Could working from home be harmful to your health? A new study says “yes.”
The study, from Timothy Golden, associate professor at the Lally School of Management & Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., found that working from home enhances feelings of physical and mental fatigue in those who are having a hard time balancing their personal and professional lives. (Isn’t that always the case when your living room sofa is also your desk?)
Golden says transitioning from working in an office to working at home can intensify existing conflict between work and family—not relieve it. You’d think with more time at home, and no commute, in most cases, that things would be easier. But when you work at home, there are constant reminders of the work/family conflict, such as laundry and dirty dishes—not to mention interruptions by children and other family members.
This actually raises stress levels, and is why having a dedicated work space and boundaries is your best bet if you want to leave the world of cubicles. Then when you add on things like possible poor posture, lack of exercise, and bad eating… well, you can see why working at home may not be so ideal. On the flip side, if you plan for those challenges, you can create quite the healthy lifestyle from working at home.
Even if you don’t work from home regularly, you may find it happening from time to time—especially if you’re holed up under tons of snow like most of the country is right now. In those cases, make sure to designate an area of your home for work, or head out to a library or coffee shop to stay productive.
Kristen Fischer is a journalist and copywriter living at the Jersey Shore. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) who has published articles with Woman’s Day, Prevention, Health, New Jersey Monthly, Writer’s Digest, and SheKnows. Her latest book, When Talent Isn’t Enough: Business Basics for the Creatively Inclined (Career Press) is in stores now.