Mental health matters, especially for today’s remote workforce. According to a study by TELUS International, it found that 75% of US workers have struggled with mental health due to the pandemic, which includes different degrees of stress, depression, and loneliness.
As we were aware of the importance of mental health and wellness, we launched a remote work poll and asked, “how people manage their stress while working from home.”
We provided four options within the poll, which included connecting with friends & family, setting break times during work, and spending time outdoors. The last option we allowed respondents to include their own option of reducing stress while working at home. The poll ran for a week, with a total of 85 participants participating in the contest.
It was not surprising to see that 36% of respondents liked to spend time outdoors to get away from the stress. Fresh air sends plenty of oxygen through the blood to your brain which brings more life to the body. People feel anxiety release and stress reduction when they are exposed to nature, so being outside is a great way to improve your mental health.
And while it is easy to blend work and life in the home office, 35% of people choose to set break times during work to refresh minds and boost productivity with a good working rhythm. People are more likely to take breaks if they know what they will do in that period. Planning your break activity in advance will help you be more strategic in the use of your time in the remote workplace. For example, doing a small stretch, cleaning the dishes, or spending time with your pets are healthy break activities that uplift you and keep you energized for the rest of the day.
Among all the remain participants, 22% of respondents choose to reduce stress by connecting with close friends or family members, which makes sense, as less in person socializing has left many remote workers feeling isolated and despondent, leaving a negative impact on their mental health.
The last 6% of respondents focused on their hobbies after work or keep a steady routine, such as crocheting, knitting, or regular exercise. By doing a hobby, you will fully engage yourself in something that you enjoy, providing you with a healthy distraction from a long day of work.
As more companies switch to long-term remote work, the blurring of boundaries between work and home which can have a negative impact on mental health and lower productivity due to overload work, lack of support, and social isolation. Organizations need to prioritize the importance of managing mental health and provide more support for remote workers.
Supporting remote workers’ mental health will bring a positive impact to your organization. This includes helping to maintain the relationships between co-workers and encouraging them to find a balance between personal life and work life. Below are seven simple tips that your organization can share to help to take care of your staff’s mental wellness in the remote place.
Find a quiet and comfortable place to work can foster productivity and keep your personal life and work separate. Choosing a spot that is away from distractions in your household would be a great start. Check out any unused corner and use your creativity to convert it to your perfect home office!
Taking work breaks allows us to step away from the tasks we are doing and refresh ourselves which helps avoid potential burnout. It can be as short as 10 minutes and you can combine it with a simple stretch to relax your body at the same time.
The lack of human interaction is a big reason that many people fall in the feeling of loneliness. Scheduling virtual meetings with your co-workers or calling your friends and family members will improve your mental health by maintaining personal interaction.
The nice thing about working from home is that the working hours can be flexible, and you can choose to work when you’re most productive. Manage your time effectively and set regular working hours to avoid burnout by spending some time planning your daily schedule before the day starts which will help you create a clear task list and focus on the most important task first.
Taking some time to yourself outside is especially important during long extended hours indoors. Recharge yourself by walking around a park or hiking trail. You can even just step outside on your balcony or backyard to help you refresh your mind and reconnect with nature.
Participate in a mental health support program in your company. If not available, suggest to your HR department to provide a mental health support program to promote the importance of mental in the remote workplace.
It is essential to maintain positive mental health and you can easily start by taking more time for yourself. Stat by eating healthier snacks or setting an exercise routine. By practicing self-care on a regular basis, it will bring the focus back to yourself and help you feel refreshed and motivated.