Jobhop Jobhop's blog : How Does Remote Work Impact Our Mental Health?
As technology continues to evolve, so does the working world.
Remote work has become increasingly popular in recent years, with advancements in technology allowing for the majority of office work to be done from home. Gone are the days of trekking into the office every day, with workers now often able to work from the comfort of their own homes, or even on the go while exploring the world.
However, this change in the way we work also brings with it new impacts on our mental health, both positive and negative. In this article, we explore how remote work can affect us mentally and detail some strategies to keep yourself in good spirits.
No commute-related stress
Without the commute, the stress of daily traffic jams and rush hour chaos are no longer part of our routines. Instead, remote workers can start their day however they want to without needing to get up at the crack of dawn to battle through traffic.
Better work-life balance
Remote work is incredibly beneficial for work-life balance, allowing us to spend more time at home with loved ones and structure our days in a way that fits around other commitments. This means taking breaks as and when needed, and easily attending weekday appointments that may otherwise have been impossible.
While it could be argued that there are plenty of distractions in our homes, many remote workers find it much easier to concentrate. In a traditional office, there would be colleagues chatting, loud phone conversations or even background music. Whereas in our own homes, remote workers can decide on the noise levels that they’re comfortable with and have more freedom to adjust them.
Lack of social interaction
The main difficulty of remote work is usually the lack of social interaction. Working from home can be isolating, especially for those of us who thrive on regular interactions. This could be due to a lack of traditional water cooler-style chats or even face-to-face contact, as video calls aren’t always able to replicate the tone and body language of participants.
The blurred line between home and work
Without the clear separation between work and home life that would traditionally be achieved by commuting to a physical workplace, remote workers may struggle to switch off and relax at the end of the day. The constant availability of your work computer and the temptation to complete tasks outside of regular work hours can quickly lead to burnout if no boundaries are established.
Strategies to maintain good mental health
Encourage social interaction
To compensate for the lack of interaction that comes with remote work, it’s important to maintain a healthy social life. Whether this means socialising with colleagues at virtual or in-person events, or even meeting up with friends outside of work, every bit of contact can be beneficial.
Take regular breaks
Make sure that your life has a healthy balance between work and play. The blurred boundaries can make this tricky, so if you feel yourself getting burnt out, consider taking a mental health day. This is a day off of work that you can use to do things that make you happy and relaxed, such as practising your hobbies or other self-care activities. Having this important recovery time can help to prevent burnout, and leave you feeling refreshed when you return to work.
While there are many benefits to be had from remote work, it’s important not to overlook that the change of lifestyle can also come alongside some challenges to our mental health. Fortunately, by being aware of these issues and developing strategies to address them, all remote workers can thrive in their newfound freedom.