Is Work From Home good for your mental health?

While the growing nuisances this year no doubt exist for many, some have found a break in the form of working from home, and this could provide a glimpse of what a healthier job and lifestyle might look like in the future. While many employees have been encouraged to move to remote work over the past six months, many felt it was preferable for many reasons.

In fact, according to recent research, most people agree that working from home has been fecund for their general well-being, as they still have the option of flexible work hours and locations to develop their mental health.

Mental health and work are interlinked. Work can cause and worsen psychological problems, but it can also be supportive. In particular, flexible work options have much to offer in maintaining mental health in both personal and professional life. Residents in rural or economically weak areas may lack an important element of the human experience: a meaningful, long-term commitment to working life.

An industrial downturn or long periods of high unemployment can have a negative impact on mental health. Telework is especially promising for bringing people back into the labor market in such situations. Here are a few points you must be aware of if you want to make the best of working from home:

Create a functional workspace: Everyone may not be privy to a personal home office, but it’s important to have a secluded, unobtrusive place to work. If possible, separate the work area from the personal space.

Get a good internet speed: A reliable internet connection is a key to a productive and successful work from home strategy. You can consider some of the leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for this purpose, such as Cox.

Cox internet provides economical deals, without the need for a long-term contract. It also has bundle offers that serve a variety of customer needs, and its customer service is available 24/7.

Cut down distractions: If your neighbor’s dog is a nuisance, or if the people upstairs seem to be renovating again, you can invest in some good noise-canceling headsets. Alternatively, if your children are home from daycare, set a convenient work time with your manager so that you do not stress about deadlines.

Socialize more: Some people love the idea of working alone, but even the most introverted of us can feel a little claustrophobic after spending weeks alone at home staring at the same task for hours. It can be desolate. Be prepared and try to find time to connect with the outside world, through lunch out with friends or an exercise class, or even walks through the park every day!

Work from Home affects health

If you are still unsure about whether or not you can handle working from home, here are a few effects of working from home we would like to point out.

A recent report by two UN agencies mentioned the benefits of working from home. They concluded that there may be a better work-life balance, opportunities for flexible working hours and physical bustle, less traffic and time spent traveling, as well as reductions in air pollution – all of which can improve physical, mental, and social health.

Remote working can also lead to increased productivity and lower operating costs for many organizations.

However, the report warns that without adequate planning, and support for the workers’ health and safety, the impact of telecommuting on employees’ physical, mental and social well-being can be momentous. It can lead to loneliness, exhaustion, depression, domestic violence, eyestrain, increased smoking and alcohol intake, and unhealthy weight gain due to long hours of sitting.

According to WHO, remote working leads to blurring lines between work routines and personal life. This leads to an early set-on of employee burnout, but it also adds to the stress of being unable to juggle household work, kids, and the job deadlines, particularly for single parents or those working more than one job.

There is also the concern that a person who is sick will still be required to work by many companies on the basis that they do not have to come to work.

Employers perspective

While many companies recognize the welfare of remote workers, some have struggled to make the changeover. The main objection was that the documents have not yet been digitized and that the necessary inside rules and procedures for remote work have not yet been finalized.

Concerns about information privacy or potential security breaches may also limit the acceptability of work from home. Many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are also struggling with this concept and several recent studies are proof of that.

It is important to note that some remote working agreements do not require permanent adjustments to terms of employment. Agreements are subject to change based on updated policies and changing business needs. Employers should consider modifying or developing one or more company policies to provide clear guidance on the implementation of this concept.

Furthermore, employers can cultivate the policies to better suit their organizational structure and to ensure that they motivate and retain their employees. As an employer, you can:

  • Check-in with employees routinely.
  • Organize virtual networking events.
  • Encourage them to set work-life boundaries.
  • Help support professional development.
  • Conduct wellness programs.

Organizations that prioritize the mental and physical well-being and career development of their employees post-pandemic will build lasting loyalty.

However, many companies worry that an entire team working remotely can reduce motivation and productivity, but many recent types of research show otherwise. While some are still managing logistics in their “new normal”, some seem to have found it desirable to at least be able to work remotely.

It is too early to tell how this will play out in the future, there is a clear harmony that flexible working hours mean better mental health and that it is a win-win for everyone. Furthermore, the responsibility to make the most out of this new workplace structure lies with both the employer and employees.

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