What is the unexpected impact of working-from-home? This question generates initial thoughts of being able to have a great work-life balance.
Much has been written about the good things that remote work provides. As well, there are many articles about how to stay productive and avoid distractions in the work-from-home environment.
But the impact on the mental health of remote workers has received minimal attention.
There are many benefits of remote work and these include work schedule flexibility, improved productivity and time saved on the commute, among others.
But, while we cannot deny the benefits of remote work, the isolation and lack of social interaction can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health and well-being.
Although the concept of working-from-home sounds great, there are some unanticipated challenges that are likely to have some unexpected impacts.
We want to explore some of these here. Also, we will aim to provide some effective strategies for coping with these challenges.
What is the unexpected impact of working-from-home? It may be the sense of isolation and loneliness that occurs with a lack of social interaction with fellow workers. Being deprived of the office camaraderie previously experienced can have a detrimental impact on your mental health. Then there is the aspect of maintaining motivation so that the work gets done. This may be something you have not thought about as you are enticed by the concept of working remotely, ditching the commute and having more flexibility in your schedule.
The Impact Of Remote Work On Mental Health
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that remote work, or working-from-home, has had a detrimental effect on the mental health of many such workers. This article is just one on the subject.
Being based at home, with a lack of interaction with fellow workers, has caused many people to feel isolated and lonely. Such feelings can often lead to a lack of well-being and depression.
The stress and anxiety caused by isolation and loneliness can also be a huge problem for those working-from-home. And, as well, the effect of being constantly “online” at the computer can create other tensions.
The inability to define work-life boundaries can produce added pressures.
Thus, despite the many benefits of working-from-home, these issues can surface in such a way that they are detrimental to a person’s mental health.
Coping Strategies For Remote Workers.
Create a routine for work. Make sure you never start work in your PJs or in the bedroom. Get up, get dressed and get going as you would if you had to go to the office.
Set aside the times for work and the times for personal and other things. And stick to it.
Have a dedicated space in your home from which you will work. This will help you to establish the boundaries you need between your personal life and your work life.
Establish times in your calendar to catch up with colleagues and friends. Even if this means traveling to the office to interact with colleagues on a regular basis.
Interaction with others is vital for your well-being.
You should take care of yourself by eating healthily, exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep.
When you feel that stress mounting, be sure to get up from your computer, walk away and do something else for a while.
If you need to wind down, find some activity that you love (golf, tennis, model trains, dolls houses, movies, etc.) and do it. Also, don’t forget to connect with your Church, Mosque, Synagogue, or whatever your faith.
These are just some of the strategies we would recommend that will help you cope and improve your mental health.
8 Tips For Staying Motivated And Productive.
- Create a dedicated work space: There are many distractions in the home environment. You should set up a dedicated home office or work space so that you can focus on your tasks and be productive.
- Get dressed: It is tempting to stay in your pajamas and get started on work. But, you should get up, take a shower and get dressed in the same way as you would if you had to commute to the office. This will help you start the day right.
- Set some goals: Set yourself small, short-term goals and make yourself accountable. Divide your huge long-term goals into shorter, easy-to-manage tasks.
- Make a “to-do” List every day: Make yourself a list of tasks that you must complete each day/week/month. Complete them. Here is a great online tool to help you with this. It is free to use.
- Avoid scanning social media: Your productivity will suffer if you spend too much time browsing social media. If you must, set a specific time of day to do this and do not deviate from it.
- Communicate with colleagues: You will feel less isolated if you communicate regularly with other members of the team, who may also be working-from home. Use the phone or video-conference with them.
- Be positive: Find all the good things about working-from-home and choose positivity rather than negativity in your daily attitude. Here is an article about the power of positive thinking and choosing the right attitude.
- Celebrate the wins: When you’ve completed important tasks or aspects of your work, celebrate and reward yourself. It will help to keep you motivated and productive.
Final Thoughts On What Is The Unexpected Impact Of Working-From-Home?
If you are one of the work-from-home, remote workers, you may need to take some positive steps to ensure that your mental health is not impacted negatively.
As we have talked about in this article, there a number of things you can do to make sure that your mind and body remain healthy and in tip-top condition.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution.
You can begin by incorporating these 8 tips into your new work-from-home lifestyle:
- Create a dedicated workspace.
- Get up and dressed.
- Set some short-term goals.
- Make a “to-do” list every day.
- Avoid scanning social media.
- Communicate regularly with colleagues.
- Maintain positivity in your daily work.
- Celebrate the wins and reward yourself.
So, although some people may be struggling with the negative impact that remote work has on mental health, there is no need for you to do so.
You can enjoy your work-from-home environment, and the benefits it provides, by including these tips into your routine.
Have fun working-from-home.
And, if you’d like to learn about working online from home, click on the image below for more information.