Women, especially – but not exclusively – working mothers, are expected to maintain a work life balance. It is one that has a lot of pressures, as it often feels like women are pushed to be great moms, great hosts, work hard, and more, all with expectations that are sometimes hire than their husbands/partners.
Those expectations have long caused pressures that have left many women feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, or otherwise overwhelmed. But for many women, working from home has made that even more difficult. The ability to maintain a professional image, while taking care of increasingly at-home children without help has left many working women feeling increasingly like their lives are busier and more stressful than ever. It’s normal to feel difficult to cope.
Challenges of Working From Home
To be sure, there are some that are finding this new work-from-home life to be to their advantage. Some employers have resources and managers that help their staff adjust to this new dynamic, and are forgiving of some of the distractions and issues that can come up during the transition. Others used to find work so stressful, that this new at-home life brings them some of the joys they need.
But other women are really struggling. The new dynamic has caused issues that include, but are not limited to:
- Difficulty Maintaining Clear Boundaries – There may be some employers that recognize that recognize that their staff have lives outside of work. But other workplaces have a tendency to assume that because someone is home, they are always available, often taking up their time after hours, calling them for Zoom meetings after work, and more.
- Managing Interruptions – Interruptions happen often when someone is working from home, especially with children present. Many women feel added stress during those interruptions, when they are torn between being a mom and being a good, professional, employee.
- Distrust and Check-ins – There are stories from employers all over of more frequent, more unnecessary meetings and check-ins as distrustful employers try to “make sure” that someone is working during work hours. Those frequent check-ins can feel very overwhelming, especially because they put someone in a position to frequently “prove” they’re working when the purpose of working from home is to provide a better work/life balance.
- Extra Work – Similarly, many people find that, without the politics of the workplace, they are more productive at home. But that productivity is being hurt by not only the interruptions, but sometimes with added work, as employers try to give more in an effort to get as much productivity as they can.
- No Personal Time and Seeing Nobody – As much as people dislike commutes, they were an opportunity to have some personal time before and after work. In addition, workplaces provided social experiences away from kids. Now, with work and home life blending and no in-person meetings, many are finding it hard to “turn off” the day or get much needed alone time.
These are only some of the reasons that working from home has been problematic, especially to women, who are also challenged with other tasks like being expected to cook, clean, host, and maintain the house (in many families).
If you find yourself struggling with this new balance, there are strategies that can help. We encourage you to call Long Island Psychology, so we can begin talking about the different strategies you can use to address these concerns and get some much needed mental health treatment for these stresses and others.