“Mental health lays the groundwork for productivity and success in career-based or entrepreneurial endeavors. However, remote work without structure can take a toll on your mental health.”
As a remote professional, entrepreneur, or freelancer, you have felt the inevitable stresses brought on by the requirements of your job at some point in your career. Regardless of what you do for a living, work is sometimes a source of stress.
Unfortunately, without the proper protections and boundaries in place, that stress can lead you down a dark path where your mental health takes a hit. The pandemic has forever altered how, when, and where we work. By Summer 2020, most professionals were forced out of offices and into remote work.
People have worked from their homes for the past two years, effectively blurring the already thinly drawn lines between work and life. Those blurred lines have tipped the scale out of balance, and now it feels like we’re working nonstop and thinking about work even when clocked out.
Though sometimes insecure and unreliable, the structures that protect our mental health from job-related stressors don’t naturally spring into action outside of the workplace. Especially not when your home, your safe space, is now doubling as the workplace.
As we turn to a world where remote work becomes the norm for many, the challenges of this new workforce threaten to exact a heavy toll on our mental health.
The Problems We Face in 2022
Work is more accessible than ever. As a result, we struggle to unplug, forcing work to bleed over into family and social life.
Loneliness. Say what you want about watercooler conversations at the office, but they gave us a social exchange that we’re struggling to reproduce through our screens and phones.
Without the structure of offices and workspaces, we are more prone to temptation by much stronger distractions. Home is where all the things we love (re: our bed) exist, and in the middle of a hectic workday, what stops you from indulging?
Career stagnation. It’s challenging to engage in company culture and office politics when you can’t easily connect to your company or its office(s).
What’s the solution? How do we go back to creating a healthy separation between work and life that can exist outside of the 40-hour workweek historically spent in an office? What steps can professionals take to care for their mental health in these constantly changing times that demand more and more at the expense of the carefully constructed work-life balance?
What Traditional Offices Got Right …
A simple google search would show how many employees view work as a toxic environment. A study of the data gives numerous valid reasons why they feel this way, but it’s not all bad.
Despite the hang-ups and setbacks some traditional offices have, a lot of what they provide was more favorable for the average employee – structure and company culture being at the top of the list.
For an individual invested in every aspect of their career and its elevation, it helps to engage with the company culture. You must learn your organization chart, all the workflows and processes that move things from ideas to completed projects and products, and how the people in your company work together. Our computers have done well in keeping us tied to our work, but they can’t make us feel like we’re a part of the team.
2. Social Interaction
As much as people complain about annoying coworkers and interacting with the people they work with, we need those daily interactions and conversations. Humans are social beings, and we’re not meant for this level of isolation, at least not long-term. Workers are lonely. Remote work cuts the office chord and allows us the freedom to work when and as we please, but it takes away an essential aspect of our work life – communicating and engaging with others. There is only so much that a phone or computer screen can do to make us feel connected to the teams and people we work with, which affects how connected we feel to the work.
3. Focus & Productivity
Many of us found pleasure in trading the office for remote work. There is comfort and power in having the autonomy to structure our workdays in ways that suit us. Unfortunately, those autonomous decisions often don’t stretch to limiting or deleting distractions and temptations that steal our attention and productivity. The office had its obstacles, but it was specifically designed to remove distractions to bolster and support productivity related to your work. That can be difficult to duplicate when working remotely from home.
How Coworking Bridges the Gap
Although this period is characterized by unprecedented issues, it’s also defined by innovative solutions. Coworking fills many of the needs created by a global shift towards remote work.
Ambition Center MKE plays multiple roles in helping remote employees and entrepreneurs tip the scale back to balance. In our office, people can focus on work and everything associated with it, returning their homes to spaces meant for the other half of the work-life balance. When you can go somewhere outside home for work, it’s easier to create boundaries around your time and focus. You can start “leaving work at work” again and become more accessible for family, fun, and socializing.
If you’re missing the social aspect of your job, you’re not alone; and when you walk into Ambition Center MKE, you’ll see that. Our coworking space offers opportunities to connect with others. Although these people may not work for the same company or even do the same work, you can still form connections and have enough social interaction to drive the loneliness away. As a member of Ambition Center MKE, you don’t just get access to our office space and other great amenities; you gain access to our community.
Everybody knows good time management is the cornerstone of productivity and a healthy work-life balance. When working from home, distractions are endless. A simple 30-minute task can take an hour or two. At Ambition Center MKE, you can work distraction-free and maximize your productivity. If you’re pulling away from your work to engage in whatever’s happening at home, a coworking space is the best solution to help focus on what matters when work is on the table.
Let’s face it; we’re in the middle of a considerable workforce shift. This massive transition is good for the culture and future generations of professionals and entrepreneurs, but, as with any system-level change, it’s not without its challenges and price tags. Cultural and systemic change should not come at the expense of mental health.
Coworking is proving to be the method this generation uses to check off the gainfully employed box without the harm and depression that comes from toxic work environments or a workspace that’s taken over the sanctuary you call home.
Mental health lays the groundwork for productivity and success in career-based or entrepreneurial endeavors. However, remote work without structure can take a toll on your mental health. If your peace of mind feels threatened by your remote work situation, check out Ambition Center MKE. We are here to help you not only survive our new normal but thrive in it.
What is Ambition Center MKE?
Ambition Center MKE Coworking is the most diverse and inclusive private office and coworking space in Milwaukee. Our vision is to empower and support local professionals, creatives, freelancers, and entrepreneurs by offering access to technology, resources, mentorship, and strategic connections.
We are located at 530 E. Vienna Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53212. Our team would love to meet you . . . book a tour today!