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How Remote Work Can Impact Employees’ Mental Health

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How Remote Work Can Impact Employees' Mental Health

Due to the epidemic, there has been a change in work patterns towards remote work. As individuals and organisations manage this transformation, it is critical to take into account the potential effects on the mental health of employees. Initally, loneliness and disconnectedness were discussed, but recent evidence indicates otherwise. The remote work revolution has elucidated some previously unanticipated advantages like global recruitment, as well as heightened scrutiny of workplace policies .

Employees who work remotely are in the position to prioritise their mental and physical well-being. Remote employees may now exercise, meditate, spend more time outside, and generally live better lives because of this. It has been demonstrated that a more adaptable living environment lowers stress, encourages healthier sleeping patterns, and makes it possible to eat a more balanced diet. This contrasts with the rigorous work environment. In a recent wellness survey, a Microsoft employee stated, “I now have time to take my dog on an hour-long walk everyday that helps me hit 10,000 steps everyday.”

With remote work, employees don’t have to put in long hours on their commutes—the typical US commute takes 27 minutes one way. Making use of this extra time by engaging in personal interests helps one strike a better balance between work and life. Furthermore, people who work remotely can create their ideal workspace—anything from a peaceful room to a spot with calming music—according to their tastes and working style. For several businesses, this has increased productivity and augmented the promotion rate.

It’s interesting to note that people with social anxiety and similar conditions have reported feeling less anxious when they work remotely. Because there are no traditional barriers such as body language or non-verbal cues, virtual meetings create a level playing field where everyone’s contributions are welcomed and acknowledged. This has also helped people who weren’t given much attention during meetings in the past. Virtual meetings and chat features allow everyone to share their views and creates a sense of belonging.

Furthermore, by encouraging autonomy and reducing burnout, remote work can actually boost job satisfaction. In a PGi survey, 82% of remote workers reported feeling less stressed when their work schedule is more flexible and hence preferred remote work over the traditional office schedule. One compelling argument in favour of working remotely is the notion that having more control over our work leads to a happier workplace.

Additionally, working remotely encourages diversity and lessens prejudice at work. The ability to work remotely creates opportunities for a more varied talent pool, which includes people of colour, women, transgender individuals, people with disabilities, and members of marginalised groups. This policy has worked in favour of and brought positive changes in the last few years to further the status of minorities in the workforce.

Moreover, working remotely enhances creativity and in turn improves productivity. Several studies have indicated that working remotely can lead to benefits in increasing work-life balance and boosting mental health due to increased autonomy. More control over our work environment and schedule enhances our ability to manage our time well, which increases productivity. For employers, this means access to a global workforce through global hiring.

Without question, remote work is not going away and while we reassess the future of work, it cannot be ignored. Working remotely diverges from a typical office work schedules. It is our responsibility as cognizant employees to make sure that the advantages of remote work are a long-term shift towards healthy work practices that will enhance all employees’ mental health and general wellness, and take it beyond just temporary pandemic-related change.


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