Shweta Gautam

 

Shweta is a Lifestyle and Wellness Blogger and Writer by profession. She writes for businesses and coaches. A post graduate in Linguistics, she enjoys learning and exploring the English language.

A Healthier Lifestyle at Home

25/01/2021 – 8 min read

The yesteryear changed the way we lived our lives. It gave us the time to pause and reflect on it. It changed the way we looked after ourselves. Taking care of our health shifted from gyms and fitness clubs to at-home workouts and personal virtual training sessions. 

With the pandemic, came this revolutionary change in the workplace. The office hours shifted from headquarters and offices to homes. The board meetings shifted to virtual meetings. We call it ‘revolutionary’ because it is here to stay. 

With the arrival of the vaccines, some organizations are turning back to the in-office work culture. But, a large proportion of people and major businesses around the world, have chosen the remote work culture for their employees.  

Remote work was quite popular even before the pandemic hit. A statistics report published on Skillscouter mentioned that there were around 7 million people in the US who were working remotely before the pandemic hit. And owing to the crucial circumstances during the pandemic, this number has increased drastically. 

However, every coin has two sides. While a lot of people have permanently shifted to working from home, the remote work culture with the perks has got its limitations too. 

 

Health Benefits of Working from Home 

As more and more business owners realize the cost-saving and production boosting benefits of remote working, more employers are becoming flexible and adapting to the change in the workplace.

The work from home culture became the lifestyle for all of us in 2020. And, nevertheless, to say, it came to stay. The world we lived in, is a thing of the past. Our surroundings have undergone some rigorous changes. And, we are not going back. The change has been accepted with open arms by the residence of this planet. Hence, here are some of the important health benefits that will continue to give a boost to the ever-rising numbers of remote workers. 

  • Working from home isn’t just about working at your comfort, in your pajamas. It is much more than that. Recent studies have shown that working from home has increased the employee productivity level to 47%. It enhances performance and lowers stress. 

  • Since remote jobs offer flexible work hours, it adds to the work-life balance of the individual. It gives them the authority and opportunity to start, end, and spend their day on their terms. 

  • Wasting time commuting is one of the major reasons for stress with employees and it leads to health issues like higher cholesterol, high blood pressure, and increased risk of depression. Therefore, working from home also adds up to saving money and time by deducing the commute expenses and hours spent back and forth from work and stuck in traffic. Less stress equals much better health. 

  • A recent survey conducted by Global Workplace Analytics revealed that 72% of employers said that remote work has proven to build a better employee-employer relationship. Also, 90% of them feel that flexible work arrangements have significantly contributed to increasing their employees’ work morale.

  • A customized environment and self-prepared meals are other bonuses of working from home. You can create your work environment on your terms and prepare a meal as per your choices. You can also track the nutrition value of your meals with our 360Wellness tracker. It is all about making your own rules.   

 

Potential Risks of Working from Home  

Every coin has two sides. While working from home and remote work life has been glorified and well accepted by people around the world, it has some downside effects as well. 

Yes, working from home is less risky than working in an office environment. But, the risks it has cannot be completely ignored. The pandemic was an eye-opener in a million ways. It forced us to stay locked in our homes. Humans were compelled to stay indoors out of their wish. So, even if working from home is sustainable and easier. It has some adverse effects too. 

  • Remote work is a common norm in many industries today. But, not everyone likes to stay alone and grind themselves all day. People who enjoy the company of others had it a very hard way during these testing times. As a result, isolation and loneliness have been the most crucial health risks for people working from home  

  • The pandemic made a great contribution to harm people’s mental health. Working from home was one of the major reasons for it. Anxiety and stress ruined the productivity of some people.  

  • A survey by TELUS International concluded that 4 out of 5 people find it hard to close their work hours by evening. With family and kids at home, employees were found struggling to draw a line between personal and professional. This leads to burnout and exhaustion. To overcome this, you can download our 360Wellness mobile application on your iOS or Android devices to help you keep your daily wellness quotient in check with its revolutionary 360Wellness tracker.   

  • The most concerned and severe impact of working from home includes back pain and neck pain. As mentioned, the blurry lines between when to work and when not to work makes it difficult for the body and causes a serious impact on some specific parts. 

  • Lastly, the blue light emitted from screens contributes to eye strain and disrupts vision as well. Doctors advise wearing glasses that filter out this blue light to protect the retina from its focus and make working comfortable.       

