Negatives and Positives of working from home on your health
Working from home is the ideal working situation for many of us. Whether it is running your business from home or your boss allowing you the freedom of working out of the office, this is a dream for many and reality for some.
Most people only will see the advantages and plus points of working from home such as not paying for travel or the comfort of your home but many don’t think of the negatives. In this article we are going to predominantly look at the pro’s and con’s of working from home on your health and well-being.
I’ll start with the negatives of working from home on your health;
- There is a temptation to do more hours as your office at home never shuts. This is especially true if you have deadlines our work for your self. You will also have the temptation to not take breaks.
- Your workstation at home will probably not be set up as well as in the office. You may even be tempted to just work from your sofa. Poorly set up equipment can cause issues such as back and repetitive strain injury.
- There is a lack of social interaction which means you will suffer from a loss of physical and mental stimulation.
- To stay healthy we all need to stay active. Working from home gives you the temptation to stay rooted to your seat. Working away from home could involve you walking to and from your car and up stairs to your office for example. Although it is important to exercise regularly, this small amount of movement does add up over time if removed from your day.
- Working from home could give you the temptation to eat more. Being close to a kitchen full of food could be too tempting to resist every time you get peckish. This paired with lack of movement could lead to an increase in weight.
- If your home becomes your office, you could find that your family, especially children may put pressure on you and be a distraction.
- If you have become freelance or started your own business you will not have a regular income, it may be sporadic due to the jobs available. This can put extra stress on you.
- Extra stress caused by working from home can have a negative affect on your health. Raised stress levels are proven to reduce the effectiveness of your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.
- Rolling out of bed and working in your pjs may seem like one of the perks but it can also have negative affects on your health. This encourages ill hygiene and cleanliness, which can lead to illness.
The positives of working from home;
- Not having to make a commute to work will give you more opportunity to sleep. Adequate sleep is essential to help your immune system, keep you motivated and work efficiently.
- It allows you to work in a quieter environment. This can help concentration and avoid hearing loss as you maybe able to work away from dangerous noise levels by working independently.
- You can make a better work/life balance by choosing your own hours. This will help reduce stress. Stress can have a negative affect on your health as explained above.
- Stress is also reduced as working from home removes you away any office politics, gossip and competition.
- The freedom of working from home will give you more motivation.
- Although above I mentioned that there is a temptation to eat more at home, there is also a flip side. You will be more likely to eat healthily as you have the choice of your kitchen. Workers tend to snack and eat junk food as this is all that is available to them.
- The office can be a place that breeds illness. Workers bring in bugs everyday and these are spread especially through air conditioning systems. Working from home will avoid this from happening.
This article is designed to putting you off working from home, just to give you all the information for you to make an informed decision. There are arguments for and against but your individual situation may influence you one way or the other.
This article was wrote by Chris Evans of Atrium Legal, specialists in Industrial Disease including Hearing Loss, Repetitive Strain Injury, Dermatitis and Asbestosis.