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Warning over physical and mental health impact of working from home

Working from home has had a serious impact on many people’s mental and physical health accordin...
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

21.47 22 Jul 2020


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Warning over physical and ment...

Warning over physical and mental health impact of working from home

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

21.47 22 Jul 2020


Share this article


Working from home has had a serious impact on many people’s mental and physical health according to a new survey.

Mental Health First Aid Ireland surveyed nearly 1,200 workers between May and June and found that while many loved the freedom of working from home, their health has been suffering.

Half the respondents said they were felling more fatigued than usual while four-in-ten said they were having trouble sleeping.

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Worker’s diet and exercise have also been affected – with a quarter of the respondents admitting to drinking more than they used to and nearly a third eating less healthily.

Meanwhile, 40% said they were now exercising less.

Almost half the workers said they were experiencing aches and pains – especially in the neck, shoulders and back.

Things are not all bad however, with nearly 60% saying they love the autonomy of working from home and just over a third saying they feel more motivated.

More than half say they feel valued by their employer with nearly three-quarters feeling trusted.

However, the trade-off for those gains appears to be increased working hours with nearly half admitting that long and irregular hours were now a feature of their workday.

Martin Gillick, National Training Co-ordinator for Mental Health First Aid Ireland’s Adult and Workplace programmes said the results show the need for employers to re-think their mental health supports.

“Employers repeatedly state that their most important asset is their staff,” he said.

“The results of the survey have shown the challenges that home working and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic present.

“These challenges, now more than ever, place an onus on all employers to put in place systems that support the wellbeing of staff. These should include both formal and informal supports that foster workplace wellbeing and may include training programmes.”


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