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How to Preserve Your Mental Health While Working From Home

Updated: Feb 22

Perhaps one of the very few blessings to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic has been employers' willingness to accept remote work for their employees.

According to Flex Jobs, full-time remote work saves the average employee $12,000 a year, and hybrid work (half in the office and a half at home) saves the average employee $6,000 a year. The same study also showed that transitioning to remote work could save the average former commuter 55.2 minutes in commute time each day. This tallies up to an incredible 264 hours each year! For commuters living in more traffic-dense communities, this number can almost double.

But while newly remote workers enjoy the surplus of money and time they’ve been handed back, how will these new working conditions affect their mental health and well-being?

A 2021 survey by The American Psychiatric Association (APA) revealed that a majority of remote employees found that their mental health deteriorated significantly following their transition to a remote working environment. Loneliness, isolation, and an inability to separate from work at the end of each day were cited as the leading factors for this decline.

How can we as employees reap the lovely benefits remote work has given us, while still ensuring our mental health is in tip-top shape?

Here are some quick suggestions for boosting, preserving, and protecting your mental health while working from home.

Suggestions For Remote Employees

Put Yourself in a Local Community

Whether you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert, the reality still remains the same: you need people! In fact, according to UCLA Psychology professor, Matthew Lieberman, social connection to other humans is just as vital as our daily need for food, water, and shelter. The Mayo Clinic states that socialization is what helps humans fight loneliness, strengthen memory and cognitive skills, boost happiness and well-being, and even increase life expectancy. Being around other people is necessary for our mental health. Unfortunately for many, work was the place where much of their socialization occurred. If you’re a new remote worker, you’ll need to be proactive in finding a new community to socialize with. If it’s not with family or close friends, there are plenty of other ways to connect yourself to a new community. Here are just a few ideas…

  • Talk to your neighbors.

  • Volunteer in your community.

  • Join a local church.