When the Covid -19 pandemic hit the world, little did anyone know that the way they lived was about to change. ‘Work from home’ or remote work, was one such thing that got introduced in every working individual’s life, and with it brought along a major problem: mental health.
Dealing with mental health is challenging in itself and becomes even more difficult when you are working from home. We will go through some of the challenges while dealing with mental health that is commonly observed. Later, we will also see some solutions to combat these problems.
Some of the most common challenges that people in a remote work environment face are -
Loneliness and Isolation
One of the factors that affect people’s mental health due to remote work is loneliness caused by social isolation.
People have stopped socializing on a daily basis and mostly stay indoors for most of the day at their desks. This has spiked feelings of loneliness and isolation among people.
Lack of a routine
In a non-remote environment, people have a routine. They get ready, have breakfast, go out, catch a cab, or use public transport to get to their workplaces. All of this creates a sense of routine. In a remote work environment, all of this does not exist and therefore the sense of having a routine through certain actions is completely gone which can cause depression.
Lack of work-life balance
In a remote environment, people tend to overwork and eventually burn themselves out. This can cause a severe work-life balance leading to disharmony, especially at home. This causes an increase in anxiety and depression.
Every problem has a solution and with small steps, we can face the challenges created by remote work. The key however is to be patient and consistent with your efforts.
Make it a point to get out of the house and meet people. Even if it is not a well-planned meeting with your friends, going out to places like a cafe or a bookstore can help a lot. You end up meeting people and that can kill the feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Create a routine
Create a daily routine where you do certain things. Prepare your meals, get some exercise done, and meditate. A routine will greatly help you with feeling empty and without a purpose. A good routine will ensure that you don’t feel anxious or depressed at all.
Creating work life boundaries
It is tempting to work on and on for hours. But knowing that it has consequences in the form of stress, is essential.
- Setting up clear boundaries for work timings can greatly decrease the amount of stress induced by back-to-back meetings and working hours beyond the usual office time.
- Simply requesting your boss and colleagues to schedule meetings during office hours can be a great starting point.
- Along with this encouraging healthy work practices amongst others will also help.
- Not logging in to your system during non-office hours will help you avoid working during non-office hours.
This will help with shifting your focus to other equally important things in life as well like family and friends.
How long the remote work culture is here to stay is something no one can tell for sure.
So, the only way to deal with mental health issues caused by it is to take these steps and actively change your lifestyle so that it not only prevents any mental health issues but also ensures that you have a healthy lifestyle.