Mental Health and Working from Home

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Jon

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#1
This is a topic I've covered on the blog a few times

Mental Health and your Finances

Mental Health and Working from home

How to avoid Cavin Fever

Do you think Mental health plays a BIG part in the working from home world?

A lot of people who come to TMS or interact with me online say they work from home because their anxiety can be so crippling that they can't hold down a regular 9-5.

Others will say to me that the loneliness and general loss of a social structure that you get from working at home 24/7 actually contributes to their general mental health issues in a negative way and so makes is 10 times worse!

Do you think working online is a help or a hindrance for people with mental health issues?
 

homie

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#2
Others will say to me that the loneliness and general loss of a social structure that you get from working at home 24/7 actually contributes to their general mental health issues in a negative way and so makes is 10 times worse!
This.

Doing the app jobs and mystery shopping helps get you out and about but its not he same as going out to a regular place of work and interacting with colleagues.

The Money Shed forum helps a lot though.
 

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#3
I definitely find a 9-5 challenging with regards to my anxiety, both in terms of the required social interaction and the general added pressures of being in the workplace. Some days even the thought of stepping outside of my front door can feel overwhelming, and therefore the prospect of walking into an office with forced social engagement and chit-chat can be especially daunting at times. Working from home enables me to have privacy (I'm very introverted so this is something I really value and therefore probably the reason I don't feel "lonely"), freedom, flexibility and breathing space. I think office politics has a lot to do with people's desire to work from home as this can be detrimental to their mental health - in my last job I came close to a breakdown due to the cliques/gossip/bullying that was rife there, and eventually was signed off with stress, whereupon I then discovered working from home.

However, I do think that working from home can amplify mental health issues insofar as you have to be very on the ball, work may not always be guaranteed and thus financial strain can be exacerbated, and for people who do thrive off social interaction, I think cabin fever could certainly set in quite easily. I'm more than happy pottering about at home with just my cat for company, though :D
 

Jon

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#4
This.

Doing the app jobs and mystery shopping helps get you out and about but its not he same as going out to a regular place of work and interacting with colleagues.

The Money Shed forum helps a lot though.
Yeah I 100% get what you're saying here.

Do you end up hating your house due to it is both where you sleep and where you work from all week?
 

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#5
I think it depends on the illness you're suffering from. If it's social anxiety than not leaving home won't help. But getting out and doing mystery shopping etc will help with this.
 

Jon

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#6
I definitely find a 9-5 challenging with regards to my anxiety, both in terms of the required social interaction and the general added pressures of being in the workplace. Some days even the thought of stepping outside of my front door can feel overwhelming, and therefore the prospect of walking into an office with forced social engagement and chit-chat can be especially daunting at times. Working from home enables me to have privacy (I'm very introverted so this is something I really value and therefore probably the reason I don't feel "lonely"), freedom, flexibility and breathing space. I think office politics has a lot to do with people's desire to work from home as this can be detrimental to their mental health - in my last job I came close to a breakdown due to the cliques/gossip/bullying that was rife there, and eventually was signed off with stress, whereupon I then discovered working from home.

However, I do think that working from home can amplify mental health issues insofar as you have to be very on the ball, work may not always be guaranteed and thus financial strain can be exacerbated, and for people who do thrive off social interaction, I think cabin fever could certainly set in quite easily. I'm more than happy pottering about at home with just my cat for company, though :D
Thanks for being so open in your reply

I always feel bad when I read things like this and I think that it's as a manager in my day job I would HATE for any of my staff to feel like this. Was your boss supportive at all? Did mediation take place between yourself and your colleagues to bottom out the issues?
 

