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Depression rising in remote workers – it’s not for everyone

(BUSINESS NEWS) If you’re in a cubicle right now, remote work sounds appealing, but it turns out not everyone is a good fit for it, and depression and anxiety levels are on the rise for those that work from home.

remote work

Although the rise of telecommuting has allowed professionals to enjoy unprecedented amounts of flexibility in their work lives, especially in regards to work—life balance, all that silver lining is still attached to some clouds.

A recent report indicates that nearly 50% of remote workers struggle with wellness-related issues. According to Forbes recounting the study, fully “49 percent of remote workers note that their biggest struggle is wellness-related. More specifically, 22 percent can’t unplug after work, 19 percent feel lonely and 8 percent can’t stay motivated.

Researchers have also remarked that remote workers suffer from anxiety and depression at a higher rate than people who commute to traditional offices.

It’s no secret that working remotely can be lonely; but relationships between people are not just defined by proximity. It’s possible to be working in a home office and still have a strong connection with your coworkers or clients.

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Not everyone is cut out for a lot of the tasks that come along with being your own manager and working by yourself.

Those working from home take on a lot of the responsibilities that their officemates and managers used to perform – they must figure out how to prioritize their tasks, maintain their focus, and deal with any annoying IT problems like tricky printers or bad wifi connections themselves.

A lot of the standard advice that is given to freelancers and remote workers comes down to making sure they properly manage their working space and themselves. Rather than focusing purely on accomplishing tasks, they must also think about how they manage their or remember to literally move their body (getting outside of the house!).

If you’re considering remote work, don’t be discouraged by this negative news.

Just as in-office work isn’t optimal for everybody, so too is remote work something that can be a great opportunity for people who are suited to it. Rather than assuming that an off-site opportunity means that you’re destined for the gloomies, consider what you need from your employment and how you work best—not only in terms of your productivity, but your happiness.

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AprilJo Murphy is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a PhD in English and Creative Writing from the University of North Texas. She is a writer, editor, and sometimes teacher based in Austin, TX who enjoys getting outdoors with her handsome dog, Roan.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. PJ Christie

    May 30, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Dr. Murphy,
    I know what you mean! When moving from in-house to ‘in the house’ it is not easy to anticipate the changes, I’ve felt them too. Ultimately it is up to the individual to perform a little “Think – Act – Feel” to decide what is right for them.

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