NEWS6 July 2021

Home working linked with rise in loneliness

Covid-19 News People Trends UK Wellbeing

UK – Working from home has been connected with increased levels of loneliness and mental distress in research from the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen).


survey from NatCen found that the biggest increases in mental distress and loneliness compared with pre-pandemic levels were among those working from home and also those who were living alone.

The data is based on interviews carried out with 8,675 people before the pandemic and also in May, July and November 2020 for the Understanding Society Covid-19 survey.

The research found that even people who worked at home and lived with others experienced a significant increase in loneliness compared with those who still had to travel to a workplace for their job.

The research found that even when financial circumstances, loneliness and demographic characteristics were controlled for in the research, people working from home recorded bigger increases in mental distress than those working away from home.

Isabel Taylor, research director at NatCen, said: “More of us than ever now work from home and use technology to replace many aspects of work previously done in person, but this cannot fully replicate the working environment for everyone.

“As the government considers current working guidance, individuals, employers and government departments should be aware of the impact working from home is likely having on people’s mental health.”