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#7
I think it depends on the illness you're suffering from. If it's social anxiety than not leaving home won't help. But getting out and doing mystery shopping etc will help with this.
The thing is quite a lot of people with anxiety / social anxiety struggle with Mystery shopping as they can feel a bit exposed and worry about what they would do in various situations
 

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#8
The thing is quite a lot of people with anxiety / social anxiety struggle with Mystery shopping as they can feel a bit exposed and worry about what they would do in various situations
Of course. But the best way to battle through it is to keep doing it. The more times someone does it and the less those fears come to pass the more comfortable they become :) I still feel terrified before starting a shop but once I'm in there doing it it's all good :)
 

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#9
Thanks for being so open in your reply

I always feel bad when I read things like this and I think that it's as a manager in my day job I would HATE for any of my staff to feel like this. Was your boss supportive at all? Did mediation take place between yourself and your colleagues to bottom out the issues?
Unfortunately not as my boss was vile (I was her Secretary) and since I left, she has had five more Secretaries come and go, she even threw a pen at my head and was just generally unpleasant in her mannerisms. The Office Manager is/was well aware of the situation but brushed it off as "a personality type". With regards to the cliqueyness and gossip, I was advised to "just ignore it". I'm very laid back and friendly, and unfortunately at the time I didn't realise it was as wrong as I now know that it is, so didn't pursue any further action and just found another job elsewhere eventually. Funnily enough, I have to email/phone my aforementioned boss fairly regularly in my new role, but she's nice as pie to me now. :)
 

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#10
Unfortunately not as my boss was vile (I was her Secretary) and since I left, she has had five more Secretaries come and go, she even threw a pen at my head and was just generally unpleasant in her mannerisms. The Office Manager is/was well aware of the situation but brushed it off as "a personality type". With regards to the cliqueyness and gossip, I was advised to "just ignore it". I'm very laid back and friendly, and unfortunately at the time I didn't realise it was as wrong as I now know that it is, so didn't pursue any further action and just found another job elsewhere eventually. Funnily enough, I have to email/phone my aforementioned boss fairly regularly in my new role, but she's nice as pie to me now. :)
so do you half work from home and half work in 9-5 world now then?

Do you think that's the best match for you?
 

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#11
so do you half work from home and half work in 9-5 world now then?

Do you think that's the best match for you?
Yeah I do half and half, my "real job" is a 9-5 at a Solicitors and the remaining half of the time I work from home, but I'm hoping to tip the balance more in favour of working from home in the near future. Have had a very productive weekend in the work-at-home world so I'm feeling optimistic about it.
 

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#12
Yeah I do half and half, my "real job" is a 9-5 at a Solicitors and the remaining half of the time I work from home, but I'm hoping to tip the balance more in favour of working from home in the near future. Have had a very productive weekend in the work-at-home world so I'm feeling optimistic about it.
What things do you think you would miss from the 9-5 if you dropped it fully?

For me it would be the social connections and the friendships I've made. Online friendships just aren't the same as real life ones I think sadly and I would miss the greatly.

I also think success can be hard to measure when you are online only.
 

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#13
I suppose what I mean by success is that in a regular job you would have appraisals / targets / support etc but if you are working from home homely and you lose a contract with Leapforce or your blogging income drops massively it can have a HUGE effect on you mentally as you have no contact for a lot of the decisions that are made against you.

I remember being really gutted when Bongo / 63336 dropped me and was in a sort of shock for a few days of 'well what am I going to do now!!'
 

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#14
What things do you think you would miss from the 9-5 if you dropped it fully?

For me it would be the social connections and the friendships I've made. Online friendships just aren't the same as real life ones I think sadly and I would miss the greatly.

I also think success can be hard to measure when you are online only.
I think a part of me would miss the social interaction, as when I work from home I can without realising go several days without seeing/speaking to anyone apart from my husband, who works 5/6 days a week, but I guess mostly I'd just miss the having a guaranteed decent income every month that doesn't fluctuate, and paid holidays/sick pay of course. The boss I have now is really lovely as well, and I do feel very lucky to work for her.

I know what you mean about measuring success, but I have numerous spreadsheets which I do find quite indicative of the success and progress I've made, and they can be fairly motivating.
 

