Covid-19 has had a global impact on the way we live our daily lives, how we approach basic tasks and how we can meet, greet and interact with our friends, families and colleagues.
While we all fight to stop the spread of the virus, these uncertain times are having a huge impact of the mental health of so many. All too often we deal silently with the fight to keep our mental health in check. The lack of human interaction, general chats, and the banter we have with work colleagues daily can help keep our heads happy.
Now, more than ever, looking after our mental health is paramount while we adjust to the current way of living day-to-day.
Figures revealed at the Unispace Market Webinar last week showed that 45% of surveyed employees feel social disconnection from colleagues when working from home long-term. This figure significantly increases among those under 25 years of age, of whom 60% of surveyed employees feel social disconnection from colleagues under the current circumstances.
Nearly half of this “millennial” age group of 20-30 somethings reported being very happy with their lives in April 2018, according to a CSO survey. Just one in 10 reported the same satisfaction this year.
In a paper published this week by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI), experts said that research on loneliness has traditionally focused on older adults. However, recent evidence indicates that young adults also experience loneliness and possibly at an even higher rate. The increased loneliness and isolation many younger workers feel due to this social disconnect and the pressures of life in the midst of the pandemic may cause psychological and mental health problems with lasting effects, the PSI warned.
In particular, the PSI highlighted the impact of long-term remote working on employees and their mental health:
"Work practices like remote working may present great opportunities for some, i.e. no commute, a more focused environment, whilst for others, they can lead to professional isolation, disconnection, and disengagement,” the paper reads.
"To date, over 100 large-scale studies have shown that countries that undergo economic recessions endure substantially increased rates of mental disorders, substance abuse, and suicidal behaviour. Jobless people, and those in precarious employment, are always the worst affected."
Here at Element78, we strive to provide support and mentoring to businesses and provide Virtual Office and Coworking options to boost morale and business presence post-Covid-19.
Element78 recognise that workers need a choice in their environment (where possible) to ensure that social connection and harnessing of office culture is balanced, while productivity is also maintained.
If workers are forced to work from home longer term once restrictions are eased again, it is likely their mental health may suffer at some point due to social isolation from colleagues, disconnect from the office, distractions at home and an uncomfortable work from home set-up. Choice is paramount where possible and when efficiently managed.
Element78 have the tools to give employers that choice and control to provide a better environment for their employees in the wake of this pandemic. The definition of the workplace is changing; we have the groundwork done. Our sites are compliant with government guidelines and we are here to help companies and their staff to look for better ways to work.
Contact us to find out more about our Covid-19 software services designed to support, communicate and engage with staff working remotely, on site and in flexible environments.