Remote working has its significant perks. Those who chose to work from home usually favour their flexibility, their greater work-life balance, and their ability to avoid a commute of any sort. Yet, with the good, comes the bad, commonly linked to loneliness, isolation and mental health issues.

Over recent months, 23.9 billion people within the UK maintained the working from home status. Down to personal choice, down to economic demands, down to the necessity for flexibility and adaptability, and down to the consequences of Covid-19, remote working as a workplace trend has caught on.

As we’ve shared above, there are many benefits which improve job satisfaction and engagement levels for remote workers. Yet, even before the rise of remote working as a necessity, working from home has been seen as a substantial test on the nation’s mental health, questioning its value on a mass scale.

Whether you’re choosing to work from home or need to over the upcoming months, it’s very important that you personally aim to protect your wellbeing, your work-life balance and your mental health. It’s also imperative as an employer to protect the mental health of your remote workers, by promoting such protective steps. To ease both recommendations, here are some mental health resources for remote workers, combined by our team at Nova Recovery.

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of working from home. Here’s how to make it benefit your personal and professional life as a remote worker.

 

Impacts of working from home on mental health

The idea of working from home, for many industries is highly desirable. The ability to avoid any form of the commute is beneficial for greater work-life balance, to save money, and to improve the environment.

Having the opportunity to balance work and life responsibilities is also a key driving force for remote workers. In fact, remote working can offer many benefits, on personal levels, catering to favoured working styles to fitting around schedules and the desire for greater independence.

However, with the lack of engagement and involvement, commonly found through an office environment, remote, virtual working does, unfortunately, heighten the feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Through those feelings, individuals with pre-existing mental health issues can significantly suffer. Those with optimal mental wellbeing are also known to suffer, down to the inability of switching off, down to a blurred line between work and home life, down to heightened stress, and down to a lack of human contact.

Depression, anxiety, mood disorders and stress are all possible results of long-term remote working, especially once the novelty of flexibility and independence wears off. Mental health issues will not be the result of all remote workers.

Yet, as we see more individuals pushed into a working environment that they do not favour, mental health rates, struggles, and the demand for mental health support systems are also increasing.

If you’re struggling through the results of unbalanced work life, here are some mental health resources for remote workers, along with tips to personally alleviate the downfalls linked to remote working.

 

Tips for balancing work and your wellbeing

Mental health support is available, whether you’re struggling through a pre-existing diagnosis or the common downfalls of remote working. However, there are also some tips you can follow to personally balance your remote working status and your mental health.

 

Balance your work and wellbeing by:

Creating a healthy, balanced routine

Your routine should be all about balancing your work responsibilities and your home responsibilities. There should be a balance, where both roles are clearly defined, helping you wear your work hat and your personal hat.

 

Setting boundaries

Many remote workers feel stressed or struggle with their mental health by taking on too much work. Setting boundaries and schedules will help you work as though you’re in the office. If this means that you say no to extra responsibilities, if necessary, for your mental health, do so.

 

Creating a clear working environment

Remote working should be professional, where you have a dedicated place to work from. Avoid working from your sofa, bedroom or any area that you usually relax from. This is where the damaging blur between remote working and personal life can merge.

 

Prioritising breaks and getting out the house

For your mental health, it’s important to have time for yourself, time away from your screen, and the opportunity to produce natural happy chemicals. By getting out for some fresh air, by dedicating set breaks, and by prioritising self-care, your mental health can improve.

 

Staying connected

As loneliness is a key contributor of the downfalls of remote working, staying connected as much as possible is recommended. Whether that’s through zoom calls, through prioritising engagement, or through sourcing human contact, staying connected will help to offer perspective, escapism and support for remote workers.

 

Accepting mental health support

While easier said than done, mental health support may be available through your workplace, helping to ease the new workplace demands of remote working. Understandably, opening up may be challenging. Yet, mental health resources and confidential support systems will likely be in place to guide and protect you, which you should accept.

 

Mental health resources for remote workers

Alongside managing your own mental health, it’s understandable if the stresses of remote working do overtake, where you require professional mental health support. Alongside treatment services and programmes, there are mental health resources for remote workers, offering specific guidance and management tips, in place to strive for greater work-life balance.

At Nova Recovery, we understand that mental health issues are still heavily stigmatised, making the idea of speaking out very daunting. To curb this, there are many online mental health resources available to you, from helplines to blogs such as this one, offering tips for prioritising mental health.

Toolkits are available to support yourself, to guide a peer through the downfalls of remote working, or to even encourage employees through the new dynamic of working from home. Remember, as an employer, it is important to have a strategy in place to protect both physical and psychological health and safety of all workers, whether physically at your workplace, or remotely.

Through platforms such as Mind, a wealth of confidential and professional resources are also available, for individual mental health issues, for tackling stress as an everyday result of remote working, and for guidance with improving the overall wellbeing of remote workers.

We at Nova Recovery also specialise in mental health recovery, here to offer support, direction and treatment services. Tackling mental health issues and their development down to work can be very challenging, especially down to the current necessity of remote working.

Yet, by accepting support and considering the value of mental health resources for remote workers, those common challenges can soon be manageable, helping to benefit your work, your life and your mental health.

 

Sources

www.finder.com/uk/working-from-home-statistics

www.weworkremotely.com/how-to-keep-your-mental-health-in-check-when-you-work-from-home

www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/

www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/toolkit/coronavirus-coping-with-the-challenges-of-working-from-home/

www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/stress/useful-contacts/

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