Flexibility, less time on the road and saving money are some of the main benefits of working from home. However, remote work is not for everyone and can affect our mental health, according to Jeremy Moore, who has been a coach for more than 20 years at Zoomcow.

Intrusion and insecurity

Home should feel like home. It is a place where we should relax after a long day at work and where we can be with our family and friends – a shelter. However, when you work from home, everything gets messy. "Those who say that working from home is 100 percent great are denying the effects from working at an office”.

Even in remote work we still need some boundaries, otherwise it can become harmful. "Working from home can be intrusive because since people know you're at home, they might want to give you a quick call at 7:00pm or 8:00am. This is not healthy. Life needs to be more flexible than it used to be, that's fine, but you have to be careful because it can become intrusive if boundaries aren't respected,” he said.

In this regard, it is interesting that Portugal, after two years of pandemic, has recently updated the labour code to give employees the right to rest.

According to Jeremy, people need to be reassured all the time and this is the second problem when someone is working from home. “If you're not talking to me and I'm not talking to you and we're not in the same office. I don't know if you're not talking behind my back. You only have your screen to look at, but if you don't see an email in 30 minutes or one hour, you think you're not included because you don't have that kind of connection that humans need on a daily basis”, he said.

The Self Love Myth

How many times have you heard that human beings need to learn how to be happy alone? Well, according to Jeremy, that's just a myth. “One of the biggest myths is that you have to learn how to love yourself, you have to learn how to be alone. It's absolutely rubbish! What is the evidence that humans really want to be alone? There is no evidence for this claim. Humans naturally formed tribes, tribes became villages, villages became towns, and towns became cities.”

Furthermore, being alone is not a natural thing for human beings. According to him, forcing yourself to be alone at home all day for weeks or even months just connected by the computer is unnatural, at least for most human beings. "A very small percentage enjoys it, but it's not good for most of us," he added.

Let’s take the best of both

Despite this expert point of view, times have changed, we have to admit, life won't be like before and Jeremy knows it too. As a result, he said that both approaches have benefits if connected, which is why the future could be a combination of these two working approaches.

“Remote work is a very practical and efficient thing. The benefits are incredible flexibility, we can do a video call, we can get things done very quickly, you don't waste time queuing, but it's not a long term solution. So, it has short term benefits, but in the long term humans need interaction. In addition, by mixing with others, you have better ideas”, he said.

All in all, “I think that the long term future will be a combination of the two, but offices will never disappear. For example, you can work from home just two days a week or you work from home maybe in the first few hours of the morning so you avoid traffic”, he suggested.