Mental Health First Aid Ireland survey shines a light on the impact of working from home on Irish workers

22 July 2020

A recent survey of just under 1,200 people who were working from home during May and June 2020 has raised concerns over the negative impact of home working on mental and physical health. The recent restrictions imposed by COVID-19 forced many workers to start working from home at short notice.

Main findings regarding sleep and physical health:

  • Almost half reported aches and pains especially in the neck (45.6%), shoulder (41.5%) and back (45.2%) compared to their normal physical condition
  • 41% experienced more eyestrain than usual
  • 24.9% have increased alcohol consumption
  • 30% reported eating less healthily
  • 40% reported exercising less
  • 40% reported loss of sleep due to worry
  • 50% expressed that they experienced fatigue rather more or a lot more than usual
  • 49.3% reported that long and irregular hours were a feature of working at home

Main findings regarding mental health:

  • 31.7% reported not being happy with their current work/life balance
  • One third reported frequently feeling isolated working at home
  • Over half at 59% were worried about job security
  • just over one-third (38.7%) harboured health concerns for family members
  • 19% were experiencing other emotional difficulties

On a positive note, more than half said they felt valued by their employer, with nearly three-quarters feeling trusted. Over half the respondents (57pc) still said they loved they autonomy of working from home while 34pc said they felt more motivated.

MHFA Ireland manager Donal Scanlan said the survey results highlighted the negative impacts of working from home during the pandemic.

The survey results prove, what many commentators have speculated; we are facing into a significant increase in mental health and well-being problems as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Helping create a workplace culture where mental health can be spoken about only and with confidence; a workplace community willing and able to respond to the mental health needs of their colleagues.

Donal Scanlan, Manager, MHFA Ireland

Sources:

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/irish-employees-working-from-home-report-decreased-physical-and-mental-health-and-loss-of-sleep-new-study-39389035.html

https://www.independent.ie/breaking-news/irish-news/survey-shines-a-light-on-health-impact-of-working-from-home-39391968.html