While many people love the flexibility that comes with working remotely, others may find the loss of an office setting and the social interaction it offers to be a great disadvantage.

Business manager Abi Smith of the food company Spice Kitchen declared that she would never apply for a job requiring home or remote work. She said that the lack of a daily routine that involved getting up, leaving the house, and engaging in social interactions with others might have had a significant negative impact on her mental health. A major US charity’s plan to close its city office and transition its employees to remote work shocked Carol, who works in donor support there. She added that because of her small apartment’s lack of a spare room, she spent the entire day working on her laptop on the couch. She could talk to people on video chats all day long, but she preferred being in an office setting because it felt more natural.

Some people may be severely impacted by this disconnection and lack of routine. According to a May 2021 survey by the American Psychiatric Association, nearly two-thirds of adults who spend at least some time working from home report experiencing occasional feelings of isolation or loneliness. That’s a persistent emotion for 17% of people. Individual family circumstances may also influence how much a worker misses their job; studies have found that people who lived with family or a partner during the lockdown had far fewer mental health issues.