Mental Health and Working from Home

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#21
This is a great topic and one that I've thought lots about.

I've worked from home for the past few years. It wasn't my intention to work from home, it basically got to the point that I couldn't bear working for someone else any longer, ended up getting sacked and had to start earning some money.

There's undoubtedly a lot of benefits. I get to see my daughter far, far more than I would than if I was working most regular kinds of jobs, and we have a fantastic relationship because of this, me being the one who takes her to school, picks her up etc. I don't envy the boring conversations I used to have to have with colleagues I have no interest in and having to follow stupid rules that made absolutely no sense.

On the other hand, I do miss working with other people sometimes and it can be lonely working at home. I also think it can be difficult to re-enter the workplace at a later date. Not only would it be hard to give up the freedom, I think some hiring managers (the less enlightened ones) are loathe to hire people who've worked for themselves (and indeed anyone who doesn't have a rigid, linear work history such as mother's returning to work after bringing up a family).

Ideally, I think what you have to do is to find something outside of your home and work life that you love to do and do it. That's what I've done and it gets me out of the house, I've got to meet some amazing people and it's opened up a lot of new avenues for me.
 

Jon

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#22
This is a great topic and one that I've thought lots about.

I've worked from home for the past few years. It wasn't my intention to work from home, it basically got to the point that I couldn't bear working for someone else any longer, ended up getting sacked and had to start earning some money.

There's undoubtedly a lot of benefits. I get to see my daughter far, far more than I would than if I was working most regular kinds of jobs, and we have a fantastic relationship because of this, me being the one who takes her to school, picks her up etc. I don't envy the boring conversations I used to have to have with colleagues I have no interest in and having to follow stupid rules that made absolutely no sense.

On the other hand, I do miss working with other people sometimes and it can be lonely working at home. I also think it can be difficult to re-enter the workplace at a later date. Not only would it be hard to give up the freedom, I think some hiring managers (the less enlightened ones) are loathe to hire people who've worked for themselves (and indeed anyone who doesn't have a rigid, linear work history such as mother's returning to work after bringing up a family).

Ideally, I think what you have to do is to find something outside of your home and work life that you love to do and do it. That's what I've done and it gets me out of the house, I've got to meet some amazing people and it's opened up a lot of new avenues for me.
Have you ever considered renting a 'remote working space'.

It seems to be uber popular in Leeds where you can book a desk on the fly to work from so that you I suppose feel more part of a team
 
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#24
For me, my mental health has improved so, so much since I started working from home exclusively. Work isn't stressful now, so I can concentrate on making steps forward with my anxiety.

When I'm relaxed after/before a day's work I'm able to think 'hey, I'm perfectly capable of doing something that's difficult for me today'. I can push myself to do something out of my comfort zone so that I find it easier in the future. When I finished a normal day's work and had been holding off a panic attack since 6am, it just wasn't an option to push myself a bit further.

I've made big, noticeable leaps since I stopped working a traditional job. People comment all the time about how much happier I look and how shy I used to be.

For people that are extroverted, I imagine working from home must be tough and it's probably very hard for those people to understand that not everyone craves social interaction and struggles without it. I interact with other people online/calls/texts/etc every day but I probably only see people in person a couple of times per week by choice and have gone far longer. Mental health and how much you need to interact with others is something that it's very difficult to generalize.

There was a question about whether having less interaction with people means you find it harder to pull yourself out of a rut. Not for me. If I feel I'm in a rut now, I tend to intentionally pull back from people. In that frame of mind, I feel pretty delicate and some time to myself gives me change to heal. I wouldn't be able to do that if I didn't work from home.
 

fraserbooks

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#25
I have retired but still help in a local charity shop a couple of mornings a week so I still get some real life company as well. Have you thought of looking for some local voluntary work? When my children were young there were lots of stay at home mums but most helped in local playgroups or similar.
 

Andrew

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#26
I worked from home today and it was ace. Got so much work done that I wouldn't have been able to do if I'd been in the office. But I think sometimes going into the office can help as well because you can pick things up from other people and network which is more difficult from home.
 

katykicker

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#27
Personally I find working from home REALLY suits me, partly because I'm making good money but partly because of my own health.

I work hard at not comparing myself to others, much, and I get out pretty much every day, partly for my work and partly because I don't want Daisy cooped up at home.

