The work-from-home craze is here! And while there are certainly perks – like skipping that awful commute – there can also be negative effects on your health and wellness when you work from home over an extended period of time.
Whether you’re in a fully remote position or managing a hybrid schedule, these tips can help you embrace remote work in a healthy manner – and avoid the long term risks of work-from-home.
What We Love About Work-From-Home
First things first, you’re in the comfort of your own home! Your couch, your thermostat, your pets, your fridge, your coffee mug – these things can make a difference when it comes to comfort, confidence, and a sense of control. On top of more privacy and relaxing your wardrobe, working from home gives you greater flexibility in general.
For these reasons, there tends to be less pressure overall when working from home. And while less pressure can sometimes translate to less stress (good for health), working from home doesn’t always lead to a worry-free lifestyle.
6 Hidden Dangers of WFH – What to Look Out For
There can, in fact, be some hidden risks associated with working from home for an extended period. Folks who have been working independently long before the pandemic tend to be better acclimated to common work-from-home traps. But for those who are relatively new to this trend, it’s important to stay on the lookout for these common dangers of working from home.
- Hard to ‘switch off’ when work day is over. The lines are blurred when working from home – especially if you don’t have a designated office space. This can lead to a mental and emotional drain in which you’re in perpetual ‘work mode.’
- Excessive screen time. With in-person meetings replaced by virtual calls, your eyes can really take a toll. Headaches can also be triggered by excessive screen time.
- Social anxiety. With less face-to-face interaction, it’s easy to become isolated.
- Poor hygiene. Can they really tell over a zoom call whether you showered? Probably not! Which is why the temptation to skip personal hygiene routines can slowly creep in.
- Sedentary lifestyle. While a daily commute can be a bane, it does get your body moving. It’s easy to see how lethargy, lack of movement, and posture can all become issues when working from home.
- Workspace imposing on home life. Have you checked how this arrangement affects others in your house? If taking business calls from the living room has your family feeling uncomfortable or restrained, it could potentially harm those relationships.
3 Strategies for Success
It is possible to work from home without sacrificing your posture, mental health, and relationships. But it takes self-discipline! Here are 3 ways to improve your work-from-home setup.
- Set physical boundaries. Always have a designated office space that’s separate from the rest of the home! This helps you ‘switch off’ when the work day is done.
- Monitor time. Keep a strict schedule to help monitor screen time, allow breaks for physical activity, and avoid overworking. This helps family members know when you’re available, as well.
- Stay engaged. Face-to-face interaction and social connections are essential for mental wellbeing. Make time to get out of the house – even if it’s just a walk around the block – and interact with the world around you.
Go on, soak up the perks of work-from-home! When you’re organized and disciplined, you can avoid most of the long term dangers of working from home.