The Mental Health Benefits of Flexible Working

Coronavirus changed the way we operated as a global society forever. With billions across the world forced to stay inside, workplaces had to adapt to a new way of operating. In a lot of cases, this brought about a shift in policy, which allowed employees to work from the comfort of their own home.

This was the first time anything like this was ever trialled on a national scale. Unsurprisingly, it’s had a major impact on how the professional landscape of the UK might look heading forwards. Direct Line recently conducted a survey which highlighted what most workers wanted in the future, and they discovered as many as 44% of workers (equating to 13 million people) wanted to see some sort of permanent flexible policy introduced after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.

This is perhaps unsurprising, given the wide array of mental health benefits which walk hand-in-hand with the ability to do your job from home. Let’s explore some of the reasons why being given the freedom to work from home is only a good thing for workers.

  1. Reduced stress

This is arguably the most important factor of all. A lot of companies are beginning to understand that what works perfectly for one, might not be best suited to another. By being given the freedom to work at a pace which best suits an employee, they’ll find workloads more manageable – keeping anxiety levels low.

But it’s not just your workload which can be better managed. If you’re someone who has a long and stressful commute to work, this can be negated altogether. When working from home it’s as easy as rolling out of bed and into your office.

  1. Family life

There’s very little in life more important than your family. Long hours or commutes can mean you miss spending time with those dearest to you – especially if you have young kids who are in bed before or shortly after you get home.

Working from home gives you the opportunity to pick up and drop the kids off from school, or even stay close by their side if they’re off sick or on their holidays. This can be a massive benefit for not only yourself but also your partner. Your little ones will also be happy to have one of their parents around more regularly. Everyone benefits. 

  1. Exercise 

As HelpGuide points out, exercise is one of the most effective ways of naturally promoting good mental health. Exercising can release endorphins, which have a direct impact on our ability to think positively. In fact, depression, anxiety, ADHD and a number of other mental health problems have been shown to improve after periods of exercise.

Some experts even say exercise is as effective for the human brain as antidepressants. While this isn’t a hard and fast rule which people experiencing mental health problems should follow, getting out and exercising can only be a good thing for both body and soul.

  1. Trust

An employee needs to feel trusted in order to operate to their fullest potential. That’s what Business News Daily reported when they found that as many as 72% of workers were satisfied with their jobs when they were able to make important decisions on their own.

In contrast, as many as 76% of workers said they would be looking for a new job when they weren’t allowed to make decisions for themselves while working. Feeling as though you have no control over your role is a horrible feeling.

When you work from home, an employer is highlighting the incredible levels of trust they have in you. If you can work from home on your own, you know your company has faith in your abilities.

Mental health is a huge part of the modern workplace. Working from home, or flexibly in any way, will have a major impact on yours.

Flexible working at Thrive

Here at Thrive Law, we have always encouraged flexible working in our team pre-covid. As a firm, we are people-orientated and we know that flexible working is not only the most productive way for our team to work but it also promotes better mental health. Our team can choose to come into the office (following covid guidelines on social distancing) or work from home. We have become completely paper-free by making these changes and are completely able to run our business and work efficiently remotely.

How can Thrive help you? 

Did you know we provide outsourced HR services to business?

When you partner with Thrive for outsourced HR support, we can reduce your stress and free you up to work on the business and to make HR decisions with confidence.

As an owner-run company, we know the pains of having to wear many hats and how time is precious. As qualified employment and HR lawyers, we know the consequences of getting HR decisions wrong. We work with you to let you focus on what you really need to be doing in the business with the peace of mind that all letters and decisions are run past a qualified lawyer before you implement them.

When you partner with Thrive for outsourced HR support, we can reduce your stress and free you up to work on the business and to make HR decisions with confidence.

With people at the core of every successful business, keeping on top of the ever-changing legislation and making the most out of your people can be challenging, but we are here to help.

Please email enquires@thrivelaw.co.uk to speak with an expert and find out how much you will need to invest in your HR.

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