More of us than ever are now working from home, but what does this mean when it comes to our health? Here are some pros and cons of home-based work on health.
Pros: Exposed to Fewer Germs
At a traditional workplace, you’re surrounded by lots of other people, and especially during the colder months when more illnesses are around it’s easy to pick up germs from your workplace. Things like cold, flu and stomach bugs can linger around on door handles, keyboards and be passed through coughing and sneezing in confined environments. When you work from home, you’ll tend to avoid many of these opportunistic illnesses which can easily be picked up in a standard workplace. Research shows that people that work from home do have less sick days.
Cons: Fitness and Weight Control
Any sedentary job can result in reduced fitness levels and poor weight control, it’s not just in those that work from home. However, when your home is your workplace, you might not even get up to leave the house on some days. When you work elsewhere, even walking to the local train station, across the car park or around the building with work colleagues at lunchtimes to stretch your legs can get a few steps in.
Make the effort to take breaks and, ideally, get out of the house. Hit the gym at lunchtime (it will be less busy too which is a bonus!) walk your dog or take a stroll to the local coffee shop and grab a green tea. Try to balance out your sedentary hours with a little activity. However, if you can’t get outside, get creative inside. Just as you might take part in a hobby or sport on your break from a traditional job, consider doing the same while working from home. After all, if you could practice at work, you can do it at home.
Pros: Safe and Comfortable Working Environment
There are many hazards in traditional workplaces. For example, in warehouses, factories and construction sites you have people working at heights, with chemicals and heat. There are vehicles driving around and loud noises that can affect your hearing, click here to find out more about this. It’s not to say that the home is free of hazards, but in general, if you’re working from a home office then you don’t even have the risk of crashing your car on the way to work.
Cons: Too Much Time Spent Indoors
We are known as the ‘indoor generation’, which can actually take its toll on health. If you work from home, make an effort to open windows, use an air purifier and keep your surroundings free of dust and mold to avoid this damaging your health.
Pros: Good for Mental Health
Studies show that people that work from home tend to be happier. And it makes sense, with no busy and stressful commute, no boss breathing down your neck and the flexibility to do your tasks the way it suits you can all lead to a much nicer working environment. Some people are naturally suited to working alone, while some thrive on the structure and energy of a typical workplace, others prefer being by themselves getting things done and so working from home is, of course, going to be better for them.