Health Considerations of Remote Versus Office Work
By Chris Brown
Impacts to our work abilities during the recent COVID-19 pandemic has adapted how businesses are operated and how workers perform their jobs. As life returns to a state of normalcy, many are asking whether re-entering an office setting is even necessary or worth the freedom afforded by remote work. Weighing all the health benefits and costs of a home versus office environment is important to consider if given the option. After all, our work environment is where an estimated third of our lives is spent, according to Reference.com.
The Social Office Experience
While office work may seem increasingly outdated, it has many advantages over remote work. Certain individuals who value physical human interplay may become saddened by a loss of community when stuck at home.
- Social interaction - Virtual meetings are really no replacement for old fashioned human interaction. In adult life, much of one's social life exists through work colleague interactions and removing this aspect can have detrimental effects on well-being.
- Feel seen and heard - Whereas you are always visually seen in an office, at-home environments can sometimes leave a worker feeling forgotten by a company.
- Data security and tech support - The stress of a Zoom meeting crash is never a problem in an office, where on-hand tech support is always an office away.
- Possibly increased team performance - Although conflicting studies exist, in one instance, in person sales teams of a European bank outperformed remote teams. This take seems to align with humans' evolutionary tendency towards in-person groups and tribes.
- Part of a company culture - Sharing space with one's coworkers facilitates a company culture. This can be positive or negative depending upon the company but, for many, company culture can be an uplifting, motivating force in their work environment.
The Freedom and Productivity of Remote Work
Working remote can offer the freedom of controlling your work environment that may benefit certain personalities.
- Allows greater freedom - One of the primary benefits of home work is the reduced stress of freedom. There is no need to rush out of the office for a doctor's appointment when they can simply change their schedule to "busy."
- Can work in sweatpants - The comfort and value of working in sweatpants cannot be overstated.
- No stressful commuting - Commutes, for many, are the worst, most stressful part of the workday. Remove it altogether by shortening your commute to across the living room.
- Increased individual productivity - While this may not be the case for group work, it makes sense that studies of individual workers showed that, without the distraction of coworker cubicle chats, productivity increased.
Finding the work style that fits your individual personality is important when deciding on how to work. The choice may even alter your future career path and psychological stress levels, so make sure to take a realistic inventory of your needs prior to making a choice.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Hermitage, Tenn.