I think having people to talk to, and carving your own path, is the key to be happy working from home, and being realistic that some days WILL be shit, much like a job where you work in a workplace not your own home.
 
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#28
I don't think I could work from home all the time - as I am a teaching assistant its not an option anyway, but in the 6 weeks summer holiday I find I am getting in a bit of a rut near the end. I dont get paid in the holidays although can built up holiday pay from my wages. Mystery shopping and days out get me through it.

As I work for an agency there is no worry about personality clashes or hating a job as it is easy enough to leave if anything gets too bad. So far I have only really disliked on placement and I was only there for 3 months so was able to cope with it.
 
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#29
I see the state of society in general affecting my mental health. The fear of not having money or a place to live..the fear of struggling and being stressed. that takes a huge toll. basically feeling forced to work full time to calm that fear down is for me a concept that really affects my mental health. feeling like yeah sure its my choice to work but it feels less of a choice when the alternative is worry and fear. especially since it would take up most of my energy and the rest of the time i would just be resting/recovering from that.

the point about the social aspect in the world environment i find really important also..altho its shit if theres bullying and stuff, in other times i think it helps people feel less shit in their life, human connection etc etc..but i find the problem is the fact that the most common way for people to socialise in this society is because of work or school or things that are kind of not a choice. like in my mind ideally there would be easy to access, really well structured, accessible communities of different shared interests ..instead of the full time work thing. and there are nice communities but they are not the focus of people's lives..theyre not what takes up most of their time.. but its hard when people are busy working full time. for sure some things still need to happen, some jobs, for things to function well..but there`s loads of jobs that i think are kind of redundant. part time jobs would be enough if the financial system wasnt so skewed to benefit the few at the top..

long post, but obviously it`s not how society is structured and not what is prioritised..and it`s way more complex than that. but i`d like to see it become more like that..

i`m not very good at explaining my thoughts but i hope it makes sense at least a little bit..wonder what people think..?
 
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#30
For me, my mental health has improved so, so much since I started working from home exclusively. Work isn't stressful now, so I can concentrate on making steps forward with my anxiety.

When I'm relaxed after/before a day's work I'm able to think 'hey, I'm perfectly capable of doing something that's difficult for me today'. I can push myself to do something out of my comfort zone so that I find it easier in the future. When I finished a normal day's work and had been holding off a panic attack since 6am, it just wasn't an option to push myself a bit further.

I've made big, noticeable leaps since I stopped working a traditional job. People comment all the time about how much happier I look and how shy I used to be.

For people that are extroverted, I imagine working from home must be tough and it's probably very hard for those people to understand that not everyone craves social interaction and struggles without it. I interact with other people online/calls/texts/etc every day but I probably only see people in person a couple of times per week by choice and have gone far longer. Mental health and how much you need to interact with others is something that it's very difficult to generalize.

There was a question about whether having less interaction with people means you find it harder to pull yourself out of a rut. Not for me. If I feel I'm in a rut now, I tend to intentionally pull back from people. In that frame of mind, I feel pretty delicate and some time to myself gives me change to heal. I wouldn't be able to do that if I didn't work from home.
I can identify with a lot of the stuff you wrote. I think it really depends on what each person needs at a specific moment, and their personality is linked with that. Like for me it`s far less energy consuming to do stuff from home. Hence i have much more energy and time to work on my mental health, anxiety, process things in my life. i feel that it`s what i need at the moment and that it`s doing me a lot of good. i find a lot of my anxiety/depression comes from being forced into situations where i was forced to be around people that were not nice. especially at school etc. as well as processing whats behind anxiety/depression(i feel there's often something behind the symptoms), it helps to lesser the triggers and feel some sort of control towards them.

i guess personally i have quite a limited amount of energy and like to have a bit more freedom about what it gets used for.
i`m glad it`s been working out for you savvysaver, hope u keep making progress in the way that u need and find useful!
 

disneygirl

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#31
It helps me, I am actually a lot happier. I have social anxiety, and lesser extent general anxiety. I have more control of what I do. I only do the odd mystery shop and app tasks, but I can pick ones that are "safe". I am not being forced into situations that are not good for me. sometimes try to push myself more into doing thing but it is when I feel I can. I hate unplanned social interactions, if I have to phone someone I will be planning it for days, if I have to deal with an unexcited interaction I can spend days going over and over it afterwards worrying about how I come across, (even a simple hello).

