6 reasons why work from home may not be good for your mental health

While you may think that not going to work every day saves money and time, it is actually stressing your mental health! Read on to learn about the side effects of working from home.
side effects of working from home
Remote work model is not right for your mental health! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Dr Gorav Gupta Published: 2 Aug 2023, 03:45 pm IST
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The Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped our work landscape, resulting in the widespread adoption of remote work. While offering benefits like flexibility and reduced commuting, remote work presents unique challenges. An important consideration is its impact on employees’ mental health. Here we will delve into the side effects of working from home on mental health.

Side effects of working from home

Here are 6 potential negative effects of working from home on your mental health:

1. Isolation and loneliness

Working remotely often entails operating from home or other secluded settings, potentially causing feelings of isolation and loneliness. The absence of in-person interactions and social connections found in traditional offices can be particularly difficult for individuals who thrive in collaborative environments. Extended periods of isolation can heighten the risk of depression, anxiety, and diminished job satisfaction.

loneliness
Loneliness can be very distressing for your mental health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Blurred boundaries

One of the advantages of remote work is the flexibility it offers. However, this flexibility can also blur the boundaries between work and personal life. Without clear separation, employees may find it difficult to switch off from work, leading to longer working hours and increased stress. The lack of distinct boundaries between work and personal life can disrupt work-life balance, contributing to burnout and negatively impacting mental well-being.

Also read: Tips to manage good nutrition while working from home

3. Reduced social support

In traditional office settings, employees often benefit from social support networks that provide a sense of community, camaraderie and opportunities for informal interactions. Remote work can limit these social connections, making it harder for employees to seek and receive emotional support from colleagues. This reduction in social support can diminish overall job satisfaction and exacerbate feelings of isolation and stress.

4. Lack of structure and motivation

Remote work demands a higher degree of self-discipline and self-motivation. Without the external structure provided by a physical workplace and face-to-face supervision, some employees may struggle to establish routines, set goals and maintain productivity. The absence of regular feedback and recognition can also impact motivation levels, leading to feelings of demotivation and decreased job satisfaction.

work from home
Long work from home hours are giving rise to mental health issues. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Communication and collaboration challenges

Remote work heavily relies on virtual communication tools and platforms, which may not always be as effective as face-to-face interactions. Misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and lack of non-verbal cues can hamper communication and collaboration, leading to frustration and increased stress levels. These challenges can create a sense of disconnection and hinder teamwork, potentially impacting employees’ mental well-being.

6. Technostress and digital fatigue

The increased reliance on technology for remote work can contribute to technostress and digital fatigue. Constant exposure to screens, video conferences, and a constant flow of digital notifications can lead to feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, and decreased concentration. The inability to disconnect from work-related technology can impede relaxation and recovery, negatively impacting employees’ mental health.

Tips to nurture mental well-being in remote work

  • Set a daily routine and maintain clear work-life boundaries
  • Foster social connections through virtual channels or in-person gatherings with colleagues
  • Designate a dedicated workspace to enhance focus and minimize distractions
  • Engage in self-care practices like exercise, mindfulness, and screen breaks
  • Explore virtual support networks for connections and shared experiences, such as online communities or professional groups.

Keep these tips in mind when you are noticing a decline in your mental health while working from home!

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About the Author

Dr Gorav Gupta, psychiatrist, and mental health advisor for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and with NITI Aayog. ...Read More

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