How Working from Anywhere Can Benefit Mental Health

From the elimination of a stressful commute to the increased use of technology that makes life easier, employees have come to learn the perks of working from anywhere. But a closer look at this new way of working reveals beneficial effects on something even greater: mental wellbeing.

Flexible schedules lead to better work-life balance

Dr. Gillian Mandich, scientist and founder of The International Happiness Institute of Health Science Research, says one of the benefits of working from anywhere is increased autonomy. “Some people now have the choice and freedom to set their work hours and take a break during the day when they want to,” she says.

Without the stress, time commitment and cost of a commute, Mandich says that extra time translates to more hours in the day put towards activities integral to mental health. “It can be easier to balance tasks, such as dropping the kids off at school, running errands or attending an online fitness class when you work from home,” she says.

More movement, more happiness

Fitness trainers worldwide shifted to online teaching and coaching, while tools like fitness trackers have helped some of us keep our commitment to exercise, known to help reduce stress and release feel-good endorphins. While we might’ve not had opportunities to stretch and move freely while working in-office, fitness trackers provide reminders to stand up, stretch and go for walks, giving us the energy to perform our best at work. Even when we return to an office, these tools can continue to help us set goals and navigate new routines.

A change of scenery can make a positive difference

Working remotely doesn’t just mean working from home — it can mean switching up your location to a park, cottage, patio and more to change up your environment without interrupting your workflow. Even if you don’t leave the house, having access to creature comforts like different snacks and atmosphere-enhancing tools like essential oil diffusers, can make a workday feel less overwhelming.

“Done correctly, the freedom of working from anywhere can increase productivity, effectiveness, happiness and performance,” Mandich says. “Happy employees are two times as productive and have three times higher creativity.” And happy employees mean happy companies, she says, adding that workplaces with happier employees outperform their competition by 20 percent.

While working from anywhere isn’t the be-all-end-all to mental health struggles, it can provide employees with more tools for mental wellbeing at their disposal. “The resilience of adapting to remote work has been valuable for many employees on both a personal and professional level,” says Mandich.

By Staples Canada

August 16, 2021