Don't let working from home damage mental health

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic catapulted many working professionals into a whole new universe: working from home.

All of a sudden, workers who had never done their jobs remotely found themselves balancing childcare, chores and other daily burdens they usually had taken care of for them while at the office.

With this extra stress, mental health has become a big topic for employees and employers alike.

The numbers don’t lie: A vast majority of workers (80%) would consider quitting their position for a job that focused more on employees’ mental health, according to a recent study published by TELUS International.

The problem

Their research indicates that 75% of U.S. workers have struggled at work due to anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other recent world events.

Here are a few of the survey’s most important findings that seem to be attributing to this decline in mental health for work-from-home professionals:

• 4 out of 5 workers find it hard to “shut off” in the evenings.

• Over half of respondents have taken a “mental health day” since they started working from home, due to the pandemic.

• Ninety-seven percent say that vacation days while working from home are important for “recharging” — another way of saying “mental health.”

• Half of the respondents cite that their sleep patterns have been interrupted due to COVID-19, and 45% say they feel less healthy mentally while working from home.

Find your flexibility

Flexible schedules are actually one of the benefits of working from home, and many professionals say flexibility is the most important factor for them in considering a new role.

Many workers found that during the heights of the pandemic, that work days actually became longer. A joint study by Harvard and New York University analyzed more than 3 million responses since the coronavirus began, and found that the workday is nearly an hour longer because of the pandemic.

More meetings are driving fatigue and making professionals unable to be productive. If you’re considering a new role or trying to improve your current one, talk with your boss about a more flexible schedule that may give you some of your time back.

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