The only negative are if I am feeling more confident but there is a lack of work.
 

katykicker

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#32
I see the state of society in general affecting my mental health. The fear of not having money or a place to live..the fear of struggling and being stressed. that takes a huge toll. basically feeling forced to work full time to calm that fear down is for me a concept that really affects my mental health. feeling like yeah sure its my choice to work but it feels less of a choice when the alternative is worry and fear. especially since it would take up most of my energy and the rest of the time i would just be resting/recovering from that.

the point about the social aspect in the world environment i find really important also..altho its shit if theres bullying and stuff, in other times i think it helps people feel less shit in their life, human connection etc etc..but i find the problem is the fact that the most common way for people to socialise in this society is because of work or school or things that are kind of not a choice. like in my mind ideally there would be easy to access, really well structured, accessible communities of different shared interests ..instead of the full time work thing. and there are nice communities but they are not the focus of people's lives..theyre not what takes up most of their time.. but its hard when people are busy working full time. for sure some things still need to happen, some jobs, for things to function well..but there`s loads of jobs that i think are kind of redundant. part time jobs would be enough if the financial system wasnt so skewed to benefit the few at the top..

long post, but obviously it`s not how society is structured and not what is prioritised..and it`s way more complex than that. but i`d like to see it become more like that..

i`m not very good at explaining my thoughts but i hope it makes sense at least a little bit..wonder what people think..?
This is a really good way of looking at things, I don't have a huge amount of offline friends and those I have I've met in the past because of work etc, or living near each other, things that aren't hugely in my control. Recently I've learned to let go of this and look for new ways to meet other parents and new friends.
 

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#33
I think a lot depends on you as an individual. I know many say they have found working from home too isolating but for me, it's perfect. Mental health-wise, every job I've ever had has ended up damaging my mental health more. Some of my MH issues go beyond depression and anxiety, and into slightly more BPD territories, so once my boss/colleagues start grating on me, my mind really obsesses over how much I hate them. Not fun at all.

My last job, the last day I was there I had a breakdown completely. My husband had to leave work to find me wandering the streets of the city I worked in, in floods of tears and in a depersonalized episode. It took months to put my mind back together to where I am now, which still isn't "fixed" as such.

Then on top of that I have a few physical chronic illnesses which have chronic pain and fatigue as components, so being able to be completely flexible in terms of when I can or cannot get up, be productive, is essential.

Additionally, because of the various illnesses I have, I spend a fair bit of time just taking care of myself, attending appointments, treatments, investigations. It's all fun round here... lol.
 

Pixieyrj

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#34
I didn't have that much thinking about WFH, as I'm forced to be in the home with children and forced to bring some income while stay at home.

But if I do have a choice, I would go to a workplace to work. Maybe not 9-5 because it is really boring. I was doing a manager in a small restaurant. I think that is the enjoyable job so far (despite I did not have much working experience.) And it is very good pay. There are very annoying moments, however, it is a job to keep me moving and I do like the part that when the restaurant is closed, the job is finished. There is nothing to think about it anymore. Tomorrow is another day. Office work mostly involved carry on project every day which I don't like.

Since start WFH, I just have to learn when to just stop and switch on different mode. It is not that easy. I think I do feel more happy mostly because I bring some income to the family.

The only thing is, the workplace will often have some meeting or Team build. All this form brings people from everywhere but always lack of social event to be hold....

@Jon Something to consider that one day the forum will hold a meeting up event for members to social!!!
 
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#35
For me personally I suffer with extreme anxiety and found the only way I could generate any form of income was via working from home. I don't claim any benefits either so this is my sole income. It works for my family and I dont have any dependents. I've actually found the opposite to be true - It is making me want to have some social interaction outside the house more and is actually helping me to be more confident, more than I ever used to be, perhaps because I feel more lonely inside the house. I have an amazing supportive husband but I think because income wise I'm doing what I prefer, it is making me feel like a more confident person if that makes sense. I could never go back to a normal 9-5 job even though I miss the wages as it just wasn't for me. I only earn about £10 a day from home but it works for us.