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Study Shows 35% of Remote Workers Are Facing Mental Health Issues; ‘Phone Anxiety’ Top Concern

Many workers are experiencing more anxiety when it comes to taking calls when they are working remotely.
Cover Image Source: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels
Cover Image Source: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels

Many workers are experiencing anxiety when it comes to taking calls when they are working remotely, according to a recent survey. Four out of every 10 workers report having "phone anxiety", the survey by phone answering service Face For Business reported. It appears that those between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most affected.

The primary cause of this worry appears to be the inability to get support right away when working from home. When taking calls from their home offices, this is the main concern, according to about 12% of those surveyed. It's simple to feel alone and uncertain when co-workers are far away, especially when handling a steady influx of calls.

Image Source: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | pexels
Phone anxiety affects people between 18 and 34 years of age most (representative image) | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels

According to the poll, nearly 10% of staff members are concerned that they may not be able to assist callers appropriately. They worry that they might not have the resources or knowledge necessary to provide insightful answers. Surprisingly, a sizable majority (77%) claimed their employers don't offer any training in on-call management even though a significant proportion of people experience anxiety when making phone calls.

According to Face For Business's Mike Davies, a communications specialist, the increase in phone anxiety isn't a minor issue. Remote employment is a significant difficulty for employees. Handling calls, particularly challenging ones, can be very challenging when you're not in the office. Additionally, the survey discovered that anxiety is exacerbated when one feels uneasy about answering calls. With so many employees feeling this way, it's clear that companies need to do more to support their staff.

Individuals who work in office (35%) are less likely to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression than those who work completely remotely (40%) or work in a hybrid environment (38%), according to IBI research, via PR Newswire. The percentage of prescriptions for mental health issues increased from 20% to 22% from July 2021 to August 2022. In addition, the percentage of people who think they need treatment but do not seek it has increased from 12% to 14%.  

Image Source: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | pexels
Remote or hybrid workers are more prone to develop mental health problems (representative image) | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels

Here are the other findings and key themes from IBI's analysis:

- Compared to males (33%), women (38%) were more likely to have symptoms of anxiety and sadness.

- Depression and anxiety rates were greater in those with lower incomes and those who were having difficulty making ends meet.

- Those who were unable to work at the time because of illness or caring obligations had higher rates of anxiety and depression.

- Having kids at home seemed to improve mental health, especially for people who are not employed right now.

- Anxiety and depression were more common in those who had recently developed COVID-19, particularly in those with moderate to severe symptoms or long-term COVID-19.

In discussions with human resource executives from ArcBest and Boeing, several key themes emerged:

- Mental healthcare is receiving more attention, with virtual choices and equal access being two of its main goals.

-It's critical to coordinate physical and mental health care as ignoring physical health concerns can exacerbate mental health conditions.

-It is essential to provide culturally competent mental health care that speaks to the experiences of staff members.

-Enhancing peer support networks and education to lessen the stigma associated with mental health in the workplace.

-Accepting peer support as a crucial component of mental health and assisting in its incorporation into the workplace

These findings highlight how critical it is to give mental health care in the workplace top priority and to put policies in place that cater to employees' various requirements.