With World Mental Health Day on Thursday 10th October, all eyes are on how and why we suffer from mental health issues. Interestingly home workers and those in flexible roles have been found to suffer from issues relating to social exclusion and lack of routine.
1 in 6 of us deals with a mental health problem such as anxiety or depression at any time. Those with flexible job roles, such as home workers seem to suffer more than the average with nearly 1/3rd reporting stress from working from home.
Half of the 2,400 home workers surveyed by Offices.co.uk missed routine.
Jonathan Ratcliffe of Offices.co.uk explains: “We all think we want flexible working, but what if it’s actually routine that’s good for us as human beings. Personally, I need routine, it’s the keystone to my positive mental health”.
Mental Health issues of those working from home:
28% - suffered from loneliness and anxiety causes by separation from colleagues
69% - felt they missed out on opportunities when working from home
54% - missed routine
83% - get stressed trying to cope with juggling home and work life
73% - wanted a mix of routine with home working
Nearly 1/3rd of those surveyed cited loneliness and anxiety and 7 out of 10 said they felt they missed out on opportunities. These are standard human emotions when we are excluded from interaction.
83% told how they felt obliged to carry out house chores and that often go given jobs to do while “working from home”.
Polly from Leeds backs says:” I am a mum of 2 boys, my hubby works 9-5 and I work a flexible role in marketing from home. If one of the kids is poorly, I must do my job, look after my son and try and do conference calls around all that going on, it’s hard”.
A shared workplace is a social hub and people are social beings. Being part of a team, interacting throughout the day helps relationships flourish and provides networking opportunities. It gives employees comfort. Employees can bounce ideas around and ask for opinions. There are social opportunities: lunches, office events, after work drinks, in-office jokes, Friday donuts – even bring your dog to work day - all making for a great working culture, wellbeing improvements and a sense of belonging.
Jonathan Ratcliffe from Offices.co.uk says: "Speaking from experience of working from home and having no routine, it's tough. Social interaction helps fight the feeling of loneliness and anxiety. At the end of the day you must work out what’s right for you, and make it happen.