Thirty-five percent of workers who telecommute said their mental health had deteriorated as a result of doing so amid the coronavirus lockdown, according to a survey conducted by researchers at Keio University in Tokyo, among other institutions.
The survey was conducted online on March 26-28, involving 8,475 employees — including non-regular workers — aged from 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 coworkers.
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.”