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#15
I know personally my mental health has seriously suffered since being exclusively work from home. I missed the social side of working for ages but now a side effect of that is that I don't actually like socialising so much any more. I'd rather not be in social situations beyond those times with family and very close friends. A couple of times a year I force myself to blogging conventions to try and socialise but I tend to just stick to the people I know such as @katykicker and a couple of others from the UK Money Bloggers.

I also have little confidence in my skills, even as a blogger. In the past I've talked myself out of applying for "real jobs" believing I can't do it even though I know I can...something I never did until working from home. This means I doubt I'll ever looking for a job, even once Eban is old enough to not need me at home.
 

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#16
I know personally my mental health has seriously suffered since being exclusively work from home. I missed the social side of working for ages but now a side effect of that is that I don't actually like socialising so much any more. I'd rather not be in social situations beyond those times with family and very close friends. A couple of times a year I force myself to blogging conventions to try and socialise but I tend to just stick to the people I know such as @katykicker and a couple of others from the UK Money Bloggers.

I also have little confidence in my skills, even as a blogger. In the past I've talked myself out of applying for "real jobs" believing I can't do it even though I know I can...something I never did until working from home. This means I doubt I'll ever looking for a job, even once Eban is old enough to not need me at home.
so you feel like you are stuck in some sort of endless loop now I guess. A loop that didn't exist before you started working from home 24/7

Have you tried having counselling to 'challenge' that mindset? You say you know you can do the jobs but it's the applying hurdle you can't get past which says to me it's that thought pattern that you need help pushing through or reframing as they say.

Do you worry that Eban may pick up on all this during those 'formation' years where they are supposed to be highly influenced by their parents / home culture?
 

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#17
I don't let Eban see any of that. He knows that I work at home because it means I can be here for him, so I'm at home when both he and his dad are and because it's what I want to do. He has plenty of influence around him to know that what I do isn't the "done thing" as his Nan goes out to work, as does his Aunty and other females in his life. He knows that this is a choice that his dad and I made for our family.

Don't get me wrong. I have no career goals, never have, so being stuck in this loop isn't hindering my career progress. That could change in 8 years but it might stay the same...I don't know. If it changes and I find that I do want to pursue a career then I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
 

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#18
I don't let Eban see any of that. He knows that I work at home because it means I can be here for him, so I'm at home when both he and his dad are and because it's what I want to do. He has plenty of influence around him to know that what I do isn't the "done thing" as his Nan goes out to work, as does his Aunty and other females in his life. He knows that this is a choice that his dad and I made for our family.

Don't get me wrong. I have no career goals, never have, so being stuck in this loop isn't hindering my career progress. That could change in 8 years but it might stay the same...I don't know. If it changes and I find that I do want to pursue a career then I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
I think working at home is quite a done thing these days

In my main job anyone can work from home up to 2 days a week anyway lol

Do you think it's easier to get into negative mental ruts when you are home alone? too much time to think and no one to challenge it etc.
 

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#19
I think working at home is quite a done thing these days

In my main job anyone can work from home up to 2 days a week anyway lol

Do you think it's easier to get into negative mental ruts when you are home alone? too much time to think and no one to challenge it etc.
When I say "done thing" I mean more so that it's not to be expected from a woman, like it used to be - as in, stay at home more than the work from home.

It's very easy to get suck in a negative mental rut, especially for me. I need to talk to people. Luckily I have online friends from games etc who I can actually talk to (not type to) so that helps a couple of times a week. But yeah, having no-one to report to and face to face chat to makes it easy to let things slip, to let things build up and then feel terrible because it's all got on top of you.
 

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#20
do you think comparison syndrome can be another kick to your mental health?

You can be exposed to a lot of different people online who are all earning different amounts and I imagine it's quite easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you aren't doing well enough compared to others. Or maybe you start a blog and realise find it far too easy to compare your site to one that's been running for 5+ years.

Heck I know I'm as guilty of this as anyone and find it can REALLY affect your mood.
 

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