Those long work-from-home hours are not good for your mental health

As work from home threatens to ruin work-life balance, here are a few things you need to be wary of for the sake of your mental health.
work from home mental health
Work from home led to an array of health issues. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Updated: 8 May 2020, 18:46 pm IST
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One of the biggest myths about working from home is that we have more time on our hands now. Sure, many of us are not spending obscene amounts commuting from home to office, but work hours have changed completely. 

Gone are the days of nine-to-five. With job insecurity rising, work pressure is also mounting. And if a report from (a Bengaluru-based sleep solutions start-up is to be believed), 67% of Indian working professionals are now primed for sleep deprivation. 

This extended work scenario, which the Indian government wants to make the new norm, is also impacting our mental health. Nitika Chopra*, a 32-year-old communications consultant for a Gurugram-based start-up shares: “I’ve always been in a high-pressure environment, but ever since the lockdown I start by day at 9 am and end it after 9 pm. Even on the rare days, when my workload is lighter, I feel burnout.”

virtual burnout
The scary state of affairs of the world combined by constantly working from home can make you burnout. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Virtual burn-out is the harsh reality of working from home
According to Dishaa Desai-psychologist and outreach associate at MPower, Mumbai-our brain is not made for this much virtual interaction. Rather, it is made of in-person communication, with verbal and non-verbal cues. 

Digital communication makes it that much harder for us to pick up those non-verbal cues,” she says. “Moreover, virtual communication over a video call requires much more sustained attention to verbal cues instead,” Desai adds. The result? Fatigue and burnout. 

But that’s not all the damage working from home does
The uncertainty of the situation is making more and more of us prone to anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. So, we spoke to Dr Samir Parikh, director of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Healthcare, about how you can tackle this situation. 

Dr Parikh says:

The key thing to understand is that work from home is a reality. In these testing times, it’s integral to maintain a sense of positivity and productivity to bring out the best efforts.

“Maintaining a routine is now more important now than ever before. The right approach to do this is to create a work window — define working hours to ensure a work life balance. At the same time, organisations also need to maximise their empathy quotient and support each other,” he adds. 

While you’re focusing on how you can boost your productivity during this time, it is also important to focus on how you can ensure you have peace of mind and good mental health. 

(With inputs from IANS)

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