Exploring the Psychology of Remote Work
Remote work has been hailed for several high-value benefits to companies and their employees alike. But it’s also important to consider the potential negative implications of working from home, especially when it comes to mental health.
Here’s a quick review of some of the most important psychological factors that companies may need to address in their remote work strategy.
Pro: Employees Feel More Productive
Numerous studies have found that employees who work remotely can accomplish more in less time. Specifically, employees can dive into their work without the typical office distractions, feel more engaged with the company, and work at their own pace. When employees feel like they’re more productive, they can also feel some of the stress and pressure of the office melt away.
Con: Isolation Can Make You Feel Disconnected From the World
On the downside, working alone can lead to intense feelings of disconnect from other people. Working from your living room or kitchen on a daily basis can risk clouding the boundaries between work and family life, making it harder to “turn off” work at the end of the day.
In addition, little to no human interaction throughout the day can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. In a recent State of Remote Work report, researchers found that nearly 20 percent of remote workers say isolation is their greatest challenge.
Pro: Employees Feel Less Pressure and Stress in Some Ways
Without a morning or afternoon commute, constant interruptions, paying for expensive lunches, and getting little time to recharge at the office, many remote workers say that it’s an excellent solution for stress. Workers can sleep a little longer in the morning and can work in clothes in which they feel comfortable. They don’t feel the constant pressure of someone looking over their shoulder while they work. Plus, they’re not exposed to coworkers who may be sick and can reduce their chances of becoming ill.