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Many companies implemented a work-from-home arrangement to almost all of its workforce – this is to help prevent the spread of Covid. This action is an immediate health benefit to everyone since we all want to avoid contracting coronavirus.
Considering the new work arrangement, the mental health of the employees should also be taken into account.
Mental health risks of working from home
Employees are accustomed to conventional office life where social interactions are present. The shift of work arrangement has inevitably resulted in limited social interactions. Now, employees are more prone to experience the deterioration of their mental health.
Feeling of isolation
The workplace interactions reinforce the sense of belonging in a certain group or society, many employees are required to stay at home to work, and even outside socialisations are limited: theatre, bars, restaurants, and even malls are all closed.
Loneliness may be experienced especially by those people who are living alone and social life after work is part of their routine.
There is a need to sustain good relationships and open communication among co-workers and managers, this is to maintain good work performance and a good balance of emotion and mental health. Engaging in social media can boost the aid of establishing good communication.
To add, lessening the feeling of isolation, virtual meetings and in between coffee breaks are encouraged; this creates collaboration and interaction even online.
Burnout on workloads
As employees are adjusting to a new work arrangement, they feel that they are bound to work longer hours and prove their work productivity at home. Further, the new arrangement entails a thin boundary line between personal and work life. There is a struggle to separate personal responsibilities at home to professional responsibilities for work matters. Especially for those parents who are attending to their children’s online learning, household chores, and workload deadlines.
Dealing with time management
Working from home seems to require long hours working, and at the same time juggling on doing other personal stuff. Work hours spent is longer and maintaining personal time seems impossible.
Employees tend to feel that working from a schedule is no longer needed, as long as there is a work output for each day. Time for yourself and your family is most of the time sacrificed.
To support the mental health while following health and safety protocol of staying at home to work, maintaining positive well-being is a key, this is through setting a comfortable and private spot for homework, including social interaction and healthy lifestyle, and drawing a firm line between work hours and quality time for family.
Rona dela Rosa is an editor of Psychreg. Rona is an associate professor at the Polytechnic College of the City of Meycauyan.