Burnout and Isolation: Why Employees and Managers Can’t Ignore the Social and Mental Health Impact of Working from Home

The COVID-19 pandemic It triggered a variety of workplace ailments, including “big resignation”, “quiet take off”, “overemployment”, labor shortages and conflicts between managers and employees about returning to personal work.

Employee fatigue and well-being may be at the heart of many of these issues.

Two new studies highlight the importance of social contact in the workplace and explain why working from home may not be the optimal arrangement in the workplace. hybrid Work from home Schedules may help prevent burnout and improve mental health.

So, what is burnout?

Describe the International Classification of Diseases Burnt as “a syndrome that has been conceptualized as the result of chronic stress in the workplace that has not been successfully managed.” As a diagnosable condition, burnout consists of three symptoms: physical exhaustion, disengagement from work and colleagues, and cynicism about job and job.

For many who have experienced fatigue, it can feel just like the metaphor describing it: something like a burnt, withered matchstick, cold to the touch.

What causes fatigue and how can it be stopped?

According to global research, nearly 50 percent of employees And 53 percent of managers are exhausted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is clear that workplaces are not thriving.

As a social epidemiologist studying contemporary emotional disturbance In the context of public health crises, I have been keen to understand the factors that contribute to burnout and how it can be successfully managed—particularly given the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19.

You might think researchers know all about burnout at this point. After all, burnout has been studied since at least the late 1970s.

Many studies conducted since then have focused on workplace conditions, such as wages, working hours, management techniques, and ambiguities.”workplace culture. As such, burnout management often focuses on reshaping work environments and fixing bad managers. While these are of course necessary, it is not immediately clear that they are sufficient.
With the advent of the pandemic, many people have new levels of awareness of the impossibility of separating work from life.

For some, this awareness comes from how exhausted They are when they come home from shift. For others who work from home, the gap between home and office may come from disappearing.

In any case, our emotional and psychological well-being is with us whether we are at work or at home. As such, it makes sense to take a comprehensive view of burnout. Social contact is a major driver of burnout.

Social costs and benefits of working from home

In a recent study conducted by my lab at Simon Fraser University, we sought to identify the most important risk factors Burnt.

We looked at a range of variables, including the classic factors of workload, pay satisfaction, workplace dignity, work control, and wage adequacy, as well as more novel variables such as home ownership, a range of demographic factors, social support and loneliness.

While conducting this study, we found that loneliness and a lack of social support emerge as major contributors to burnout, and are perhaps just as important – if not more so – than physical health and financial security.

In summary, the study contributes to a growing understanding of burnout as a social problem driven by isolation.

One potential and developing source of isolation is the emerging trend of working from home. Since many people have the privilege of learning, there are many benefits to working from home.

It enables people to save time on their commute and have more freedom to get household chores done or do quick chores a nap in periods of rest. This means they have more time and energy for friends and family at the end of the day.

On the other hand, working from home means losing water cooler conversations and accidental collisions with co-workers – which have a surprisingly profound impact on well-being.

Moreover, given how important workplaces and schools are in research and construction friendshipsLosing these spaces can have serious long-term consequences for people’s social health – especially if the time spent with others at work is now spent at home alone.

The importance of social engagement with health and happiness

To understand the effects of working from home on mental health, my team conducted a second study to look at differences in mental health self-rating among individuals who only work from home. Homepageonly in person, or who have worked partly personally and partly at home.

We controlled for potentially important factors such as income, hours worked, occupation, age, gender, and ethnicity.

Our results showed that 54% of those who worked in-person and 63% of those who only worked at home reported being good or excellent. Psychological health.

From these findings, you might conclude that working from home is better for mental health – a finding that conflicts with a growing number of studies that highlight the disadvantages and challenges of working from home.

However, there is a catch: 87 percent of those who report having a hybrid work Ranking – meaning that they worked partly personally and partly at home – had good or excellent mental health.

While the type of work done at home and in person certainly shapes these trends, our findings suggest the possibility that hybrid work may give employees the best of both worlds—particularly in the context of our first study, which highlighted the importance of the social association with well-being in the workplace.

In fact, mixed working arrangements may allow employees to maintain those positive bonds with colleagues while providing a better balance between work and life.

It really might be the best of both worlds – at least for those who can work this way.

As employees and employers continue to adjust to the new normal in the midst of COVID-19 As a pandemic, our research provides us with a powerful reminder that we should all remember the importance of social contact.

It’s all too easy to forget that strong social relationships and communities are the foundation of health and happiness both inside and outside the workplace.

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