Teleworking has a plethora of perks. You save commute time, costs, and potentially stress associated with the office. You also get more flexibility and independence. A study by Upwork shows that the expected growth rate of full-time remote work over the next five years has doubled, from 30% to 65%. However, working on your own and away from the office can have unwanted impacts as well. Isolation, anxiety and loneliness, and sometimes even depression are commonplace among people with teleworking jobs.

Nevertheless, it does not always have to be this way. 

By being aware of some mental health issues that may affect you, you can maintain work-life balance, take the required precautions to avoid them, enjoy your teleworking job, have a satisfying career, and still be healthy and happy.

Some of the Common Mental Health Issues Faced by Teleworkers

Work-related mental health issues tend to creep up on you without you even realizing it, but by taking a few simple steps, you can alleviate the risk of this happening to you. 

1. Loneliness 

In an office environment, interacting daily with co-workers brings on a sense of camaraderie and belonging. 

However, if you are working solo from home all the time, you may be prone to feel lonely at times. Likewise, detachment from colleagues can lead to a sense of isolation and loneliness, associated with higher occurrences of depression, anxiety, and psychosomatic health symptoms (unexplained physical problems).

What can you do about it?

If your job entails work from home, there is not much you can do about it.

However, the key to avoiding isolation is to create balance in your life. You could do this by putting aside some time each day to go out and interact with other people. 

For example, you could meet up with friends, join a club, volunteer, or interact with your neighbors. The idea is to meet people, so you do not feel isolated and disconnected. Also, a change in environment and personal growth outside of work will help you perform better at work.

2. Work Becomes Life, Life Work

Man stressed over work

A study done by Stanford University shows that productivity increases by 13% in people working from home. But this comes at a cost!

Typically, people who work from an office disconnect as soon as they step out of their workplace. However, disconnecting from work may be difficult as there are no physical or mental boundaries when working from home. This can often lead to high levels of stress and burnout.

What can you do about it?

Everyone needs adequate time off, and putting a schedule in place is the best way to achieve this. 

Have an appropriate start and end time, after which you consciously disconnect from work. Although it is not always possible to stick to a schedule, try and stay committed to it as far as you can. This will help you create a routine and consistency in your day. 

Personal Touch Marketing & Manufacturing Inc. says that as per a health study, after a morning break, employees have better communication, more energy, experience less burnout, and more motivation to work harder. So, take short breaks in between.

Organize your tasks for the day to make it easier to complete them, and tick them off your list as you go along. Organizing your tasks and your day can make all the difference to the amount of time you have for recreation and, ultimately, your mental health.

 

3. Persistent Stress

An office setting has many stressors, and it is no different when working from home. 

Working solo means managing time, solving most of your work-related problems on your own, managing workflow, invoicing, and so on. 

You are a one-person army, which can be stressful as you are trying to do it all.  

Another reason for stress can be long commutes. A study of 34000 employees in the UK found that people with long commutes are 33% more likely to suffer depression, 12% more likely to report work-related stress, and 21% more likely to be obese.

Moreover, People whose commutes are over an hour are affected the most, losing approximately “7 days” of productive work each year.

According to a Korn Ferry survey,

  • almost two-thirds of professionals say that they are more stressed now than five years ago.
  • In 3 decades, employee stress levels increased by nearly 20%.
  • 76% report that stress at work has a negative impact on their personal relationships.
  • 66% lost sleep,
  • 16% quit their job as stress became unbearable.

The work management platform Wrike reveals that 94% get stressed at work and close to a third say that their stress level is high to unsustainably high.

What can you do about it?

Taking care of your stress levels and your mental health often means taking care of your physical health. 

Some of the best ways to accomplish this are through physical activity and exercise. Exercise and physical activity help lower anxiety, stress hormones and produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. These improve sleep, which in turn reduces stress.

Therefore, there is nothing like an intense workout session or a long trek/run after a stressful day. You could even focus on meditation, hobbies, self-care, or anything else that makes you happy for an hour every day.

 

 

4. Feeling Uninspired and Bullied

stressed-telework-agent

If you are uninspired to start work every morning, it may be your workspace! 

The term “bully” may bring back memories of playground scenes from small kid time. But bullying isn’t just a childhood phenomenon. Sadly, it’s a common practice in the workplace. According to a study by the Workplace Bullying Institute, an estimated 53.5 million Americans, or more than a third of adults – 35 percent of the workforce, are victims of bullying at work, either as a target or as witness to abusive behavior. Furthermore, both men and women bully, but the majority of bullying is same-gender harassment. Interestingly, women bullies target other women in 80 percent of the cases.

Offices should focus on aesthetics. Research shows that our well-being is linked to our surroundings. Aesthetically pleasing spaces help alleviate stress and improve mental health.

Hence, the look and feel of your workspace can have a considerable impact on your enthusiasm, mood, and productivity. So if you have a drab workspace, it is time to change it up.

What can you do about it?

Have a dedicated workspace and spruce it up! Create a cozy office corner with pleasing aesthetics. If you can, create your workspace near a window, get the proper lighting, a comfortable chair, and a work table. You could even paint the wall and use a small potted plant to add a touch of Zen to your corner.

Since you spend a large chunk of your day working, creating an aesthetically pleasing workspace can positively impact your mental health and improve your morale.

 

Verdict

You can dodge mental health problems even if you have a telework job. However, if you consciously follow these tips and bring balance to your life, you can care for your mental health and succeed at your job. 

And if you find yourself still struggling with stress and anxiety, it is always advised to look for professional support. Talking about it with a friend or a professional will help you put things in perspective and find solutions to your issues.  

If you think that you are the right fit for telework, we, at HomeJobsHub are sure we have the right job for you. Visit our website to know more or register with us for authentic and a wide range of teleworking customer support jobs.