New research has revealed how working from home during the global pandemic is impacting our mental health.
Many people who are WFH are now working much longer hours than normal – with people on average, clocking up a huge 28 hours of overtime per month.
The study, commissioned by LinkedIn in partnership with The Mental Health foundation, found that 56% are feeling more anxious or stressed, 24% are struggling with their mental health and nearly a third (31%) are having difficulty sleeping.
Almost half (47%) have faked being busy while working from home as they fear they may lose their job if they’re not.
The research surveyed 2,000 UK adults who are currently working from home due to Coronavirus. They found that the blurring of lines between work time and home time is making it more difficult for people to switch off.
The research revealed that a quarter (25%) feel pressured to respond more quickly and be available online for longer than they normally would, with one in eight (12%) now signing in before 7 am and 18% still working after 7 pm.
Researchers worry that the increase in working hours coupled with the uncertainty around future job security could lead people towards burnout.
‘Burnout, which is caused by unmanaged chronic workplace stress, is a modern phenomenon that poses a huge risk to our physical and mental health,’ says Chris O’Sullivan from the Mental Health Foundation.
‘People working from home during these unprecedented times are at a greater risk of burnout due to the high stakes environment we find ourselves in both globally and personally.
‘We cannot have the same business as usual expectations on ourselves or of our employees – there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to work full time, look after children at home and keep up our other responsibilities.’
Chris says it’s important to find time to decompress, set up a routine, and manage expectations of to help get on top of your workload and stress levels.
‘If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out to your manager or speak to a professional about how to get back on track,’ he adds.
Despite the negative implications of WFH, there were some positives too. 44% have reported that they feel more connected to their family.
Working from home has also allowed more time for exercise (24%), and 17% report that they are now eating more healthily.
Over half of those surveyed (54%) can see the benefits of working from home and would like their employer to give them the option to do it more often when lockdown is over.
‘Covid-19 has impacted how we all work, not least those heroes on the frontline,’ says Senior HR Director at LinkedIn, Lisa Finnegan.
‘Whilst it is a very different set of challenges, for those of us who are fortunate enough to work from home, we are seeing the impact this is having on our mental health.
‘I’ve shared my own experiences with burnout and mental health on LinkedIn – both as a manager and employee – and encourage others to do the same, to open up the conversation and help others going through the same thing to feel less alone.’