Sometimes getting a peaceful reprieve from your office grind by way of working from home seems like a dream come true: You get to hang with your pup, bypass the communal microwave line in favor of whipping up a healthy lunch in your own kitchen, and wear whatever hygge getup you want—whether that’s athleisure, pajamas, or a burrito scarf. Unfortunately, one issue might get in the way of your cozy #careergoals, and there’s not a simple tip to fix it: New research shows some personality types thrive when working remotely while others are at risk for ending up more stressed out than ever.
For a recent study, published in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, researchers surveyed 403 working adults to measure their autonomy (level of independence), strain (exhaustion, disengagement, and dissatisfaction), and emotional stability. They found it takes a certain type of person to be able to thrive in the remote environment: While those who have high emotional stability and autonomy are great candidates for the setup, those who have high levels of job autonomy with lower levels of emotional stability are more likely to end up in a giant ball of stress.
“If someone doesn’t handle stress well in the office, they’re not likely to handle it well at home either.” —lead study author Sara Perry, PhD
Those differing personality types can make a big difference in how an employee reacts to issues that arise while they’re working remotely—and how they let it impact their overall well-being. “If something stressful happens at work, a person who is high on emotional stability would take it in stride, remain positive, and figure out how to address it. A person low on emotional stability might get frustrated and discouraged, expending energy with those emotions instead of on the issue at hand,” lead study author Sara Perry, PhD, says in a press release. “If someone doesn’t handle stress well in the office, they’re not likely to handle it well at home either.”
So, while working remotely can be a great way to provide employees some much sought after flexibility, it might not be great for your emotional health—which could end up affecting your path to total #bossbabe domination. If you’re experimenting with a WFH lifestyle, just be aware of the real causes behind any professional stress you’re feeling, and when in doubt, ask for feedback regarding your performance. Because despite all the perks that office shift can bring your work-life balance, it shouldn’t mean making your home—AKA your safe space—a stress den.
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