Working from home, also known as remote working, is becoming increasingly common. There are many recognized benefits to working from home, for employees, employers, the economy, and the environment. If you have been working from your home, you have probably noticed some of these benefits – from the elimination of daily commuting time and expenses to the freedom of being in “your” space.
However, there are also drawbacks to working from home, especially when it comes to your health. In this article, we will go into some of the ways that working from home can affect your health, as well as some possible solutions!
Back and neck pain are common complaints among office workers around the world. These pains typically develop as a result of sustained, long periods of sitting at desks with incorrect posture.
Homeworkers are often even more susceptible to poor posture than office workers. If you are working from home, you may be more likely to sit at furniture that is less than ideal, such as at the dining table, lounging on the sofa, or even lying on your bed with your laptop!
You can reduce this by investing in a good quality office chair, as well as checking out posture tips for work at home online.
One of the most obvious effects on your health will be the likelihood of decreased physical activity. You may even go days on end without needing to leave the house, removing a source of natural daily exercise.
Low levels of physical activity have long been related to physical conditions such as obesity, as well as mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
It may be beneficial to use the time saved by not commuting to work to go on a daily walk, run, or gym session!
Depending on your workplace, a transition to home working may mean a reduction in time spent outdoors. Time spent outdoors is essential for your health for various reasons, particularly the melatonin and Vitamin D that we get from sunlight. These chemicals help to regulate our moods and sleeping patterns!
A simple solution to this issue is to make sure that you get at least a few minutes outdoors – even if just in your backyard – each day.
Humans are a social animal, and communication is vital for our well-being. Shared workplaces usually provide natural, face-to-face communication with colleagues and/or clients, but working from home removes this element.
Feelings of loneliness and isolation are common among home workers, even with the increase in the use of technology such as video calls. One solution to this is coworking spaces – spaces that are popping up in many cities. Spaces such as libraries and cafes may also provide the human contact that may be unavailable in your house.
Poor work/life balance is a common cause of many issues from depression to insomnia. Working from home can exacerbate problems with work/life balance, whether it is your children or family members providing distractions from your work or staying on your computer to check emails after you should have clocked out!
One is to choose a designated room for work, which you only use during working hours and then leave after the working day is over. This physical division between work and leisure can also create a psychological division, which is essential for your mental health and well-being!