail and grocery stores,” Brownstein said.

“There is still some concern, though, that a significant number of unvaccinated people are also saying they will not wear masks even indoors, increasing the likelihood of transmission in these places and prolonging the pandemic.”

“All of our lives have been forever changed”

Tableau-Momentive Pathway to the New Normal surveys will gather opinions about how people think about their own careers, the industries and companies they work in, and how they view the future of corporate America through their own unique perspective. The initiative complements Tableau’s efforts to empower people with new data resources for exploring and understanding both the pandemic through the COVID-19 Data Hub and the impact of communities of color across the country through the Racial Equity Data Hub.  

“All of our lives have been forever changed,” said Jon Cohen, chief research officer at Momentive. “This research project aims at shining a light on how people are experiencing and processing the aftermath of the pandemic. The ongoing insights will reveal potential risks ahead as well as the key trends that business, government, and community leaders need to know as they work to shape what’s next.”

Every person experienced life, work, and uncertainty over the past 18 months in their own unique way, and at the same time there are insights from the aggregate of these experiences that are incredibly valuable to understand as companies, workers, governments, and communities chart their future.

The insight series will explore how the events of 2020 catalyzed change in how people think about issues of race, equity, health and well-being in their workplaces and communities. Much of the forthcoming data will look at how the conversations about the American workplace have been shaped, reshaped and continue to evolve from the COVID-19 crisis, as well as by the period of introspection, dialogue, and companies’ public commitments to change in the summer of protests that followed the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others.

Bringing more public opinion data to life

This initiative extends the successful collaboration between Tableau and Momentive in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election. Over the last three months of the presidential election campaign, the results of over one million surveys gathered by Momentive were brought to life through Tableau, allowing anyone to dive deep into the opinions, concerns, and intentions of Americans across a spectrum of socio-economic demographics. 

Laura Wronski, research science manager for Momentive, sees the value of visualizing this data as a way of spotting the interesting insights “that might otherwise have been missed,” especially for people who aren’t used to reading survey data.  
“These dashboards let people at all skill levels to explore the data and uncover critical information that could be a game-changer for their organization.”

Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey) is a leader in agile experience management, delivering powerful, purpose-built solutions that bring together the best parts of humanity and technology to redefine AI.

To check out this most recent dashboard and others, check out the Pathway to the New Normal, and follow Tableau on social media for updates on the initiative over the course of the next year.