Then the early nights, wet weather & cold snaps started creeping in. The lack of social interaction was also getting to us, even those who aren’t a fan of people. The mental health benefits from working from home were turning on their head with work life and personal life merging into one.
In the UK, businesses lose around £100m each year due to workplace stress, depression and anxiety. Especially when working from the same place you are living, easily makes way for the ‘always on’ mentality with the ease of access to technology. A 2017 report by the United Nations found that 41% of those working from home reported high stress levels, compared to 25% of office workers.
Mental health risks of remote work
The two main causes for concern around remote working are burnout and isolation. As many of us are confined to our homes for our work and personal lives, the above two points are an issue if we can’t control it. The ease of access to technology, even when working from the office, now can take over our lives if not managed, but having access to your work set up to “quickly send an email” at 10pm is just too easy if we do not limit ourselves. Most of us only have social gatherings on Zoom, and can’t remember the last time we actually met our colleagues, if at all!
In 2019, Digital Ocean found that 82% of remote workers in the US felt burnout, with 52% reporting they work longer hours than when in the office. 40% also felt the need to contribute more than their in-house colleagues. The main reason for this was people felt compelled to prove that they can be productive at home by working longer hours to get more done. In 2020, with more people working remotely, many for the first time, the lines between personal & work life will become even more blurred.
As humans, our daily interactions show to reinforce our sense of well-being and belonging in a community. The impact of loneliness is shown to be twice as harmful to physical and mental health as obesity. During COVID, with offices being shut as well as social activities extremely limited, the feeling of isolation rose across the world. The good part of technology here helped with this with many companies creating “virtual coffee breaks”, where video calls with other colleagues happened during work hours, and was encouraged.
The “new normal”
Remote working has been a rising trend for several years. Companies can save around £8,000 a year if it’s employees worked remotely at least 2.5 times a week, but also, if done correctly, mental well-being can be drastically improved with the flexibly on where to work from.
How can Reef help?
We know all of your employees don’t have a suitable workspace to work from at home. We have heard stories of kitchen tables transformed into a desk, even as far as ironing boards! Reef has an ever-increasing number of venues across the world where your employees can filter down to their perfect workspace, by searching for hot food, good Wi-Fi, social or quiet environment etc. If you are interested in learning more about Reef, please sign up here and one of our team will be in touch shortly.