  • Working from home has been accepted globally. But, like every other aspect of the universe, it has got its loophole too. The benefits and risks are two different sides of it. And more than the place of work, it is the environment of work that matters. Some people find it comfortable and acceptable to work from home. While others would prefer professional, office surroundings to focus and continue. 

While employees are giving their best to cope with the new norm. Employers must take care of their team as well. This could be done by introducing virtual coffee breaks during the day or being flexible about deadlines. Workplace wellness should remain a concern for remote workers as well. Hence, offering wellness plans to them can also be taken into account.    

It all comes down to what we choose and how we finally perceive our choice. Because work from home or work from office – the ultimate goal is to work but not at the cost of our health. 

 

12 thoughts on “Health Benefits and Potential Risks of Working from Home

  1. Lissa Reply

    love that you addressed both the pros and cons…working from home can be such a great thing as long as we create healthy boundaries.

  2. Barbara Zabawa Reply

    Great post Shweta. I agree that working from home has its benefits and drawbacks. I think whether the good outweighs the bad depends largely on your personality. For those who get energized around people, working from home may undermine their productivity, whereas people who are more introverted may see their productivity increase significantly. I think if the pandemic has taught us anything, is that it is possible to create working conditions that play to a person’s strengths, and that personality testing of employees may help employers who have the luxury of offering different types of work environments find the right balance for their workforce.

  3. Barbara Zabawa Reply

    Great post Shweta. I think if the pandemic has taught us anything is that personality testing of employees to determine whether someone leans more extrovert vs. introvert may help employers find the right balance of work environments to maximize employee productivity.

  4. Bev Reply

    Interesting to read and yes you portrayed the two sides well. It is crucial to learn to stop work on time as many I know do work longer hours and don’t claim them back. This does lead as you say to burnout. Staff wellness is crucial some employers are better than others at looking after people.
    I have the best of both worlds I work in the office twice a week and at home 3 days. I just miss one to one meetings with clients. Hope things change soon for us all

  5. Dr. Donna Poppendieck Reply

    Nice job! I think you laid out many of the pros and cons clearly so perhaps people can inform themselves further and base future decisions on this valuable information.

  6. Jennifer Glacken Reply

    Thanks for sharing the pros and cons of at home work! While I have worked from home for years, it takes time to figure some logistics out such as when to shut down and how to monitor how much screen time you get, etc. Appreciate your well-rounded assessment.

  7. Evita Reply

    My dad keeps talking to me saying, that work from home culture should continue. I can’t really debate on this topic, since you have both pros and cons. But I hope, whatever happens, it happens for the best! Great blog, Shweta!

  8. Diane Costello Reply

    Great blog! You covered the pros and cons so well. I chose to be my own boss in 2003. I do miss the social aspect of the workplace but the freedom never gets old. One game changer is loving what you do. I was unhappy in corporate America but now that I enjoy what I’m doing, I have to set an alarm to stop myself from working LOL.

  9. Aoife Power Reply

    I also love that you included both pros and cons. I believe whole-heartedly in a hybrid work environment and flexible work schedules. The 9 to 5 grind in a brick and mortar is antiquated. I believe one of the most vital lessons learned by bringing business into private homes is that rigidity and micromanaging are not the most efficient ways to keep talent or increase profitability via productivity. Speaking as a working single mom who spent the first half of her career working for someone else, having the flexibility to take care of my family (which unfortunately cannot always happen after regular business hours) allowed me to be a more relaxed and focused employee. This pandemic has hopefully shown employers the value of women on their payroll and highlighted those who can prioritize and multitask vs those who struggle with managing their time when left to their own devices. While I get that there are negative health consequences to isolation, there are ways to engage employees and foster company culture outside of an office setting. So many companies believe a paycheck is enough. Having worked in HR for years, I can assure you it is not. The next company will offer a paycheck too. Businesses that will succeed and thrive in this great global social experiment are the ones who master the art of mutually beneficial relationships.

  10. Mark Perkins Reply

    Great thoughts.
    I agree that this pandemic has changed the workplace going forward
    Which side of the coin applies to us mostly based on personality
    Some need structure and feed off the energy of coworkers in their environment. Others love the freedom and independence of working in a more isolated setting which can help with creativity and focus
    Thanks for sharing. Well done

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