Working parents who split their employment time between home and a formal workplace are less likely to experience mental health difficulties than those stuck in one or the other, according to research.
Youth mental health charity Stem4 surveyed 1,038 working parents and carers across the UK to mark Parent Mental Health Day on 27 January (today), with findings revealing that 39% were experiencing mental health problems such as stress, depression and anxiety.
Three in 10 of those surveyed identified work pressures as negatively impacting their mental health during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
Overall, 40% of those parents polled who were solely working from home or entirely office based were experiencing difficulties with their mind health, compared with just 29% of those who combined remote working with time at a formal workplace .
However, fewer than one in five (19%) of working parents answered that their employer currently allowed hybrid working, with 57% working solely from home and 23% in a formal workplace.
Almost half (49%) of those polled said their employer had supported their health and wellbeing somewhat during the pandemic, with 23% having received a lot of support. However, 28% said their employers had not supported it at all.
Dr Nihara Krause, founder of Stem4, commented that one of the few positive outcomes of the pandemic is that it has provided an opportunity to rethink working structures that create value, whether that is a reduced commute for employees or increased productivity for the employer.
But she explained that the blurring of the boundaries between home and work life means people are presenting with exhaustion and poorer mental health.
“This survey confirms that as workers re-emerge from the pandemic they are not rested,” said Krause. “With one in four working parents now experiencing mental health difficulties, the pandemic has left people feeling overwhelmed, unable to cope, and lacking balance in their life.
“Hybrid working may afford employees the time they need to recover.”