Working at home – sprawled out on your couch in your jammies may seem like the ideal situation, but research shows that there are several downsides to it.
At this point, you’re probably thinking that the flexible work hours and short “commute” from the bedroom to the couch would be worth the few negatives of working remotely, but that’s only because you haven’t considered the impact this has on your health.
It’s Official: Working From Home Is Bad For Your Health
“41% of employees who are ‘highly mobile’ have high stress levels as compared to 25% of employees who work out of an office”
Researchers found that when you work from home, those piles of laundry and dirty dishes can prove to be quite a distraction, interfering with your workflow, which only makes juggling the two that much harder.
A report released by the United Nations studied the effects of working from home and found that remote employees in 15 countries, including India, faced higher stress levels and were more likely to suffer from insomnia. The report showed that 41% of employees who were “highly mobile” had high stress levels, as compared to 25% employees who worked out of an office.
Similarly, 42% of home-based workers and highly mobile employees wake up intermittently through the night as compared to just 29% of regular office-goers.
A similar study on teleworkers showed that working from home leads to feelings of mental and physical fatigue, especially among those who are grappling with work and personal responsibilities. Health care experts now warn that although it may seem like working from home will help you balance out your work life and personal life, the reality is that it makes it a lot tougher.
Working a 9 to 6 job may not seem as appealing, but it allows you to leave your work in office and come home and focus on your family. Working from home blurs these lines and simply racks up your stress levels.
How To Cope With The Risks Of Working From Home
“Having a small work station will go a long way in setting up a physical & mental barrier between work & family life”
Working at home may not be the cushy life you thought it would be, but it doesn’t have to be a nerve-wrecking experience either. To ease your stress, one of the first things you need to do is erect barriers between your home life and work life, even if you are working at home.
Having a small work station will go a long way in setting up a physical and mental barrier between the two spheres, allowing you to get into the ‘work mind set’ in the comfort of your home. Your daily commute helps you to mentally detach from your family life and enter work mode, so when you are ready to start your workday, go out for a short walk and then go directly to your workstation, in the same way as you would if you were entering your office. By all means, avoid working out of your couch.
Although you might not miss your nosy co-workers and intrusive bosses, studies show that mortality rates from loneliness are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day! Despite their annoying nature at times, you will be worse of without co-workers. Pencil in some time during your day to interact with other people – even if it is just a quick phone call to long lost relatives!
Accept that working from home can increase your stress levels and do something about it – even if it is just a short yoga session after work. Learn to focus on the positive aspects of your working situation and as the saying goes – if the grass is greener on the other side, you need to water your grass more often!