Mental health in the workplace has been a concern for quite a while. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, workers were battling stress and burnout on the job. The period of quarantine opened our eyes to start taking mental health in the workplace more seriously. Working from home during the pandemic helped some people slow down and find balance, which is important for mental health. However, working overtime and digital “presenteeism” demands made remote work stressful for others.
Now that traditional workplaces are opening up again, some workers are eager to get back to the office while others want to continue working from remote locations. Desperate to fill vacant positions, employers are more inclined than ever to support employee mental health. Hence, the rise of hybrid work. Many employers are ready to allow their teams to work partly from the office and partly from remote locations. But, does this help employees’ mental health?
Benefits of hybrid work in enhancing mental health
Hybrid work is a relatively new concept, but it has a few advantages that can foster better mental health. Here are some of the benefits:
While working from home can be lonely, spending your days in a toxic work environment is even worse. Working in a high-stress setting can be detrimental to your mental wellbeing, but the harmful effects can be reduced if you don’t have to go to the same workplace every day.
Working from home a few days a week means reduced commute time and expenses. You can use the saved time and money to connect with loved ones, pursue a passion, exercise, or invest in yourself. All these are great for enhancing mental health.
Better work-life balance
One of the major setbacks of working from home is the blurred line between work and personal life. Many people struggle to unplug at the end of the day, working long hours and risking burnout. Working from the office a few days of the week helps break this chain to achieve a better balance.
Working from home for a prolonged time can lead to feelings of isolation, which works against your mental health. Going to the office even for a few days allows you to connect with others, which enhances happiness.
Is hybrid work good for you?
Any form of flexibility at work is beneficial for mental health. However, before deciding whether hybrid work is right for you, keep in mind that each form of working comes with both pros and cons. Working from home has its drawbacks, and so does working from the office. You need to consider the potential problems and benefits of each arrangement and how they affect your mental health and general wellbeing.
Make sure you have a routine that works for you. You are likely to be happier at work when you are highly productive. For this reason, aim for a routine that considers the time and circumstance when you can be most productive.
How to make it work
Hybrid work could be your best shot in improving your mental health. But how do you make it work if you are a freelancer or the commute to your office is onerous? The growth of coworking spaces has become a solution for workers like you. Nowadays, you can find a coworking space almost anywhere—at the corner of your street or even in your apartment complex. The good thing is that coworking spaces are evolving to give workers a little bit of both worlds. There are many coworking spaces in different locations that are available to meet your needs. Many have amenities that offer the comfort of home and the social interaction and connectivity of a traditional office space.
Hybrid work is growing rapidly as more organizations embrace the model and empower their employees to adjust to changes in the workplace. Though it is relatively new, it promises to lead to better mental health for everyone. If you are struggling to work exclusively from home or office, requesting a hybrid arrangement could be your answer. Moreover, if you are a freelancer, working from a coworking office a few days a week can improve your opportunities for social interaction and better mental health.
About the Author: Emma Parcell is a third-year psychology student who enjoys exploring new subjects for human mental health or other things relating to our minds. While she is not studying, reading, writing, and listening to music are among Parcell’s passions.
Resources to Recover and Our Sponsor Laurel House Celebrate Black History Month
February is Black History Month, a time for celebrating the outstanding achievements of Blacks and African Americans and their central role in US history. It is also a time to recognize the struggles Black people have faced throughout the history of our nation and give tribute to the strength and resilience of generations of Black Americans who have risen above adversity.
Black History Month originated from an idea by Harvard-educated historian Carter G. Woodson, who wrote the Journal of Negro History in 1916 to herald the achievements of overlooked African Americans in US history and culture. In 1926 he led an effort by the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH) to officially declare the second week of February as “Negro History Week.” These dates align with the birthdays of two crucial figures in Black American history: Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809), who signed the Emancipation Proclamation officially ending slavery in the United States, and the Black American abolitionist and author Frederick Douglass (February 14, 1818), an escaped slave who is widely considered the most influential civil and human rights advocate of the 19th century. In 1976, President Gerald Ford gave official governmental recognition to the observance by declaring February “Black History Month.”
Without the contributions of Blacks and African Americans to more than 500 years of US history, culture, entertainment and the arts, science, athletics, industry and the economy, public service, and the Armed Forces, we would not be the country we are today.
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The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.
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