Survey: 35% say working from home has harmed mental health

Coronavirus

A man types on a computer keyboard in this photo illustration. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Thirty-five percent of workers who telecommute said their mental health has deteriorated as a result of doing so amid the coronavirus lockdown, according to a survey.

The survey was conducted online by researchers at Keio University in Tokyo, among other institutions, on March 26-28, involving 8,475 employees — including non-regular workers — ages 20 to 64.

Of the about 21% of respondents who said they work from home, half of them did so in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Among the telecommuters, 35% said their mental health had deteriorated as a result of having to work from home, 50.7% said it had no impact on their mental health, and 14.3% said their mental health had improved.

Of the respondents who said doing telework had worsened their mental state, 41.3% said it was difficult to separate their work and personal lives, followed by 39.9% who said they weren’t able to do enough exercise, and 39.7% who said they had difficulty communicating with co-workers.

Prof. Isamu Yamamoto, of Keio University’s faculty of business and commerce, who conducted the survey, said: “There is a risk that working hours will get longer if the boundaries between work and personal life become blurred. It is necessary to establish a rigid system in which work can be carried out in a planned manner, such as by setting working hours and the timing of contact with supervisors.”

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