In order to give your best in your job, your mental health needs to be in a good place. Our mental states can be complex and although influenced by many factors, our employers do have some responsibility to ensure we are happy in our work.
The fact is, we are all wired differently. Some of us absolutely love a bustling office and thrive when presenting or engaging with large volumes of people, whereas others find the thought of a large meeting stuffy or anxiety-provoking. Similarly, some of us are more comfortable and productive at home, whereas others detest the solitude.
I think it’s more than just a case of us being introverted or extroverted. It’s partly down to who we are and the experiences that have shaped us. Although I would never actively encourage someone to avoid situations that are a critical part of their role, our varying needs should be more of a priority when it comes to getting the job done.
If you’re able to fulfil your role and responsibilities and your position allows for some flexibility to work from home, it’s worth having a candid chat with your employer about the potential to work remotely for part of the week.
Why would my employer consider letting me work remotely?
If your employer is looking to save on business costs, staff working from home can be an efficient solution to aid this. Of course, working from home too much could tilt the balance.
Too much time away from the office can sometimes cause employees to feel disconnected. It can make it harder for them to come into the office for meetings, for example. Despite people’s preferences on where they work from, it’s not good for a person to be in constant solitude. To maintain essential attributes like rapport, team spirit, motivation and communication, a physical presence is required, but this can be negotiated.
The unexpected mental health benefits of working remotely
You might curse the word ‘COVID’. But one thing the COVID lockdown taught us was how to adapt and work remotely – and rather efficiently too! Call it the case study if you will. For a future of virtualisation. Where we head towards a way of working that minimises travel trauma, costs and stress.
Finding a balance is key to looking after your mental health. Office presence is important to foster the aforementioned attributes like rapport, motivation, communication etc. But if you benefit from a better headspace and improved productivity from home because you feel more at ease and less distracted, it makes a strong case to your employer for why you should do so.
For working parents (or those with unavoidable commitments) outside of the office, this can be even more of an advantage. Parents and carers often feel stressed and guilty about the time they may spend commuting. Many getting home late, after their children may have gone to bed. These negative feelings sometimes fester and can breed resentment towards your job or your employer.
Being able to get a better work/home life balance promotes better mental health and stronger bonds between employers and employees. It’s just about having the right arrangement that benefits both parties.