Working remotely is all the rage in today’s tech savvy world. At Swift, we love having the ability to take our offices with us anywhere, as working remotely can result in improved mental health and higher productivity. On the other hand, working remotely can also have negative impacts on your mental health that are often overlooked. We will explore both the positives and the possible negatives of working from home.
The Mental Health Benefits of Working Remotely
Working remotely has been proven to decrease distractions and increase productivity, which of course leads to a more mentally satisfied individual. People who work remotely have also reported less on the job anxiety and stress compared to in-office workers. People who work from home typically have more flexibility within their schedule, which reduces the stress of having to take care of tasks that otherwise wouldn’t fit into their in-office schedule.
The Mental Health Problems of Working Remotely
One of the most controversial things that impacts people working remotely is prolonged isolation. Prolonged social isolation can result in depression, sleep disturbance, poor heart health, and cognitive decline. These are all symptoms of poor mental health and can indicate that you need more social interaction in your day to day life.
Work at Home Habits to Improve Your Mental Health
Set a Schedule – Work a set schedule and set days, maintaining standard hours within your work week. Waking up at the same time each day and working set hours can help you maintain your daily routine from home. This is great for getting into a healthy habit straight away, you just need to be consistent. A lot of businesses that allow you to work remotely will usually set your hours somewhat because they know the benefits it can have on your mental health.
Set Boundaries – Try to set yourself at-home boundaries to reduce distractions. Things like no TV, no cell phone, no talking with your family (unless it’s an emergency) during your scheduled work hours, can help to reduce distraction and increase productivity throughout your work day.
Stay Active – If you work from home it can be hard to find time or motivation to be active. Set some time at the end or beginning of your work day to do an at home workout to increase your activity level. Being active has been known to help with both depression and anxiety, so make sure you’re still getting active if you’re working from home.
Being aware of how your mental health is being impacted when working remotely, is important when wanting to ensure you are seeing the benefits it provides. It is easy to feel isolated, so it is important to keep up your social interaction with your colleagues regularly throughout the day. A quick phone call, video chat or internal chat message is all that it takes! Staying connected, along the above work from home habits, can be very beneficial to keeping you mentally healthy. It’s all about balance.