How do people manage to work from home?
The coronavirus pandemic has made significant adjustments to the daily routines and lifestyles of people around the world. Due to quarantine restrictions, many who previously worked in the office now have to work from home, getting used to forced self-isolation. The pros and cons of such work, as well as some tips on how to work effectively on the remote without going crazy, will be described in detail in this article.
The benefits of working remotely
The main advantage of remote working is that you don’t need to go anywhere. Work is done from home, which completely eliminates transport costs. Office workers spend a lot of time and money every day to get to their workplace. Studies conducted by Swedish scientists on the example of more than 20 thousand people working remotely have shown that such a rhythm of life inevitably leads to poor health. First of all, the quality of sleep and general well-being decrease, the person becomes tired and exhausted. Scientists have calculated that the risk of health problems increases by 20-60% if you spend more than an hour on the road one way. Even if you do not use public transport and get to work in your own car, the likelihood of undesirable health effects when driving for 30-60 minutes one way increases by 20-40%.
Being in the office can, by itself, become an additional negative factor. For example, if your workplace is poorly lit or poorly ventilated, the chances of cortisol rising in your blood, the hormone responsible for protecting your body from stress, can increase significantly. In addition, prolonged stays in an uncomfortable office can lead to serious failures in the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Simply put, working in an uncomfortable place, your probabilities of developing, for example, a coronary heart disease, increase tenfold. In this respect, a home office is preferable. There you have the opportunity to adjust the optimal illumination parameters, limit the noise level and set the appropriate temperature.
In general, switching to remote, at least partially, is an excellent way to reduce most of the behavioral risks. For example, according to statistics, people who work remotely for at least half of their working hours are less likely to encounter the problem of alcoholism: almost 1.5 times less than their office colleagues. With smoking, similar statistics apply: remote workers use tobacco 1.5 times less often. As for depression and obesity, the situation is not so straightforward. It seems that the risk of contracting these disorders is reduced by working from home at least once a week. At the same time, with a full transition to remote work, the likelihood of falling into a depressive state and gaining excess weight increases to the level of office employees.
Are there any disadvantages to working from home?
remote work is characterized by one, but very significant disadvantage: the lack of communication. The person is cut off from society, which in turn increases the risk of developing depression. Research studies show that the more people work remotely, the more likely they are to experience stress. The transition to this state occurs due to social deprivation, which develops depressive and anxiety disorders in a person. In addition, isolation from society can adversely affect the functioning of the brain, leading to a decrease in the growth of neurons and, as a consequence, to a slowdown in the development of neural connections. Thus, working remotely for a long time, a person risks not only falling into depression, but also negatively affecting their cognitive abilities.
What should people who don’t like working from home do?
There are several effective techniques that experienced businessmen and scientists recommend taking as a basis. For example, Jeff Hancock, a communications professor at Stanford University, suggests having a virtual lunch with colleagues via video. According to the scientist, this approach will help to overcome the feeling of social isolation and will be a good prevention of depression during forced periods of working from home.
Another useful recommendation for remote workers is to get in touch with their manager on a regular basis. Moreover, the responsibility for building long-distance relationships should fall not only on the employees, but also on the management, themselves. If we analyze the data scientists have presented about remote work, we can come to the conclusion that trusting communication with superiors plays an important role for remote workers by helping them feel more confident, as well as get more satisfaction from the work done and experience less stress.
It is quite interesting that remote workers are more likely to need contact with management than their office colleagues. Scientists attribute this to the desire of remote employees to establish trusting relationships with their superiors so that they can demonstrate their responsibility and professional qualities.
How else can you make your remote work more efficient?
There are a few more simple but effective techniques that can be followed by remote workers:
- draw up a daily routine in advance and try not to deviate from it;
- exercise more often;
- eat a balanced diet;
- do not abuse social networks;
- forget about household chores while working;
- work at intervals of 40 minutes, and take a short break after each;
- live in accordance with the company’s work schedule;
- pay attention to your health and appearance;
- wake up early and do morning exercises;
- at the end of the working day, do not overload yourself with complex tasks.
In addition, it is very important to properly arrange your workspace. It is desirable that it be located as far as possible from the kitchen and bedrooms. For productive work, you need to ask your loved ones not to distract you until the end of your working day.