Remote Work and Mental Health

Working remotely presents distinct challenges that differ from working in an office. Adapting as a professional can be demanding, so how do you deal with it?

For most professionals, 2020 was an unprecedented year. Many people graduated at the start of the year, giving them excellent opportunities to advance their careers. All of that changed when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and national lockdowns forced businesses to adopt remote working, effectively transforming homes into workplaces.

While working from home may appear to be a pipe dream at first, the reality for many has proven to be quite different. Working from home created unhealthy habits, harmed people’s mental health, and made it difficult for many young professionals to advance at work.

In this blog will discuss the significance of looking after your well-being while working remotely.

The psychological ramifications of working from home were something for which many people were unprepared. Although many freelancers and employees who previously worked remotely are aware of this, it has just recently come to attention due to the massive increase in remote workers.

The following are some of the most typical issues that remote employees have with their mental health:

  • pressure to put in longer or unaccustomed hours of work
  • having trouble leaving work behind because they can still access it on their computer or laptop
  • being alone because there aren’t any coworkers around to talk to in person
  • isolation brought on by being confined to one’s home during lockdowns
  • Stress brought on by a lack of time management abilities necessary for working from home
  • Depression brought on by a lack of observable career advancement

The final item is especially crucial because depression can have a wide range of effects. Bursts of rage, anxiety, agitation, increased food cravings, or even inexplicable medical issues like headaches and back pain are some of the signs of depression. It’s possible that working remotely has contributed to your sadness if you experience any of these signs when you do so.

Thankfully, your mental health won’t have to suffer if you take the appropriate approach.

Burn Out??

It goes without saying that it’s crucial to look after your mental health when working from home. Lesser known is the fact that burnout is a significant medical problem that frequently affects those who work from home. Up to 82% of professionals who work remotely claim to have burned out at some point while doing so, while 52% report working longer hours than when they were based in the office and 40% report feeling under pressure to perform better and contribute more.

Here are some helpful suggestions for young professionals who work from home to better look after their mental health.

  • Follow a schedule. Although 40% of remote employees see a flexible schedule as one of the top advantages of working from home, it might be harmful to not follow one. A consistent timetable makes it much easier on your mental well-being and guarantees that you only put in the hours that are required of you.
  • Plan periodic breaks. Feeling more at ease at home, can make you forget to take a break. Make sure to arrange breaks sometimes to prevent overworking yourself. Between work sessions, give yourself some time to unwind.
  • Construct a welcoming workplace. You’ll be able to concentrate and unwind better if your workspace is comfortable. For instance, make sure your chair is comfy, that your desk is tidy and has enough space for storage, and that your computer or laptop is set up so that it is comfortable to use.
  • Remove all distractions. Distractions can lengthen your workday and make it difficult to maintain concentration.
  • Coworking spaces are a possibility. Some individuals discover that co-working environments inspire them to be more productive. It’s also a wonderful choice if you struggle to stay focused at home; just be sure to keep in mind the lockdown status in your neighbourhood.
  • Recognize your limitations. Working from home is not a reason to exert more effort than you would usually. To prevent overworking oneself, be sure to know your limits and follow a routine.
  • Literally unplug from your work. If you frequently find yourself staying up late to complete last-minute tasks, it’s critical to disengage from work. Try unplugging by shutting off your laptop and putting your work phone away while ignoring any calls or messages.
  • Don’t forget to interact and converse. Even if you could feel lonely at home, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that you can still interact with others to advance your job and be productive. Utilize messaging apps, video calls, and routine phone calls to stay in touch with co-workers and efficiently interact with top management.

If working remotely strains your mind, it might be challenging to decide what the best course of action is. Everybody has their own difficulties, therefore it’s critical to pinpoint the ones that matter to you the most so you can address them one at a time.

What are the signs of burn out and what can employers do?

Maintaining one’s mental health is not just the duty of the employee. Leaders are also responsible for the mental health of their teams.

According to a FlexJobs poll, 40% of respondents felt burnout connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, 37% of respondents who were employed indicated they were working longer hours than normal since working from home presents challenges and is unfamiliar. It’s critical that, as a manager or employer, you consider your employees’ welfare and look for measures to enhance their ability to work remotely. This can keep them healthy and productive, which will ultimately help your firm grow.

  • Make your mental health a top priority. Too many companies fail to recognize the significance of workplace mental health. Unfortunately, this decreases the likelihood that businesses will pay attention to employees’ mental health now that they work from home. Making mental health a priority rather than an afterthought is crucial because burnout is a serious problem that many professionals experience worldwide. Being proactive in your approach to mental health will result in happier, more productive, and more likely to stay with your firm, staff members.
  • Open up fresh lines of communication. It’s crucial to hear what your staff members have to say, especially if they’re still getting used to remote work and the freedom it might provide. Open up new channels of communication, such instant messaging using tools like Slack, to stay in touch. You can also email your entire team once a week to check in and update them on your projects and expectations. Encourage your workers to contact you through these channels at any time if they have any questions, concerns, or even if they feel lost.
  • Consider each person’s needs. An unusual challenge for corporations is the COVID-19 epidemic. As a result, there will probably be a lot of unusual situations. For instance, parents may need to devote more time to tutoring and test study for their kids at home, or they may require additional assistance with household chores and obligations. As a result, you should always take into account each employee’s particular demands and make reasonable adjustments.

Although taking care of your staff and keeping in mind their mental health can be challenging, especially in times of uncertainty, you can reduce its negative effects on your organization.

It is possible to have a happy attitude, be productive, and advance in your profession with the appropriate strategy. Therefore, finding a balance between your personal needs and your professional obligations is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health, regardless of whether you’re a young professional taking on your first management position or an employee eager to advance their career.

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