Because of the long-term impact of restrictions due to the pandemic, many of us have become habituated to working from home, and that has resulted in mental health issues in some people.
Working from home for prolonged periods may have started as a novelty, but it may also begin to ruin our mental health. Keeping track of your mental being is just as essential as keeping track of your physical health.
Loneliness and isolation, anxiety, stress, and depression are all psychological consequences of working or studying from home.
Isolation and Loneliness
Employees and students were compelled to swiftly adjust to working and studying remotely. Individuals' well-being may suffer as a result of these changes in the working environment. This shift in conventional routine has certainly limited our social connections with employees and students, as well as the opportunity to participate in direct in-person meetings and sessions. Many people are not comfortable with the monotonous routine of working from home and not being able to communicate with their coworkers and fellow mates, hence increase in mental health issues . The opportunity to socialize with coworkers and batchmates, which begins with a simple talk about work and life is being missed out on by numerous people. Unfortunately, conversations on virtual platforms cannot replace the experience you feel in physical meetings, leaving people feeling lonely and isolated, thus impacting their well-being.
Anxiety, Stress, and Pressure
Workplace pressure to fulfill performance goals, regular and monotonous activities, and excessive workloads have left many feeling nervous and anxious in these difficult times. Working from home enabled extended working hours, which has eventually led to stress. Long working hours have made it extremely difficult for people to communicate with family members or friends neither are they able to make time for themselves.
Loneliness and a lack of social support have been shown to aggravate depression and other significant mental health issues. Furthermore, leading a sedentary lifestyle for long periods has resulted in people experiencing severe back and joint discomfort and pain, which has a negative impact on their mental health.
Exercising for 20-30 minutes a day has been shown to reduce anxiety and increase endorphins and serotonin levels in the brain. It is one of the best mental health solutions. Chronic pain and depression both impact the same spot of the brain and share neurological connections. Depression makes the physical pain worse, allowing the brain to develop a pain loop that becomes learned and persistent.
Being confined for a short duration is doable but long-term work from home situations can be detrimental to mental health issues and eventually lead to a breakdown.
Managers must set boundaries and adhere to the rule of fixed working hours and not burden their employees with overwork, also allow them to take little rest in between. Taking small breaks can be an alternate solution, the introduction of ‘virtual tea breaks’ by offices so that the employees make little time for themselves in between would be beneficial. It could lead to better performance and improvement in one’s physical as well as mental health.