The Health Problems of Working From Home Temporarily

It’s relatively easy to manage ergonomics in a traditional workplace. Employees generally have a computer, desk, and five-castor chair at an office. With more people working from home, however, we’ve seen a greater variety of working habits and posture as people work from whatever they can find – from kitchen tables to coffee shops.

These changes can cause physical and emotional damage in the long-run. Between uncomfortable working spaces and problems with childcare, and the anxieties of having to work during a pandemic, the health and wellbeing of the average person has never been so fragile.

Here are the health problems of working from home temporarily, and how employers can continue to support their workers.

At-Home Workstations

Employers aren’t legally required to provide workstation assessments for remote workers as the current measures are only “temporary.” However, it is recommended that employers should consider just “temporary” this all is, given how long it has lasted already. Employers should take their responsibilities under the Health and Safety Regulations 1992 seriously and undertake DSE workstation assessments for remote workers.

Employers should encourage workers to take regular breaks, avoid sitting awkwardly, stretch regularly, and take steps to prevent eye strain. It would be best if employers also invested in training employees to be better workers at home.

The Impact On Home Workers

Employees face a number of challenges over how lockdown has disrupted their lives from having to work around children at home, to disabled workers struggling without additional support. Several employees live by themselves, which presents an even greater risk to their wellbeing and ability to respond to an emergency appropriately.

The key elements of supporting home workers right now are;
• Identifying potential vulnerabilities for home workers
• Establishing robust communication on all levels
• Monitoring vulnerable employees and establishing daily check-ins for them

Lockdown Fatigue

Research from the University of Central Lancaster shows that people re suffering from fatigue over having to adapt to changes in their personal and professional lives. The feeling is caused by the stress of having to change our daily routine and get used to a “new normal.”

Challenges, including being a parent, carer, teacher, and employee all at the same time instead of being able to keep all those roles separates. For people living by themselves, lockdown fatigue is caused by the monotony of their current circumstances. So, how can workers get their energy back and be the best versions of themselves?

Structure, Sleep, and Exercise

Everyone should remember the importance of structure, sleep, and exercise – whether they live with others or by themselves. This will help you grow as a person rather than being lost in the dark of loneliness, letting you come out of all of this with better memories and as a better person.

1. Structure
Structure refers to setting a routine for yourself and sticking to it. Try your best to wake up and go to bed at the same time. Keep to the same working hours, take regular breaks, plan family time and lesson times with the kids, stay in touch with friends and relatives, and get some sleep and exercise as needed.

2. Sleep
Sleep is the most essential thing in life. Aim to get up to 8-9 hours of sleep a night. You may have to plan for a good night’s sleep to get one. Think about your bedding, bedtime exercises, and how you can wind down at night.

3. Exercise
Exercise helps keep you healthy, which helps your recovery if you get sick and keep your immune system running to capacity.

Etty Middleton

Etty Middleton

With four kids under 10yrs old and a hubby who commutes monthly between the UK and US it was a God send when during the Corona lock down my boss told me that I would remain a remote worker even after the lock down had finished.

My Office and Home