Working alone can be very isolating and lonely. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. It is therefore important to be aware of the impact that lone working can have on your mental health and to take steps to protect your well-being. Below, we explore the impact of lone working on mental health and offer some tips on tackling it.
One of the key impacts of lone working is that it can promote isolation. This is because you are not surrounded by colleagues with whom you can interact regularly. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can, in turn, negatively impact your mental health. Also, when working remotely, you may not have the opportunity to socialise with colleagues after work hours, which can further exacerbate the problem.
To prevent feeling isolated when working alone, it is important to make an effort to socialize outside of work. This could involve meeting with friends and family or joining a club or society. Doing things that make you happy and help you relax can also benefit your mental health. Such activities might include reading, walking in nature, or listening to music.
Can increase stress levels
Another impact of lone working is that it can increase your stress levels. This is because you may feel like you have more responsibility and are under more pressure to perform well when working alone. You may also find it harder to take breaks or switch off from work, as you need to be constantly available. This can all lead to feelings of stress, which can impact your mental health.
To manage stress when working alone, it is important to take regular breaks and to make sure that you switch off from work at the end of the day. It is also important to have a good support network to talk to someone about how you feel. If you are struggling to cope with stress, it is important to seek help from a professional.
Leads to feelings of anxiety
Anxiety is a leading mental health problem that can be exacerbated by lone working. This is because you may feel like you are constantly on edge when working alone, as you are responsible for everything. You may also find it harder to relax, as you are constantly aware of the potential risks. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and panic, which can impact your mental health.
To manage anxiety when working alone, creating a safe and secure environment for yourself is important. This means having a clear plan in case of an emergency and ensuring you are familiar with your surroundings. Whenever you can, make use of wireless panic buttons, as they provide an extra layer of security. It is also important to practice relaxation techniques and seek help from a professional if you struggle to cope.
Reduces job satisfaction
Lone working can also reduce job satisfaction. This is because you may feel like you are not part of a team and are not contributing to a larger goal. You may also find it harder to progress in your career as you do not have colleagues to help you.
To increase job satisfaction when working alone, setting goals and finding ways to measure your progress are important. It is also important to connect with other people in similar situations so that you can share ideas and support each other. If you are struggling to find satisfaction in your job, it is important to seek help from a professional.
Leads to burnout
Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by lone working. This is because you may feel like you are constantly under pressure to perform well and that you do not have the support of colleagues. You may also find it harder to take breaks or to switch off from work. The constant pressure can lead to feelings of burnout, which can impact your mental health.
You should invest in a good work-life balance to prevent burnout when working alone. When away from work, build time for yourself and your hobbies to relax and recharge. Make sure that every day you take a few minutes for yourself, even if it’s just to read or take a walk. If you start to feel overwhelmed, seek help from a professional.
Promotes low self-esteem and self-confidence
Lone working can also promote low self-esteem and self-confidence. This is because you may feel like you are not good enough or are not performing well. You may also find it harder to receive feedback as you do not have colleagues to guide you. Inadequacy and insecurity can lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
It is important to give yourself regular positive reinforcement to boost self-esteem and self-confidence when working alone. This means rewarding yourself for a job well done and taking the time to celebrate your accomplishments. It is also important to seek out feedback from people you trust to get an accurate picture of your performance.
Leads to low morale
Lone working can also lead to low morale. This is because you may feel like you are not motivated to work or that you do not feel appreciated. You may also find it harder to stay positive as you do not have colleagues to support you. This can lead to discouragement and hopelessness.
Setting small goals and celebrating your accomplishments are important to boost morale when working alone. It is also important to connect with other people in similar situations so that you can share ideas and support each other.
Lone working can hurt mental health. This can promote anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and burnout. It can also lead to low morale. To protect your mental health when working alone, investing in a good work-life balance is important. This means building time for yourself and your hobbies outside of work. Make sure you take regular breaks at work and stick to a set schedule. If you are struggling to cope with the demands of lone working, it is important to seek help from a professional.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.