Is Working from Home Good or Bad for Our Health?
Just over two years ago, many of us were suddenly forced to work from home. We had no choice. We had to make it work. We had to turn our kitchen counter/bedroom/living room/spare room into our new working space. We had to find a way to balance and juggle our personal and professional lives from the same place. We had to buy new office furniture and figure out how to use Zoom.... and some of us thrived (we found that our mental health and wellbeing improved, we had a better work-life balance and we were much more productive).... but some of us struggled (we felt lonely and bored, found ourselves eating/drinking to cope and felt a lack of purpose). So is working from home actually good or bad for our health?
Over the past year, many organisations have adopted hybrid working policies, which give employees some level of control over how much they work-from-home (WFH) and work-from-the-office (WFO). It is important that these policies are flexible enough to accommodate a range of different preferences on WFH vs WFO. This is because, whether WFH will help or harm someone's health, will depend upon lots of factors including: their personality type; their life and living circumstances; how far away from the office they live; their working and thinking style; and their tendency towards introversion or extroversion. Here are some of the ways in which WFH can either help or harm health depending upon an individual's unique circumstances: