Have you ever heard the saying, “All that glitters isn’t gold.”? Apparently, that is also the case with remote or hybrid work schedules. There has been so much hype about fully remote work since the Pandemic. Reports are now being released that employees, especially those with children, feel more isolated than ever before. It seems that the loss of a “work family” does have an impact on mental health.

              Remote and hybrid work schedules provide flexibility that otherwise wouldn’t exist. For example, you can’t go to work in an office thirty minutes away while your six year old is at home with a fever. This is a huge perk of having flexibility, as you can manage the unexpected circumstances that pop up in your personal life. The downside of this arrangement is that you have less in-person interaction with people outside of your home. There is something about communicating in-person that is much more meaningful than a phone or video call. It can also break up the cycle of sleep-work-eat which can become so mundane. A “work family” – or even just being out among people – can be very fulfilling!

              Another downside to remote and hybrid work is the inability to “step away” and fully check out. It is so much easier to check one last e-mail or quickly finish up a report when your desk and computer are so readily available. This can lead to an unhealthy habit of not separating work from your home life. We all need a break from work at the end of the day, and some employees simply aren’t getting that. These main issues are creating stress, anxiety, and loneliness among many employees. The bigger question is – how do we fix it? How can an employee give up the flexibility they need just because they need more human interaction? This is a question that most Employers should be trying to figure out, because it is going to affect more people over time. What are some creative ways you think Employers can engage their employees who miss in-person work?

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