Remote Work & Mental Health

Working remotely has many obvious benefits, which is why many employees and companies have embraced the concept since the pandemic forced a shift in the workplace for most of us. 

One of the major benefits has been the freedom that comes with the ability to work remotely. Working from home, or indeed from anywhere has been a life changer for many. Having additional time and money otherwise spent on commuting or not being restricted to career opportunities based on their location have been some of the biggest wins.

Finding that perfect work/life balance has been one of the most important goals that both employees and employers have been striving to achieve for a very long time.

The freedom of remote work allows people to spend more of their time doing things that make them feel good. Taking their children to school, walking their dog, going to the gym, even fitting in routine but necessary appointments for eye tests or health checks, all without having to take leave from work. For those who have a desire to travel the world but can’t find a way to manage visiting far away destinations with only 20 days annual leave a year, remote work has opened a new world! Being able to spend a month in Thailand or Vietnam or travelling across Europe, all within their annual leave allowance and all whilst managing to meet their goals and deadlines.

The companies who have adopted remote work policies also see great advantages for their organization. They can hire people from all over the world, meaning they can get the best candidate for the job, no matter where they are based. They don’t have to worry about office space, furniture, or staff canteens. They can even offer a salary that isn’t location-dependent, the concept of London weighting is no longer an issue for them! 

Overall, remote work sounds like a win-win. We get the all-important work/life balance and companies get productive and happy employees! But the big question is, are they truly happy? 

There is also a downside to remote work. Loneliness, lack of connection and lack of motivation.

When a day at the office was the norm there was always a routine; wake up, shower, have a cup of tea, and grab breakfast to eat during the commute. You arrive at the office, greet your co-workers, have a quick catch-up about the evening or weekend and then get into your work. Meetings were usually with your colleagues in the office, or you’d go out to meet a client. You’d be on the move for a lot of the day, between commuting, lunch break, and meetings, you might even go for a quick drink after work. All of that was crammed into one working day, then you’d rush home, have dinner, and go to bed, preparing to do it all again the next day!

As exhausting as that was, it was a day filled with real-life connections. You speak to people when you order coffee, or at the local lunch place you say hello to the people you see there every day, you bump into people you know on the commute, and you spend all day interacting with colleagues. You even got to coordinate with a co-worker what you would wear the next day to ensure you didn’t turn up to a meeting in the same outfit! You got to move around outside, feel the sunshine, or more likely the rain, you’d get sore feet, but you’d feel a sense of achievement that you’ve already walked 10,000 steps before lunchtime. You were not lonely; you were not lacking connection and you were motivated to get through the day!

So, it’s normal if you’re struggling to motivate yourself while working remotely. It’s perfectly okay to admit that it can be very lonely, it’s tough not to have real connections and interactions every day. It doesn’t mean you’re not grateful for your amazing job, and it doesn’t mean you want to go back to the crazy life of a commuter, it just means you need to practice a little self-care and find ways to raise your vibrations, so you can keep your positivity and creativity flowing!

Raising your vibrations can be achieved in many simple ways. For example, for the first boost of the day, wake up early and watch the sun rise. Sunlight will give you lots of energy, and it will be even better to combine watching the sun rise with an early morning walk or jog. Ideally, without looking at your phone at all! Starting the day this way will help positive vibes flow through you all day. Secondly, try to create a routine. Just as you would in the office, take a break to make some tea, stop work to eat lunch away from your desk (preferably outside, weather permitting) and always try to have a time when you switch off from work. Working remotely doesn’t mean you are always at work. You need to end your day just as you would if you were commuting home. When you finish, you can go for a walk, read a book, do some stretching, or do something that signals the end of the workday and the start of your free time.

And most importantly, don’t forget with the right mood and mind-set we all achieve far better results. It’s all about raising those good, good, good vibrations! 

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