Working from home 'not good for mental health' - RTHK
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Working from home 'not good for mental health'

2020-09-09 HKT 19:24
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  • Psychiatrists say it's important for those working from home to maintain work-life balance. Image: Shutterstock
    Psychiatrists say it's important for those working from home to maintain work-life balance. Image: Shutterstock
Timmy Sung reports
Experts have sounded a warning on working from home amid heightening concerns about the mental well-being of Hong Kong people during the coronavirus outbreak.

Dr Mak Wing-chit of the New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association said he's concerned about people's work-life balance as they stay away from the office.

"For the people who work from home, usually they didn't have a very clear time for when to start the work (and) when to end the work. Sometimes the boundary becomes blurred. Some of the people may express some stress in handling this," he said.

Mak offered this piece of advice: stay optimistic and exercise more.

Experts said on Wednesday both the outbreak and social unrest that began last year have had a negative impact on people's mental health.

According to a survey by the association of about 1,000 people just before the third wave of Covid-19 hit the city in July, the mental health of almost 60 percent of them was described as "bad".

More than half of the respondents added that the protests were still having a "quite large" to "very large" effect on their mental health.

Dr May Lam, a psychiatrist, warned that the situation may not improve anytime soon.

"There is so much uncertainty and unpredictability that might be happening in the future," Lam said.

"And also we believe that a lot of factors are not truly reflected, say for example with the (economic) downturn, with the high unemployment and the financial situation might not be that optimistic in the coming few months and years. We need to be alert of the mental well-being of all the citizens in Hong Kong."