We all need connection. Every person needs some form of community and human connection in their lives. The dramatic shift to WFH, created in large part by the pandemic, left many people without that needed connection. This shift also left many feeling lonely, depressed, and unmotivated. While there are some great aspects about working from home, there are also some substantial drawbacks, not the least of which being our mental health. Here’s how WFH can negatively affect your mental health and what you can do about it.
The link between isolation and mental health
According to a recent survey conducted by Forbes, the majority of employees working from home say they experienced negative mental health impacts, including isolation, loneliness and difficulty getting away from work at the end of the day.
When we work from home, especially if we live alone, we are increasingly isolated, which leads to loneliness and depression. You may notice that it’s a lot harder to be motivated to work when you are depressed. It’s a lot harder to feel motivated to do much of anything while depressed. And how can you be expected to work at your normal capacity when you can barely find the energy to take care of your basic needs? This isolation, depression, unmotivated cycle often makes us feel stuck. One way to feel unstuck is to begin getting out of the house and back into a space with people and community.
Community means connection
Getting back to the office may seem daunting, but getting back to community is anything but. The feeling of belonging that comes with face to face human connection and community is unparalleled. Just by being in close proximity with other people, we can feel markedly less lonely and depressed. Working outside of home is one way we can begin to create connections and community again.
As Groundwork member, Sam Scovill says,
“I’m new to coworking and I didn’t realize how much I missed working in community with others until I started doing it again. Even just the short hellos and how are you doing check-ins mean a lot to me and almost immediately improve my mood and make me feel so welcome.”
Have you been WFH and feeling the negative affects on your mental health? Have you been feeling less motivated and more isolated? If so, it might be time to take a step back in to community. You may find that face-to-face human connection was exactly what you were missing.
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