A year into the pandemic, and many individuals working from home are facing the complications that arise from blending their once-separate lives. As bedrooms transition into ‘temporary’ home offices and tables and countertops gain ever-increasing clutter, the ‘work-life’ balance inevitably shifts, blurring the lines between personal and business time and making the office and work inescapable.
The effects of poor work/life balance
This lack of separation has tangible effects – research shows that clear boundaries between work and home life results in less conflict between the two. By blending the two, negative emotions experienced in the home or work environment carry into the other, influencing morale, satisfaction, and productivity. Working from home further erodes the boundaries between work and life as the ‘flexibility’ results in ‘constant availability’. Removing commute times has added time back into the average workers day, but this is quickly eaten up by an increased amount of tasks and a lack of ‘legitimate excuses’ for being available – individuals working remotely take fewer, shorter breaks and end up working an average of three hours longer than their office-based counterparts.
Furthermore, the sudden shift from an office environment to that of one’s home results in a significant decrease of social interaction and interpersonal relationships. As these connections dwindle and isolation increases, individuals are more likely to suffer from mental health issues, poor sleep quality, and unfavorable cardiovascular functions and impaired immunity – made worse by the everpresent pandemic. Isolation related depression can be challenging to recognize and admit, and quickly manifests into a lack of motivation, increased stress, and higher burnout – negative impacts for both the worker as well as employers, as employee turnover is estimated to be around $16,000 per employee per year.
Solutions to Achieve Better Work/Life Balance
Luckily, solutions exist to get around the issues of social isolation and the homogenous blend of work/home life. Coworking allows individuals the opportunity to again create distinct work and home environments, segmenting your day and allowing one to focus solely on either work or pleasure. Whether it be a desk or your own private office, coworking allows for increased productivity and time management coupled with the social interaction that is in such short supply in a working-from-home environment. Apart from the seperation of facets of one’s life, coworking gives the motivation to shower, get dressed, and leave the house – simple steps that can dramatically improve daily outlook and alleviate symptoms from isolation-caused depression.
Mental Health Benefits of Coworking Office Space
Coworking isn’t solely for the physical workspace, but also the sense of community. Research shows ~80% of coworkers have expanded both social and professional networks, with similar proportions reporting that they feel both less lonely and happier since joining coworking spaces. The lack of distractions allows for better concentration, leading to 84% of surveyed members reporting that coworking improved both work engagement and motivation. Coworking allows for office interpersonal relationships without the inherent office politics and drama that comes with it in a company setting.
With low rates and introductory offers, getting a taste of coworking has never been easier. Break out of the distraction riddled home office and get a taste of working in a community of like minded professionals and see what it can do for both your mental and professional state of mind – try Workzones today!