Remote Working & Mental Health: A Young Professional’s GuidePopular on CamTrader
Articles / Posted 2 weeks ago / 84 views
A Balancing Act
Remote working has unique challenges that are different from working in an office. Adapting as a young professional can be taxing, so how do you manage it?
- An unprecedented year
- Remote working on the rise
- The mental health toll
- Addressing the challenges as an employee
- What employers can do
2020 was an unprecedented year for most young professionals. Many hopefuls successfully graduated and found themselves with great opportunities to climb the career ladder at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, their lives were taken for a spin once the COVID-19 pandemic hit. National lockdowns forced businesses to adopt remote workflows, effectively turning homes into workplaces.
Remote working is perhaps the biggest concern for young professionals these days. While it initially sounded great to work from home as the world weathered the pandemic, the reality was a lot harsher than we could’ve imagined. Remote working forced us into unhealthy habits, it damaged our mental health, and it limited the potential of many young workers that had only just joined their industries. This isn’t true for everyone of course, but it’s how the vast majority of young remote workers were feeling throughout 2020.
But that didn’t stop them from chasing success.
Young professionals are a hungry breed of employee that will stop at nothing to climb the career ladder and obtain success. Unfortunately, this hard-working nature is a double-edged sword that can end their career if they’re not careful. Overworking yourself in a remote environment can create many unhealthy habits, eventually leading to poor mental health and a feeling that you’ve hit a roadblock in your career. With few companies hiring, young professionals have found themselves trapped in their home offices by the COVID-19 virus.
So in this guide, we’re going to talk about the importance of looking after your wellbeing while remote working. We’re going to focus on young professionals and how they can progress their careers despite all of the challenges that come with remote working.
Globally, COVID-19 has over 91.4 million cases with just over 1.9 million confirmed deaths as of writing. This is a strong case for initiating lockdowns across the world in order to prevent the spread of the virus. By closing non-essential businesses and limiting travel options, lockdowns hope to slow down the spread of the virus while still maintaining the economy. In order to do this, many people need to switch to remote working positions with help from cloud-based workflows and other online-based systems.
This is the main reason why remote working is on the rise; it’s a countermeasure against lockdowns that prevent employees from coming to work. However, it’s also in the best interests of the business itself. Nobody wants their employees to get sick and being unable to work, so keeping them safe at home where they can still be productive is usually the best course of action.
It’s estimated that around 56% of the U.S. workforce currently has a job that is compatible, even if partially, with remote working. However, we also know that only 3.6% of the employee workforce actually practices this. Data from 2016 shows that 43% of the workforce does work from home at least some of the time, but this data was well before the lockdowns began.
With current data, it’s estimated that up to 30% of the workforce could be working from home by the end of 2021. This is due to a combination of factors:
- Businesses are starting to realize that work-from-home employees can be just as effective if given the right tools.
- It lowers operating costs since a smaller office can be used to run the business.
- More people are starting to overcome the challenges of working from home as they get accustomed to it.
- Reduced employee commuting means a lower carbon footprint for everyone.
- It opens up more recruitment opportunities across the world.
There are certainly benefits for both employees and employers when it comes to remote working, but it’s also surprisingly taxing on our mental health.
Working from home has many psychological effects that a lot of people simply weren’t prepared for. This is something that freelancers and existing remote working employees had to cope with even before the pandemic, but it’s only recently coming to light due to the huge influx of remote working employees now.
Here are some of the most common problems that remote workers face when it comes to their mental health:
- Pressure to work extra hours or hours that they’re not accustomed to.
- Difficulties unplugging from work due to it being accessible on their computer or laptop.
- Loneliness due to a lack of colleagues to speak to in-person.
- Isolation due to being stuck at home because of lockdowns.
- Stress due to a lack of time management skills that are required when working from home.
- Depression caused by a lack of tangible career progress.
That last point is particularly important because depression can have far-reaching effects. The symptoms of depression can include bursts of anger, anxiety, agitation, increased cravings for food, or even unexplained physical problems like headaches and back pain. If you notice any of these symptoms when you work from home, then there’s a possibility that remote working has caused you to develop depression.
Thankfully, your mental health doesn’t have to suffer as a result of working from home as long as you take the right approach.