Remote Working and Mental Health

August 31, 2020

Over the last few months, the world has seen a sudden and unexpected shift from working in the office to working from home. Suddenly, workplace support structures and routines are gone. There is not as much opportunity for collaboration and feedback. Even the basic rituals of a meeting – handshakes, coffee, eye contact – are missing.

However, remote working is the new norm, and we all have to develop new strategies and routines. This rapid change can be challenging to adjust to in terms of mental health.

For example, Zoom meetings have shifted from an occasional session to the core of an 8-hour working day. When someone invites you for a quick on-the-spot Zoom chat, is it rude to refuse? Whose responsibility is it to set up the meeting and send the link?

There are also issues around productivity and performance. Some colleagues feel trusted to get on with work, whereas some feel that their engagement is being monitored too closely. This new landscape can have serious effects on mental health – on stress, anxiety, work-life balance, social interaction, and self-confidence.

We must all learn new approaches to the remote-working world – new takes on time management, interpersonal skills, and project management – and thankfully there are courses that can help. LearnerShape can help by connecting you to courses which explore mental health issues in the remote workplace. For example, QA has a great course on how to run great virtual meetings: Running Great Virtual Meetings

And this course from FutureLearn looks at the psychological impact of COVID-19: COVID-19: Psychological Impact, Wellbeing and Mental Health

LearnerShape helps individuals find learning resources and map their learning pathways. The world of online learning is vast and confusing, and LearnerShape helps empower you by creating a space for you to take control of your own learning. Our approach to collaborative learning aims to support blended learning (a mix of online materials and person-to-person sessions).

LearnerShape also helps employers devise a reskilling strategy by mapping colleagues’ skills and helping decision-makers to make reskilling choices.

At the moment, our platform allows you to log your current skills, identify your skills gaps, and to work with your manager to set your learning targets. You can then construct your own tailored learning pathway and personalised calendar as you work towards a new skillset. Our next release, coming soon, includes some exciting new features focussing on connecting you to learning partners and learning mentors.

Fintan Nagle
Co-Founder & CTO, LearnerShape

Chris Hall
Director, Touchstone Assessment