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How Working From Home Impacts Our Mental Health

Aug 31, 2023 | Communication, Mental Health, Stress

We are officially in the age of flexible work arrangements, where commuting from the bedroom to the home office has become the new norm for many of us. As of 2023, roughly one third of the working population works from their own home. Working from home has its undeniable perks, from saving time on traffic to enjoying the comfort of your favorite coffee mug. 

Aside from the obvious benefits, it’s important to recognize that the shift to remote work can also have an impact on our mental health. In this blog, we’ll explore the various ways working from home affects our well-being while offering practical tips to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Where Did Working From Home Come From?

The Covid-19 pandemic opened the doors for far more work-from-home situations than had previously existed. There were still plenty of positions that offered remote or hybrid work opportunities prior to the pandemic. 

Traditionally, working from home applied to people in positions that required travel, like sales jobs. This flexibility served a specific purpose for those that were offered it. Now, people with positions of all kinds are offered this unique opportunity. We are witnessing teachers, nurses, doctors, and countless other traditional career paths offering working from home. Because of this, there is far more data exploring the impact of this remote working model.

The Comfort Conundrum

While working in pajamas sounds appealing, it can blur the boundaries between work and personal life. The absence of a clear separation between the two can lead to increased stress and reduced productivity. To combat this, it’s best to establish a dedicated workspace that is separate from your living area. By creating this physical boundary, you’ll help signal to your brain that it’s time to focus on work when you’re in that space.

The Social Side of Work

Human beings are social creatures, and the office often serves as a hub for social interactions. When working from home, the lack of face-to-face contact with colleagues can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Combat this by actively engaging with your colleagues through virtual meetings, chats, or even virtual water cooler moments. Additionally, scheduling regular breaks for virtual coffee chats can help create social connections, keeping loneliness at bay.

The Power of Routine

Establishing a routine is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Without the traditional structure of office hours, it’s easy to blur the lines between work and personal time. Creating a daily schedule that includes dedicated work hours, breaks, and leisure activities can help restore a sense of normalcy. Additionally, incorporating regular exercise, hobbies, and time for self-care into your routine can greatly improve your mental well-being.

The Distraction Dilemma

One of the biggest challenges of working from home is managing distractions. From household chores to Netflix temptations, the home environment can be filled with interruptions that hinder productivity and increase stress levels. Setting boundaries and creating a system to manage distractions can be instrumental in staying focused. For example, using time-management techniques like the Pomodoro Technique, where you work for a set amount of time and then take short breaks, can enhance productivity and reduce stress.

Ergonomic Needs

Working from home also often means sitting for extended periods, which can have negative effects on physical and mental health. Investing in ergonomic furniture and setting up an ergonomic workspace can greatly improve your comfort and overall well-being. Ensure that your chair, desk, and computer setup are aligned to promote proper posture and reduce strain on your body. Some people have begun to invest in walking pads so that they are able to move while working. This not only increases their total daily energy expenditure but promotes healthy blood flow and improved mental clarity.

The Importance of Communication

Effective communication becomes even more crucial when working remotely. Ambiguities in communication can lead to misunderstandings and increased stress levels. To overcome this, strive for clear and concise communication, be mindful of tone, and use video calls whenever possible to maintain a sense of connection. Regularly checking in with your team and discussing any challenges or concerns can help foster a supportive and collaborative work environment.

The Work-Life Boundary

One of the advantages of remote work is the immense flexibility it provides. Unfortunately, though, this flexibility can sometimes blur the boundaries between work and personal life. It’s essential to establish a healthy work-life balance by setting clear boundaries. 

Create a schedule that allows for dedicated personal time and stick to it. Avoid the temptation to work outside of those designated hours, as it can lead to burnout and decreased overall satisfaction. Also, spend time focusing on what brings you joy outside of work. Spend as much time as possible with friends and family as well as take time to do things you love. This could be working out, playing sports, or catching up with the people you care about.

Tips For Troubleshooting Potential Issues
  • Addressing technology-related stressors: Technical difficulties can be frustrating and impact your mental well-being. Simply seek assistance when needed and develop basic troubleshooting skills to minimize frustration.
  • Overcoming procrastination and maintaining focus: Create a conducive work environment that minimizes distractions and breaks tasks into smaller, manageable steps. You can also utilize productivity tools and techniques to stay on track.
  • Recognizing and managing feelings of isolation: Be on the lookout for virtual communities and networking groups related to your profession or interests. This way, you can take part in online discussions and participate in virtual activities to combat any isolation you might experience.
  • Embracing change and adapting to new circumstances: Although it can be tricky, try to embrace the evolving work landscape and be open to change. Develop resilience by cultivating a growth mindset, seeking new opportunities for professional development, and adapting to new ways of working.

Working from home offers incredible opportunities for flexibility and comfort but can sometimes come at a cost. Because of this, it’s crucial to be mindful of the potential impact it can have on our mental health. The key lies in finding the right balance between the comfort of home and the productivity of the office. Embrace the freedom that remote work offers, but don’t forget to nurture your mental well-being along the way.

New Dimensions Can Help!

New Dimensions has outpatient counseling programs for adolescents and adults who are struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues.  To learn more about our services, including psychological testing, Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP), Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), and Interventions for substance abuse, contact us at 800-685-9796 or visit our website at  To learn more about individual, family, and couples counseling visit