Mental Health benefits of Remote & Flexible work

The global pandemic has made work from home a regular situation. Remote and flexible work in a situation like this has seen to increase work efficiency, aid better time management, help follow proper sleep schedules and overall work satisfaction for many, whereas some people say otherwise. Is remote and flexible working beneficial to all?

  • Company profits and employee productivity has seen a steep increase in companies which provide remote and flexible working hours. Working from home provides a sense of comfort and has shown to increase work satisfaction for the employees. One’s home provides a positive work environment. Professionals put a lot of time and effort in their work, the constant pull that people feel between time spent with their family and time spent at work can affect mental health. Remote work allows these priorities to co-exist peacefully hence leading to a better work – life balance. A professional’s mental health is also benefitted when they can work with undisturbed focus and attention. At an office this kind of work quality is not possible since one is under the mercy of the boss’s schedule. Working from home removes any such kind of disruption and allows you to take incharge.
  • Office environment is not the only source of work related mental health issue for professionals. Commute stress is one of the major causes for people to give into burnouts and work related stress.  Research shows that 33% of those with longer commutes (over 60 minutes each way) were more likely to suffer from depression, 40% more likely to have financial worries and 12% reporting issues with family and relationships. Road rage is another undermined side effect of commuting long hours to work. 56% of Indians living in 10 metropolitan cities agreed to have succumbed to road rage when faced with stressful situations due to time constraints and work frustration. This directly leads to poor work output from the professional hence affecting their mental health negatively. Hence, more the reason to have remote working facilities.
  • Flexibility to work at different hours of the day without a rigid time table by being able to squeeze a normal working week into fewer days or by starting of early or finishing late as per wish leads to a better work – life balance and also work satisfaction . One mental health disorder that goes undiagnosed and unrecognized is Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD). It is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder caused by insomnia and excessive sleeplessness interfering with their work hours.  This can be hugely prevented by flexible working hours because not all  people might be night owls and might not be able to keep up with morning schedules of office  and some   are morning persons who cannot keep up with the late night schedules of their office (commuting time also plays a major role here). Working from home reduces the chances of this happening significantly, one of the major factors being zero commute hours and flexible sleep schedules.

Remote and flexible work has been a boon during this global pandemic, but some people might not agree to this. There are always a percentage of people who prefer their office workspace over remote working for various reasons. Family issues and toxic home environment is something that a lot of people face and this is obviously counter productive, some might associate home as a place of only comfort and relaxation and this prepossessed mental image is also counter productive. These are just a few examples. So, is remote and flexible working actually beneficial? Yes. It is still extremely beneficial as the pros outweigh the cons and since it works for the majority of the population, remote and flexible working has to be given serious consideration to be made permanent (for those who prefer it strongly only). We will see staggering improvement in the mental health of both the employee and employer hence making this a very viable option. 

Written by Shreenidhi D.S.

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