We’ve been wanting this, FOREVER! Working from home, no commute, less structure, more time with family, flexibility in the day…the list of benefits goes on. And the media is presenting it as just that: Video podcasts in a dress shirt and boxers, cuddling up to your toddler while you summarize that report or having a conference call from your car on your way to the beach.
What’s the reality of working from home (WFH)?
While there are definite benefits to working from home, unfortunately, the images that portray this, artificially glamorize the situation. In reality, for some WFH has been awesome while for others, full-time remote work has been more of a nonstop monsoon of tasks, emails and Zooms. Orchestrating work on the dining room table and in between home-schooling the kids. The challenges are real but the question remains: Is WFH contributing to an increased lack of balance between home and work life?
Moreover, what’s the impact on our mental health?
Mental Health and WFH
When you work from home, it can be challenging to keep your work life separate from your personal life — even more so when everyone in your household is home all the time. The temptation is to check your phone, send that email and quickly go through that PowerPoint…ALWAYS being available for your work. This can lead to burnout, exhaustion and overwhelm.
You may also feel pressured to work even more than before, simply because your work is always there. This can also lead to overwhelm, mental exhaustion, anxiety and other mental health issues.
Even in “normal” circumstances, people who WFH can feel isolated and lonely at times, without the connection of being around coworkers. Compound that with having to stay at home and not see others, and loneliness can be a real drain on your feelings of wellness.
How To: Work-Life Balance & Space for Mental Wellness
The next few months (or years) are sure to bring about many more changes. WFH is just going to be part of the new normal. The issue lies in creating boundaries around our work so that the benefits out-weight the costs.