Is Working From Home Healthy? Upsides vs Downsides

Millions of employees have found themselves working in their kitchen, bedroom or sometimes even in their bathrooms as a result of pandemic. How healthy is to work from home?

working from home healthy

It sounds great to work from home; comfortable in your pyjama’s (unless you are going to be in a zoom or team meeting) but how long can you do that? Do you really feel like working when you work from your home? How efficient are you? Do you get lots of distractions i.e. crying babies, shouting kids etc.?

Working from home during the pandemic

There are some jobs that you can’t do from home especially in the hospitality industry. They may be the lucky ones not to be locked down however they are 5 times more likely to contract the virus despite social distancing measures and wearing a face mask. There are always pros and cons to every job.

Do you prefer to work at home or back at the good old office where you are at greater risk of contracting the virus… but at least it’s peaceful? It’s not only the kids that make working from home unbearable it’s also lack of motivation! At home there are so many reminders that you should be cooking, cleaning or resting because that’s what you usually do in the home environment? So even if you don’t have anyone bothering you while working from home you will still not feel that you are at work! After working from home for a while you might think you would prefer to go back to your old office and risk the germs. Whatever your set-up, offices are designed to be used for work related activities and home is just a sweet home you can’t really concentrate on what you are doing regardless of trying hard to achieve it.

Health wise, home will always win the safety battle! Unless some other people go to work and bring lots of germs from where they work! However at the work place, there will be other people who are going to share the same air with you if nothing else. Sharing a pen, touching a door handle, opening, closing the windows, tea machine, coffee machine… those are all communal tools that viral infections love to lurk on and jump from people to people!

Can you go in to depression if you work from home?

Definitely not if it’s for a short while. This pandemic is still too new, lock-down was very sudden and still too new so we don’t know the effects they left or still giving to the people. Physical effects can be fixed easily by starting exercising, going in to a diet or simply by going back to work, but the psychological effects may take months to diagnose and years to fix! There may be many reasons fall into depression in these strange times, perhaps losing loved ones or not being able to reach out to friends and family so easily for support. Each case is unique. Living in the current more than imagining the past and fearing for the future is a great way to deal with psychological problems.

If you are struggling to find the same level of motivation that you had at work to keep doing your job from home, then find a routine that is similar to what you would have done prior to lock-down. Setting aside specific times to have coffee and tea breaks, and possibly even making these coincide with a friend or colleagues times that you can both stop and have a chat over the phone or messages, without it distracting you from your work could be a great start.

What do you miss about working at your traditional work place?

Chatting or gossiping with your friends at work? Waiting for your shift to finish at the end of the day? Lunch break conversations with colleagues? Or just being away from home? The routine of leaving the house and missing everything about home is part of our traditional expectations so without this nothing feels quite right.

It’s not easy to say whether working from home is the healthiest option or not. This is your decision to make. Stay home and work from home if that makes you happy and if it’s possible and choose to go to work if that is what you want and again if it’s possible to do so. According to a poll the majority of employees want to go back to work even those who had wanted to work from home before the pandemic! They must have realised that working from home is not as fun as they thought it would be.

Humans are social creatures so of course working as a community surrounded by colleagues trying to achieve the same end-goal rather than from a kitchen will be healthier than any other options!

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Kate Hicks
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