One of the less talked about aspects of COVID-19 is that many of us have stopped commuting to work daily. For those able to, working from home (WFH) has brought benefits of not having to sit in traffic or piling onto crowded trains. The time saving is not insignificant; compared to the pre-pandemic era, we save on average 41 minutes a day by skipping our commute.
But as WFH has become more prevalent and the need to travel to work has decreased, the length of our workdays has expanded. The recent Harvard Business Review research shows that, for instance, managers clock in additional 56 minutes each workday. Thus, unlike their colleagues with no managerial responsibilities, they tend to use their newly-acquired time to work more instead of for personal benefit.
Much more extended workdays can have a negative effect on people’s mental health. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that as our workdays become longer, we don’t get overwhelmed.
Why paying attention to mental health is important
Mental health matters and it matters for remote workers too! In the US, 80% of those surveyed would consider quitting their current position for a job that focused more on employees’ mental health. Moreover, some 75% of US workers have struggled at work due to anxiety caused by the current pandemic.
In another research, Oracle has found that 76% of people believe their employer should be doing more to protect their mental health, and 70% have named 2020 the most stressful year ever.
Undoubtedly, working from home has many benefits, but the pressure most of us are exposed to, as well as the need to quickly adjust to the new reality of having to work from home without the option of interacting with colleagues face-to-face, means that we need to become more resilient.
Here are six tips on how to work from home, reduce your stress levels and improve your mental health.