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 20 to 64.
Of the about 21 percent of respondents who said they work from home, half of them did so in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Among the telecommuters, 35 percent said their mental health had deteriorated as a result of having to work from home, 50.7 percent said it had no impact on their mental health, and 14.3 percent said their mental health had improved.
Of the respondents who said doing telework had worsened their mental state, 41.3 percent said it was difficult to separate their work and personal lives, followed by 39.9 percent who said they weren’t able to exercise enough, and 39.7 who said they had difficulty communicating with coworkers.
Professor 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.”