For while, it might have seemed like working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak could have solved all our problems on the job. But even if we cut out our frustrating commutes or our crummy office bathrooms or the depressing light fixtures, there are some things a change of scenery can't fix. Despite being more distributed, a stressful or toxic job can follow you fully almost anywhere.
Researchers at Indiana University have just published a pretty stark study about what damages us most at a bad job. "When job demands are greater than the control afforded by the job or an individual's ability to deal with those demands, there is a deterioration of their mental health and, accordingly, an increased likelihood of death," said lead author Erik Gonzalez-Mulé in a press release. In short, if your job stymies your autonomy and/or your ability to solve problems, the stress can build up over time to unbearable levels.
With self-isolating during the pandemic crushing work-life balance, we need more than ever to be able to walk away from work when it's done. There are definitely things you can pursue to fix your bad job before you leave it altogether (especially in this economy). But job-hopping, one of our few reliable means of increasing our earnings, might be harder for a while. Take care of yourself, keep your bad job at bay as much as possible, and remember that it might be better to do more with less, for everyone's sake.