How Working from Home Affects Your Mental Health and Productivity

We have all gotten used to working from home, right? Having been in a state of “new normal” for the past year and a half has led to adjustments in office and remote work, among other things.

But, have you ever thought about how working from home is actually affecting your mental health? Or your productivity?

Luckily for us, a number of people have.

How Does Working from Home Affect Your Mental Health?

There are good and bad aspects of working from home, and this extends to the effect of remote work on your mental health.

Working from home gives people a potentially more enjoyable atmosphere. From working in your home office to working at a nearby coffee shop, there is something to be said for not having to sit in a cubicle all day.

Plus, working at home gives you flexibility with your hours. If you need to pause to grab coffee or go to a doctor’s appointment, chances are you no longer have to ask permission. That is great for facilitating a sense of freedom and personal responsibility at work!

But, even with some of these benefits, working from home can feel isolating and overwhelming.

While working from home may provide more flexibility, it can also cause you to feel overwhelmed by the options available to you. And, if you have other responsibilities at home, there is less separation between these and your work life, leading to feelings of stress and anxiety.

Research from prior to the Covid-19 pandemic suggests that remote workers actually feel more stressed than workers in the office. According to an article by Brynna Connor, this can lead to a number of symptoms, including:

  • Feelings of nervousness or uncertainty
  • Feelings of sadness or depression
  • Tiredness
  • Feelings of anger or irritability
  • Low motivation levels
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Sleeping problems

Additionally, particularly before everyone had gotten the hang of online meetings, working from home potentially led to feelings of isolation and loneliness. If you never see your coworkers, it is hard to feel engaged or involved at work, particularly if you are normally in a more interactive, customer-focused position. Lack of contact, especially for those that live alone, can be a struggle. 

How to Manage Your Mental Health While Working Remotely

It is important to pay attention to your mental health, and take action to manage any negative symptoms you may be experiencing.

There are a number of ways to improve your work-from-home experience, including: 

  • Setting a schedule
  • Exercising routinely
  • Get some sunlight and spend time outside
  • Stay engaged and connected with your coworkers

Setting up a schedule and exercising routinely are key to keeping your mental health in a good place. Along with exercising, spending time outside and getting sunlight can have a super beneficial impact on your mental health.

Grab a smoothie and sit outside for a little, or simply open the window in your office to let a little light in.

Finally, in order to prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness, it is important to stay engaged and connected with your coworkers. Whether you prefer to meet online or at a coffee shop, staying in contact with friends at work can help increase your feelings of productivity, involvement, and happiness at work.

How Does Working from Home Affect Your Productivity?

Although working from home presents challenges, it is actually great for general productivity.

According to Apollo Technical, several studies have recently shown that productivity while working remotely is better than working in an office setting. On average, those who work from home spend 10 minutes less a day being unproductive, work an extra day every week, and are 47% more productive.

Within those that work remotely, 30% do more work in less time, and 24% do more work in the same time period, according to a study by ConnectSolutions.

In addition to increasing productivity, working from home can increase performance. A study by Stanford shows that working from home can increase productivity by 13% (due to more calls per minute in a quieter work environment).

Clearly, working from home can have some key benefits for you and the company.

To Sum Up…

While we know working from home might get boring or lonely, there are ways to prevent a number of those negative effects.

Plus, with increases in productivity, performance, free time, and freedom of scheduling, working remotely has many benefits that outweigh the negatives.

If you are interested in learning a little more, check out of a few of our new articles: 

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