The coronavirus pandemic has encouraged many businesses to build remote work teams and create a home office. Working from home was among the most common requests from employees, especially Millennials, even before the pandemic. But, the health emergency has finally made it an option for almost everyone.
Thankfully, most households are already equipped to sustain home-based work. Indeed, most families have all the technology they need for a productive and sustainable home office environment. All you need is a secure WiFi network and a computer or a tablet. As a result, the switch from the workplace office to your cozy home office has been much easier and smoother than expected.
However, while working from home has helped many families to stay safe during the pandemic, you may not realize that the situation is bringing new health risks to your household. Here are the top 7 most significant health risks that you need to consider if you want to make home-based work your long-term routine.
#1. The screen is blurry
How did the screen become blurry? You thought you had perfect eyesight! There may be a variety of reasons that can affect your vision. Indeed, exposure to screens and their artificial light can increase eye strain and eye fatigue. While it may not damage your eyesight at first, it can lead to temporary shortsightedness or blurriness. You can, however, get yourself some made in USA computer vision glasses to help tackle the issue. The computer lenses will filter out harmful light and help your eyes relax. This will ensure you stay focused for longer hours without experiencing blurriness.
Another common issue with screens is that it can exacerbate an existing condition. For instance, if you had slight myopia which you didn’t correct, sitting at a screen all day may make it worse. As a rule of thumb, getting your eyes checked is a good idea before you plan to work on screens. You can discuss your needs with a specialist.
#2. You wake up too early and not refreshed
If you find yourself turning in bed without being able to fall asleep, it could be a sign of stress. Indeed, when you work from home, it can be tricky to separate your work from your family life. As such, you might find yourself unable to shut down your thoughts, even though you left the home office hours ago. Why does that happen more frequently for remote workers?
Typically, home-based professionals can find it difficult to compartmentalize their thoughts. Professional worries and stress can creep into everyday life because everything happens in the same location. When you drive away from the workplace, you can physically leave your stress behind. At home, it’s another problem. Unfortunately, while you may not feel under pressure, stress can disturb your sleep pattern. You could struggle with insomnia, or simply wake up in the morning feeling tired. The quickest way to improve your sleep is to learn to relax, using meditation, yoga, or some me-time, for instance.
#3. You’ve got frequent headaches and upset stomach
How much coffee do you drink during the day? If you were used to a couple of cups a day at the office, things might change dramatically at home. A lot of home-based workers consume coffee in excessive quantities for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the coffee machine is directly accessible in the kitchen. Secondly, brewing coffee acts as a quick break during the day. As such, the more coffee you drink, the more you can have breaks. However, if you exceed 3 cups in a short period, you might experience headaches, heart palpitations, and an upset stomach. Besides, coffee drinkers can struggle to sleep too! Introduce a coffee schedule to keep your habits under control.
#4. Ouch, sore back
When they work from home, most people don’t realize how much time they spend sitting at their desks. When you work in an office, you are more likely to get up regularly to stretch your legs and socialize with coworkers. At home, though, you have to make the most of the time you’ve got. As such, it’s not uncommon to sit at the desk for several hours without moving, which can lead to lower back pain.
There’s no secret remedy: You need to get up now and then to stretch your legs. Schedule a quick break every hour, at least!
#5. You’re feeling sluggish
Nobody prepares a lunchbox when working from home. To keep your metabolism running, you need a healthy lunch or frequent snacks during the day. However, when time is short, you may be tempted to grab a pack of chips or a bag of popcorn. Unfortunately, while you may not gain weight from these snacks – especially if you’ve got a workout routine –, they can make you feel sluggish and tired. If you’re not going to prepare any lunch, at least, replace empty snack calories with a piece of fruit!
#6. You feel distant to your family
It’s hard to put boundaries in place when you work from home. You may be tempted to work until you’ve completed a task, even if it means working overtime. As a result, you can let work-related stress come in between you and your family. It’s essential to stick to your work schedule and leave your desk when it’s time to relax. Otherwise, you make yourself more vulnerable to depression, mood swings, and social isolation.
#7. Your skin feels tight and dry
Two things happen when you work from home during a pandemic. You may reduce the amount of time you spend outdoors, which means you are not getting sufficient vitamin D. Additionally, vitamin D deficiency can affect your mood, making you feel more depressed and sensitive to cold – when your mood drops, your body temperature often does the same. Remote workers are more likely to keep the heating on for longer, which can dry out your skin and your sinuses.
Does it mean working from home is unhealthy? Of course not! Remote workers can use the opportunity to strengthen their bonds with their family and health. If you’re going to turn your home office into a health oasis, you need to build a strict schedule for your breaks, your workday, your meals, and your outside-work activities!
See larger image