Working from home has become the main objective of one generation of workers, the Millennials, who are quick to quit a company that doesn’t promote remote or flexible working options. As a result, Millennials are the number One generation to work at home as independent entrepreneurs – momtrepreneurs for many – and freelancers. And it’s fair to say that they have gained great liberty in the process and the advantages of achieving a healthy work/life balance. Mothers don’t miss out on precious time with their babies. Even freelancers who don’t have children yet find that their flexible home office has enabled them to have more time for their friends and partners; as a result, they feel more centred in their lives. Besides, they’re saving tonnes of money on commuting and lunch every day. However, there are invisible health dangers that lurk in your home office, if you’re not careful.
1. Cheap furniture means back pains
When you work from home, you’re less likely to take breaks from your desk. As a result, you can sit for several hours at your desk, which can increase the risk of illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Even without going to such extent, sitting all day can cause back pain which can spread from the lower back to your neck and shoulder area. Ergonomic furniture can decrease the risk of a sore lower back, but it’s fair to point out that it does nothing to boost your immune system. The healthier option is to opt for a standing desk, or even a treadmill desk if you can afford it, as this will keep your body active even while you’re working.
2. Falling for the film noir clichés
When you work alone, especially in an industry sector where you need to spend just as much time thinking or researching than making or creating things, it’s easy to revert to passive occupations as you do. If you’re an enthusiastic film noir fan, you probably know the typical image of the journalist or the detective, smoking and drinking at his desk while working on a case. Modern workers may not have a bottle of whisky or bourbon on their desk, but it’s easy to see how working from home can encourage smoking, especially if you’re already a smoker. If you’re worried about not being able to keep your habit under control, you could switch to e-cigarette with kits such as the Aspire Puxos Kit. This reduces the risk of developing a passive bad habit when you’re working.
3. You never get completely used to the isolation
Working from home might sound like a good idea, especially if you don’t like working in a team. If you’re freelancing, you might find that your lifestyle allows you to stay away from the stress of office work and the negativity of office politics – which can both be devastating. However, it would be foolish to assume that home freelancers have an easy and smooth everyday routine. Your home office, ultimately, isolates you from other people, and even though you may be happy to work alone, there will be days when the isolation might become a little too heavy. Besides, working alone means that you can’t receive any feedback on your performance, which can be difficult to handle. So it’s important to consider some networking event or co-working space so that you can meet other freelancers.
4. It’s only one biscuit
Do you work with a pack of biscuits on your desk? After all, you’re free to do as you please. Nobody is here to judge you. Except that over time, one little biscuit can turn into a terrible munching habit and soon your trousers will begin to feel too tight. Overeating at your desk is unfortunately on the most common struggles for freelancers and other home office workers. It’s best to keep a glass of water by your desk so that you can keep yourself hydrated instead of a plate of biscuits. Don’t fall into the trap of rewarding your work with a sweet treat as you might develop a craving for sugar with each new project!
5. The indoor air is impure
Did you know that the indoor air can be polluted? You might want to bring houseplants into your home office to reduce the presence of impurities in the air. Indeed, particles in the air can lead to respiratory diseases, headaches and concentration troubles. When all you need to think clearly and free of toxins if a couple of helpful plants such as a snake plant or a bamboo palm, what’s stopping you from improving your workplace?
Keep your flexible working options healthy, from your choice of furniture to the quality of the indoor air. Ultimately, there’s no point promoting better work/life balance is the solution is making your sick!