Report warns of mental health issues facing remote workers
The latest whitepaper from Nuffield Health, titled “The effects of remote working in stress wellbeing and productivity”, has warned of the mental health risks facing some remote workers.
The report says that many people believe that most remote workers are young, between the ages of 16 to 39, when only a small fraction of remote workers are within this age range. Many businesses prefer that remote workers are over 40 as they believe that remote workers need more experience to work without direct supervision.
Nuffield Health points out that not all staff are suited for remote working or working from home. Staff need to be reliant, self-motivated and able to separate their home life from work life.
Remote workers generally work using laptops, so are not at risk from accidents that require protective workwear. However, remote workers are more likely to suffer from stress and other mental health conditions. This may be due to the fact that they have less direct support from colleagues with little opportunity to talk about their feelings with fellow workers. Some remote workers care for children or elderly relatives and this puts additional strain on them when working from home.
The report suggests that employees hire health and wellbeing consultants to focus on remote workers’ needs. Remote staff should have clear channels for them to access help and support about their wellbeing. They can benefit from online channels that promote wellness.