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HR director talks about how to separate work from life

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Younger workers crave office connections

While many employees lauded the new remote working arrangement, for some, the strain on psychological health became too much. According to data from Chargifi, 81% of younger workers said they felt more isolated without time in the office, with 60% adding that they felt disconnected from their colleagues.

“Working in a small space where you do not have a face-to-face connection with coworkers can be isolating,” agrees Cosh. “This dysconnectivity can make people feel less motivated and more stressed about their job, making work more draining. Additionally, when they are done work for the day, they may have a more challenging time decompressing, which can lead to ongoing stress and anxiety.

“Plus, if you are forced to have your workspace set up in the same physical space as where you sleep, these stressors have a greater chance of negatively impacting your sleep patterns, affecting your overall health.”

Mental health crisis in remote working?

Throughout the pandemic, HR leaders’ main concern was always for employee health – both physical and mental. And while COVID posed a direct threat to bodily harm, the secondary impact of the pandemic was an attack on mental health.

According to data from the World Health Organization, the pandemic triggered a 25% increase in depression and anxiety – with remote working models contributing to feelings of burnout and isolation. And an ability to switch off, working way beyond your contracted hours, meant people were overwhelmed – not least HR professionals themselves, with many citing it as the “most stressful period of their careers”.

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