Remote Work May Have Mixed Results on Mental Health

Remote Work May Have Mixed Results on Mental Health
  • Approximately 12% of workers are fully remote, while 28% work a hybrid schedule.
  • On average, those who work from home are about 47% more productive.
  • The surgeon general recently warned about an epidemic of loneliness.
  • Research shows remote work doesn’t always yield great results.

( – When the pandemic hit the US, businesses responded by shutting down offices to keep their staff safe. Millions of Americans went from being surrounded by people every day to working in solitude at home. Instead of talking to their colleagues by the water cooler, they were limited to chats and the occasional Zoom conference.

That proved beneficial for many people. It gave employees a bit more flexibility, and they were able to work in their pajamas. Studies also showed production soared among those who completed their tasks at home. However, three years later, new research about the pros and cons of remote working has yielded a mixed bag of results.

Mixed Results

In 2022, Cisco conducted a survey of 28,000 workers. Researchers found 79% of employees felt as though their work-life balance improved when they were working remotely. An overwhelming 82% said they loved being able to work from anywhere.

Those who enjoy working remotely have cited the control they gain over their lives, the absence of a commute, and the fact that they don’t have to be subjected to aggressive colleagues as positives.

However, there are issues with remote working. Some workers have reported that moving to full-time employment at home makes them feel isolated at times. Airspeed’s “Remote Work Culture Insights” found two out of three executives said they might quit their jobs because it has made them feel isolated. More than 70% of workers said they didn’t think they were able to socialize enough while they were working remotely.

Airspeed CEO Doug Camplejohn said, “The transition to remote work has been immensely challenging for businesses and employees.” Part of that reason is that workplaces need “a strong culture of connection in order to engage and retain employees.”

Epidemic of Loneliness

On May 3, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy published a Surgeon General Advisory titled “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation.” According to the alert, the problem with loneliness in the country is more dangerous than physical inactivity and obesity. He explained that the feeling of isolation comes with a greater risk of dementia, heart disease, depression, stroke, and premature death.

Murthy called on communities to work together to form connections with one another. He asked people to pick up the phone when they receive a call and make an effort to meet up with their loved ones in person.

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