What can be more fantastic than working from the comforts of your very own abode, sitting on your favorite mahogany chair, sipping your favorite green tea, and being inspired by the peaceful settings of your home?
Well, it is, in fact, a great thing to do. You could be an entrepreneur, a blogger, a writer, a tutor, a virtual assistant and don the cap of many more such exciting roles.
Many people opt to work from home these days for various reasons. Some of these include financial reasons, avoiding travelling to work, not wanting to play dress-up every day to work, having to take care of children or elderly at home, wanting to have the desired/flexible work timings, not wanting to meet horrible bosses every day, and some even choose to stay at home for certain medical reasons.
With so many reasons around, working from home is, in fact, the best option to take up, if you are blessed with such a privilege.
Nevertheless, the question remains –
How then are you subjected to anything that is negative in such positive circumstances, especially when it concerns your health, even when doctors such as Dr. Ian Tong and other such “Doctors-on-Demand” have been consulting with their patients through online video-chatting application for the past two years?
Could it really be true that you could bring upon yourself health issues even when you are working from the most revered place you call home?
Before getting into the health precautions one must take when working from home, you need to understand how you are putting yourself at risk first.
Thus, there is something to read that is actually worth your time.
Health Risks & Problems Faced While Working From Home
In addition to offering decent salaries, job security, and flexible working conditions that come gift wrapped, most works from home options come with certain disadvantages, and one of it is occupational health hazards.
Just as most jobs that cause health problems to its employees, work from home jobs also cause certain health-related discomforts.
Here is a list of health issues and other problems that you might be subjecting yourself to when working from home, especially if you are a full-time blogger or are engaged in a more demanding job.
- Long hours of exposure before the computer/laptop screen
- Constantly glued to your smartphone, thus increasing your screen time
- Being seated in the same posture and the same position for hours together
- Leading a very sedentary and lonely lifestyle
- Adopting a very disturbed and irregular sleep patterns
- Missing meals or getting into the habit of irregular & untimely meals
- Mismanagement of your time
- Not following a routine while at work
- Mixing both personal and professional lives
- Overburdening yourself with work and stressing out way more than you can handle
- Not adopting best work practices
- Not employing safety gears such as anti-reflective glasses while spending time in front of your laptop
Health Precautions To Take If You Are Working From Home
Now that you have understood the problem and identified the causes that are creating health issues while working at home, it is time to address these problems with solutions that can minimize or eliminate occupational health hazards while working from your home.
1. Create your own working environment:
Although you might be working from home, you need to ensure that you create a confined space within your personal boundary that shouts out “office”.
There are three reasons behind doing this. One, you do not go working in all corners of the house. Secondly, you do not mix leisure/personal time with work.
Thirdly, people at home begin to respect your workspace and time. Therefore, ensure you have a dedicated space/location/room where you only carry out official duties.
2. Choose the right furniture:
Once you have the space set up, you need to bring in some comfortable yet good quality furniture that will help you work better without causing any strains while you work long hours.
For instance, a good chair with an excellent back support will help you maintain a firm posture. Similarly, a table that is of the correct height will help you work efficiently.
3. Set timelines:
Firstly, create a fixed start and end time to your work. Just because you work from home, does not mean you do not have a schedule.
Create one and follow it unless in cases of emergencies. Similarly, just as you have tea breaks, lunch breaks, and gossip breaks in an actual office space, you too need to make time to get out of your desk at least once in every hour.
It is easy to stay glued to your work and forget all about time but difficult to stop something that you are so engrossed in to take time out for yourself.
However, doing this is good for your body and make sure to get out of the house as well even if it is just spending five minutes on your lawn or talking to your neighbor.
4. Get ready for work:
You do not have to suit up or wear shoes.
However, you could prep yourself a bit before you begin work.
For instance, having a shower and wearing something that is less of a house wear and more of a comfortable work outfit will help you increase your productivity and will also help you realize that you need to maintain two different lives while at home.
One main disadvantage of working from home for a few people who work independently is that they do not meet or talk to anyone.
Humans being the “social animals” need people to interact, socialize, and remain sane.
Therefore, even if you do not meet anyone on a professional front, make sure to establish some connections so that you do not lead a sedentary lifestyle.
6. Eat & Drink Well:
Another important role of creating a schedule is to accommodate time for what you eat and drink.
Some people get so absorbed in their work such as bloggers that they miss their meals and even fail to drink a glass of water. Hence, take food breaks regularly and hydrate yourself.
7. Maintain a personal life:
Never mix your work with your personal things. For instance, if you have decided to go out with friends, then just go ahead with it rather than taking your work assignments on a lunch date with your friends.
If you do so, you will eventually find yourself all alone.
8. Few other additional tips:
Few other tips for a healthier work from home environment include stretching/working out between your work, creating active meeting/call sessions while you are taking a walk, and creating a very calming/soothing work environment with fresh flowers/soulful music.
All these results in increased productivity and reduces stressful moments.