Now that the majority of people are working from home, it has been revealed that over a third are worried about their
mental health with this figure rising for those who live alone.
This research was conducted by Opinium, a strategic insight agency, who found that 34 per cent of employees working remotely feel as it has had a negative impact on their mental health. With 44 per cent of employees who live on their own saying this.
Under half of the workers (46 per cent) feel isolated working at home, as well as 36 per cent stating they are worried about the long-term impacts of working at home for a prolonged period of time. However, 51 per cent say they feel more relaxed whilst working at home.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have recently come forward saying the current lockdown is “stressful” on mental health which has resulted in a lot of people remote working.
Prince William said:
If we are going to go forward with more time spent in lockdown, then there is going to be an ever-increasing need for people to look after their mental health and take it seriously and also know where to go to get the support they might need.
Another complication that can arise from remote working during this current situation is childcare, especially for employees that have children under the age of 18 whilst schools have been shut down. Employees state the biggest challenges that children being at home during the same time of remote working is:
- There are more distractions now the children are at home – 41 per cent
- It’s hard to keep the children occupied during the day – 40 per cent
- Struggling to balance work and caring responsibilities – 39 per cent
- Having to home school children as well as work – 32 per cent
- Not having separate office space to work in – 30 per cent
- Children being noisy – 26 per cent
Sophie Holland, senior research executive, said:
Even before the current lockdown, there were already significant barriers in place preventing employees from talking about their mental health at work. Now more than ever, it is important to understand the strain this can have on our mental health, especially as it is easier to blur the lines between work and home.
Employees need to be able to set clear boundaries, trying to keep their working hours balanced and have a separate workspace if possible. It is also important to try and stay connected, virtual calls with colleagues, friends, mentors and line managers can be a vital source of support and advice during this period. Employers should also listen to their staff and if required, offer access to counselling over the phone or a helpline for workers to use when they need it.
Opinium carried out this research with an online survey of 1,250 UK workers.