If you work in a traditional office setting, you may look longingly out the window while you daydream of being home. One way to make your dream a reality and still make a living is to work from home. Remote work is good for achieving work-life harmony—but not only that, working from home can have significant mental health benefits as well.
Maintaining good mental health is important to both employers and employees. Mental Health America estimates that mental illness and substance abuse-related issues cost U.S. employers $80 to $100 billion annually. By 2030, the World Economic Forum has estimated that the annual cost of mental illness will surpass $6 trillion. On the flip side, the top stressors for many American workers are money and work according to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America survey. To alleviate these costs to employers and stressors faced by workers, it only makes sense to focus on ways to maintain your mental health.
Here are 7 benefits confirming that remote work is good for your mental health:
1. Traffic Congestion and Commute Times
Remove the worry and concern over how much traffic you’ll face on your way to the office each day and whether you’ll arrive on time. Remote work is good for eliminating commuting stressors. Simply put on a pair of slippers and head to your home office!
2. Childcare and Teenage Monitoring
Eliminate some nagging worries about your children and their welfare by working from home. Will you still need childcare assistance while working from home? Probably, but by working at home, you will remove the stress of getting your child to and from daycare on time each day.
If you have older children or teenagers, working from home will allow you to greet and engage with them when they arrive home, find out more about their day, and monitor them while you work. Eliminate “crabby mommy syndrome” from your list of mental stressors.
3. Health and Wellness
Remote work is good for promoting your overall health and wellness. Avoid catching the latest bug by staying in your own home each day instead of sitting near a colleague in the conference room who is sneezing away. Need a break from your home office desk? Do some jumping jacks, planks, or take a walk—all possible when you work from home.
4. Stress Level Improves
According to a University of Minnesota and MIT Sloan School of Management study, flexible work lowers burnout and stress while job satisfaction increases. The benefits are a huge boost to your mental health and well-being. Takeaways from the study also include that participants had less psychological stress and more time to spend with their family and spouses.
5. Freedom and Autonomy
The freedom that comes from working from home adds immeasurable value to your mental health. No longer will you have a colleague or supervisor peering over your shoulder. Do you still need to be accountable to your company and boss? Of course, but you can now manage your day to suit your needs.
An added bonus: you can control the thermostat instead of being held hostage by office temps that are too warm or freezing!
6. Disruption Control
Working from home allows you to manage the disruption level to your work. If you’re working on a project that requires serious concentration, make your office mobile that day and work at the library or a shared space, after you ask your spouse to take over the child management that day.
When working in an office, you’re sometimes at the mercy of your boss’ schedule, and if the boss is walking out the door but drops some more work in your lap, you feel as though you have little control. Working from home eliminates this type of disruption and puts you back in the driver’s seat.
7. Time Management
As a remote worker, you can schedule your day and time as you see fit. Remote work is good for allowing you to handle each day according to the demands of the day. This control improves your mental health in many ways, including allowing you peace of mind to handle family needs as they come up, structuring your day and work to maximize your efficiency and alertness, and ability to fit fitness and mental health breaks into your day.