Posted by

Eugene Farrell, Head of Trauma Support Services at AXA PPP healthcare

02 Jun 2017

As the ever-advancing developments in technology and communication make it easier to work from home, it is now estimated that there are currently 8 million lone workers in the UK, which equates to 22% of the total UK workforce.*

One of the biggest draws of being a lone worker is the ability to work for yourself and as a result, in a way that best suits your needs and lifestyle.  For example, many lone workers are attracted by the flexibility to set their own hours or to be more autonomous in choosing what to work on.  This can be empowering and create a real sense of purpose which, in turn, supports mental wellbeing.

However, acknowledging the issues that can arise whilst working in isolation, and that can affect your mental wellbeing, is very important. Taking steps to build a professional network can help to stop feelings of loneliness, as you’ll have people to bounce ideas off of and have help when you require it. Ensuring healthy boundaries and touch points of human interaction are in place is essential to allow you to reap the benefits of homeworking.

To manage your health and wellbeing it’s important to be strict with yourself.  Setting achievable goals, knowing your working hours, ensuring that you have a clear separation of your home and work life and allowing yourself adequate breaks are some of the key factors to building and staying resilient to help you better negotiate the pressures of working alone.  This is vital as it’s when our resilience levels are low that issues associated with mental health, such as stress and anxiety or depression, present more of a risk. 

Of course, it’s not just the self employed or home workers who need to be aware of maintaining good boundaries between work and home, as even office-based workers can be susceptible to the health impacts of a long working hours culture.

For more tips on managing isolation at work, visit our Business Health Centre

* Source: https://peoplesafe.co.uk/resources/basics/lone-working-guide/