Experts predict that working from home affects your mind and body in the long run, and it doesn’t look good
Watching Netflix on a laptop, working in pajamas, a weird cocky afternoon dream: Working from home has its advantages.
But after almost 12 months, experts believe that we can work from home, at the earliest before spring 2021, and it is sometimes difficult to know if this is good or bad news. After all, we’ve already established our unusual home routine. We bought new tables, adapted them to work together as a pair, and adapted our living spaces to the new standards. We may have even found ourselves saving money or striving for a better work-life balance than in the office.
As with all big changes, it occurred to us what impact remote work could have in the long run. And while this is currently out of our control, it makes us wonder if we will choose flexible work in the future, especially when you hear the dismal results that experts predict for our posture, stress levels and sleep, not to mention skin, hair. and weight.
In a 20-year prediction (one that will surely keep us awake at night), a team of clinical psychologists and fitness experts gathered at DirectlyApply to accurately predict what the future of remote work will look like, and it looks a lot like Susan. With thinning hair and a muffin top, she clearly demonstrates what 20-year-old WFH can do for our physical and mental well-being, and unfortunately for Susan, it doesn’t look good.
By now, Susan, well accustomed to her remote work life, lives in a pair of love heart pajama pants (we personally feel like victims) with a Zoom-friendly collared shirt, but after years of hunched over her laptop, she lives in a terrible pose and what the experts call Tech Neck. Screen time and a lack of vitamin D drained her skin and left heavy bags under her eyes. In addition, she is significantly overweight. Poor Susan.
So what does this tell us about the impact of working from home on the country’s mental and physical health over the past 12 months.
We miss the social side of office work
A Zoom water cooler conversation is not the same, and about a quarter of Brits working from home say they are struggling with loneliness and isolation from colleagues right now.
In Susan’s case, prolonged lack of contact with people has led to increased stress levels, which can raise our blood pressure over time. Dr. Rachel M. Allan says that in the long run, if we don’t make the effort to increase personal social contact as telecommuters, we may be missing out on a morale and productivity opportunity.
We don’t go out enough
From commuting to work after work, or outdoor lunch breaks, there is no doubt that we spent more time outdoors on pre-pandemic workdays.
Psychologists believe that lack of vitamins D and B12 affects our skin and hair. While we’re being told to stay indoors right now, a work day that includes more sunlight and breaks may help improve WFH in the near future.
Our home office is missing
Poor posture, too much screen time, and long periods of typing aren’t just about telecommuting. Remember when experts portrayed the future of office workers as a life-size model? Yes, the office worker Emma does not take her eyes off our Susan.
These casual WFH habits that we might slip into on lazy days, such as working out of bed or the couch, Susan’s creators associate with an overly elongated neck, rounded shoulders, and hunchback. If we can achieve optimal work from home, the risks seem as good as your old desk work, but PT Joe Mitten recommends yoga as the perfect antidote to prolonged sitting.