Although many people worked from home before the pandemic, there has been a surge in numbers of people choosing not to return to the office even as restrictions ease. Thanks to the development of ever more efficient digital technology, more and more people are coming to realize that they don’t necessarily need to commute to work in order to make a decent living. It is becoming normal for a large fraction of the workforce to conduct its business from the comfort of home. However, this change in scenery can have an impact on workers’ mental wellbeing.
Can Working from Home be Good for Your Mental Health?
There are some advantages to working from home compared to traveling to an office or other type of workplace each day. This is proven by the sheer quantity of workers who are keen to accept the invitation to work from home rather than return to their pre-pandemic routines. Some of these mental health benefits include the decreased levels of stress that come with forgoing a morning and evening commute, being able to get more sleep each night, and having the freedom to spend more time with family and loved ones.
Why Can Working from Home Have a Negative Impact On Your Mental Health?
Unfortunately, working from home isn’t a purely beneficial lifestyle choice. Some people can find that their emotional wellbeing takes a dive when they stay at home to work. This might be due to the fact that they were not given the option to work from home but were instead requested to do so by their employer. Here are a few other examples of how working from home can have a negative impact on a person’s mental health:
- Feeling isolated and trapped is a common side effect of working from home. For people who enjoy spending time with friends and colleagues, the lonely circumstances can make them feel less motivated. This can even affect those who willingly choose to work from home as a lifestyle preference.
- Working from home as opposed to in a dedicated work environment can cause a person to feel a lack of focus. This can happen even if they have tried to create a suitable workspace in their home. When poor concentration gets in the way of productivity, it can have an impact on a person’s feelings of self-worth.
- Sometimes, a job feels less satisfying when you can’t see the benefit it has for the rest of the world. When working from home, you are less likely to see the results of your efforts and can therefore have less job satisfaction overall.
Why is Good Mental Health Important for Work?
The advantages of a healthy mind are almost infinite, but it can be useful to elaborate upon the specific benefits that good mental health can bring to someone at work. Apart from the obvious fact that better mental health means that an individual is happier and more able to enjoy a meaningful life, it also means that they have more space in their head to come up with ideas and solve problems. These qualities make it easier for a person to contribute at work and feel that their actions have a purpose. From an employer’s point of view, the importance of employee mental wellbeing cannot be overstated. Aside from the vital human element of feeling compassion for colleagues, a mentally healthy workforce is more efficient and capable. If you work from home and find that your mental health is taking a knock, you have probably noticed that the standard of your work is affected too.
What Can You Do?
So, how can you maintain good mental health when working from home? Here are a few tips to help you out.
- Create a Peaceful Work Environment
One of the main benefits that come with working in an office is the fact that it has most likely been specifically designed to make work as smooth as possible. At home, however, you probably created a space more conducive to relaxing than working. Now that you work from home, however, it is time to make a space that is dedicated to focus and work. It’s important to be aware of how you work best. Some people can handle a bit of background noise, while others need everything to be completely silent. Perhaps you find it easier to concentrate in some parts of your home and not others. Figure out what works best for you. This will help you combat the low feelings that often come with occasionally noticing that your quality of work might be declining.
- Change it Up
If you are fed up with working from home, there are ways you can shake up your lifestyle for the better. Perhaps the main culprit that affects your happiness is your job itself, not the fact that you’re working from home. If you enjoy the freedom that creating your own timetable offers, maybe you should consider becoming self-employed or finding a BBA degree online to study at home. You can still enjoy all the advantages of working from home but without the stress of a job that was bringing you down.
- Make Time for Exercise
Seize the opportunity to get out and exercise when you work from home. Even if this means simply unrolling the yoga mat or taking the dog for a walk, it’s more than you might normally get if you were stuck in the office. Exercise has been proven time and time again to significantly boost moods and create an improved mental environment for positivity to grow.
- Have a Consistent Routine
One of the advantages of working somewhere other than your home is the routine it imposes upon your life. For example, if you must arrive at the office before nine in the morning, you will most likely make sure to wake up, get ready, and commute every day so you get to work on time. Even if this feels tiring and unpleasant, the routine of it is, in fact, useful. Create a healthy routine when working from home to keep structure in your day. Being more organized and completing tasks on time is a great way to avoid unnecessary feelings of stress or exhaustion.
- Enjoy a Balanced Diet
Instead of packing a meager lunch or rushing out for an expensive coffee in the afternoon, working from home gives you the opportunity to spend time making healthier dietary decisions. Stock up on healthy food and avoid the temptation to snack all day, even if the kitchen is only a few steps away from your workspace. While humans tend to believe that their minds and bodies are somehow separate entities, it is surprising how effective a good diet can be for improving mood and mental wellbeing.
- Improve Your Concentration
Sometimes, the stress can be orders of magnitude more intense when working from home since you can no longer easily consult your colleagues or boss about a task you are having difficulty with. You may find that the distractions in your home, such as TV, social media, or other members of the household, prevent you from focusing properly on your work. This can understandably lead to stress since you may find yourself forced to rush all your work later in the day. By learning how to concentrate better and avoid distractions, you can prevent this unnecessary stress.
- Stay Connected
One of the major downsides of working from home for many people is the lack of opportunities to socialize. Being able to chat to colleagues or say hello to people on the way to work can drastically reduce the number of other faces you get to see in a day. Humans are social beings, and even the most introverted people still require some time to interact with others. Take the initiative and arrange a group call or lunch date with your coworkers or friends to break up the loneliness that often comes with working from home.
- Practice Discipline
When you know that your colleagues and boss are nearby, it is much easier to be disciplined and complete your work. At home, however, this habit can slip, and you may find yourself enduring extra stress after failing to do any work when you were meant to. Be firm with yourself and practice strong discipline. In the long run, this will help decrease your stress by helping you complete tasks on time.
- Understand More About Your Mind
When you know more about yourself and the way your mind works, it will be easier to take control of negative feelings and continue to lead a productive and meaningful life. Examine your common triggers for anxiety and look for ways to manage them. If you are truly struggling with your mental health as a result of working from home, or for any reason, you should contact a mental health professional who can provide expert advice and help tailored to your personal situation.