Working From Home Is Affecting Your Health (More Than You Think)
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect “normal life”, work from home becomes routine.
The workplace has changed overnight–from open seating, conference room meetings, coffee get-togethers in the office lobby to your kitchen table or home office desk, not to talk about your kids running around and, in some cases, interrupting Zoom meetings.
Since 2020, the home office is a global trend. Regardless of your opinion, it becomes the new normal and opens opportunities worldwide: people work independently from different locations and agendas. It certainly requires a different approach.
This is only the beginning for many families and remote work is only possible through technologic innovation:
– Smart Devices
– 5G Network
– Fast-Speed Communication
Many companies like Facebook and Twitter have announced the option to work from home permanently beyond COVID-19. A recent poll in April 2021 found 65% of employees were working from home due to COVID-19.
The Global Workplace Analytics estimated 56% of U.S. workers have jobs that can be done from home and predicted around 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home several days a week by the end of 2021. With remote work or as many call it, “work from home” here to stay, new health risks have been identified.
How does work from home look like?
Gone are commutes, office happy hours, and open seating. Instead, the workplace looks more like your dining room or kitchen table with your pet dog as your closest desk buddy.
The home office isn’t quite up to workplace standards. Because the transition to work from home was so immediate, employees are working in substandard conditions in makeshift offices. Most employees are camped out in shared living spaces like their dining room, living room, bedroom, or even laundry room. In a recent study, only roughly a third boast of having dedicated office space in a separate room. While over half of those surveyed indicated they spend the majority of their time working at a desk, the dining table was the second most popular and couch the third likely place.
What are the challenges?
Home Office is not all fun…
- Social Isolation: Social isolation and loneliness top the list of challenges for remote workers with 37% of survey respondents citing it as their top issue with remote work. Without casual hallway chats or happy hours after work, employees are missing key social interactions with their colleagues.
- Lack of Movement: Skipping the commute and sitting in endless video calls also means many employees are suffering from a lack of physical activity and movement during their typical remote workday. In the old office life, employees used to walk as part of their commute, step out to grab lunch, or dash between meeting rooms in their office building. In today’s remote workplace, people are likely sitting at their desks most of the day–only moving back and forth from the kitchen to their desk for the occasional snack.
- Work-Life / Personal Life Balance: Surprisingly and yet predictable, professionals are experiencing difficulties separating work and personal life. When working from home, dealing with emergencies at work often triggers a “deal with it now” factor regardless of the times they occur. Meaning that workers often happen to monitor their email outside normal business hours. In a recent survey, among 600 IT workers surveyed, 54% work on average 50 hours a week. It’s been concluded outside this survey that some, work on average 50 to 70 hours a week. What makes it worse? – The efforts put by individuals go often unnoticed or unappreciated.
- Back and Joint Pain: Since people started working in makeshift home offices with minimal movement, it’s not surprising this more sedentary lifestyle is having an impact on employees’ back and joint pain. In a survey, 45% said they are experiencing back and joint pain since they started working from home, and 71% said the pain has either gotten worse or it “just keeps coming back”. Back pain can be caused by several different factors, one being the lack of workplace standard conditions such as not having an appropriate office chair or a desk leveled at the correct height.
What other health effects are remote workers dealing with?
One of the biggest roadblocks to better workplace well-being is identifying when and why something is wrong. It’s only by tracking and comparing specific outcomes that you can be sure you’re making the right improvements in the right places at the right time.
That said, remote work can have many more negative impacts on your health such as mental health-related issues, stress, depression and many more, often caused by electro hypersensitivity syndrome.
What is Electro Hypersensitivity Syndrome?
Electro Hypersensitivity Syndrome or EHS – is an identified and characterized neurologic pathological disorder caused by the continuous exposure to EMF radiation = Electromagnetic Fields radiation – emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, desktops, or laptops, etc.
In a full technological era as the modern days, it is clear that the use of technology has completely taken over. It’s become excessive.
Covid-19 has not only accelerated the desperate need for faster and more innovating technology but it’s pushed a growing number of populations to become “sensitive” to electromagnetic fields radiation or EMF radiation. Why? – People’s exposure to EMF radiation from electronic and wireless technology it’s increasing at an incredibly fast pace.
Nowadays we all live, sleep, breathe, travel, and work around electronic devices. Work from home is proof of that. EHS is often characterized as a physiologic and not psychosomatic response and those who experience some of the symptoms caused by EHS, develop psychological problems because of their inability to work and their limited ability to travel in our highly technologic environment.
EHS also causes other common problems such as stress, fatigue, muscle pain, loss of focus, inability to sleep, headaches, anxiety, brain fog, and low productivity. It’s all connected, and it plays a crucial role in one’s mental health.
Answer the following questions to yourself:
- How often have you experienced the above-mentioned symptoms since working from home?
- How many devices do you have laying around your home office?
What’s the solution?
- Educate yourself! Learn everything you need to know about EMF radiation from top experts, scientific studies and medical conferences
- Minimise your exposure to harmful electromagnetic radiation.
- Have your home office assess for EMF exposure.
Did you know the WHO issued a report classifying EMF & Radio-Frequency Radiation as “possibly carcinogenic” in 2011?
Such report has led experts to believe EMF Radiation to be the “Next Asbestos”. Your environment is changing without your permission.
How much longer will you wait before taking the preventive action today that your future self will thank you later?
Source: EMF Aware