While many people love the flexibility that comes with working remotely, others might consider the absence of an office environment and the opportunities for social connection that it provides to be a big downside.

Abi Smith, the business manager of Spice Kitchen, promised she would never apply for a position that required home or remote work. She said her mental health may have suffered greatly from the absence of a regular routine that included waking up, leaving the house, and participating in social interactions with others. Carol, who works in donor service for a large US organization, was shocked to learn that the organization planned to close its city office and move its staff to remote work. She said that she could spend all day talking to people via video chat, but she enjoyed being in an office atmosphere because it felt more comfortable.

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 say they occasionally feel isolated or lonely. For 17% of respondents, that is a “persistent” feeling. Research says that people who lived with family or a partner during the lockdown had significantly fewer mental health concerns. Individual family circumstances may also affect how much a worker misses their job.