Downside of working from home

Work from home (WFH) has been the ‘normal’ ever since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak last year.   The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in changes to the working arrangements of millions of employees who are now based at home and may continue to work at home for quite some time. The emergence of new technologies has made possible working from anywhere for many employees.  The expansion of remote work has led to the omission of the lines between one’s personal and professional life.  People are not able to unplug themselves from their profession. With the work from home as a new norm and increased workload, employees are now facing challenges with their jobs, which is taking a toll on their health mental as well as physical and personal lives to a large extent.

An online survey on the impact of work-from-home on employees during the lockdown has found that work was more stressful rather than working from office for most persons. Nearly 87% of the respondents felt that companies must evolve clear work-from-home policies focused on the well-being of employees and their health.  Nearly 49% of the respondents were experiencing work-from-home for the first time in their careers.  Extended working hours was a major grievance, with 55% claiming to have worked for more than their usual office hours which affected their productivity too and 91% among them complained of doing so without receiving due incentives. About 59% complained of increased workload. People also complained of difficulties in getting leave unlike during normal time as companies questioned the need for leaves when they were already at home.  Health concerns marked the work-from-home arrangement for most employees with 38% complaining of frequent headaches, 56% of back pain and nearly 52% of sleep disorders.  While 54% noticed considerable decrease in their ‘me time’, 42% said they spent quality time with their families and kids during the Covid.  About 63% reported a spike in their personal expenses due to a surge in electricity and mobile internet charges, which went hand-in-hand with pay cut which lot of people suffered by 30%.  Due to reduced social interaction, people tend to bottle up their feelings, do not express what they feel, avoid conversations and slip into depression.  Today, several people have been experiencing high-stress levels and find it difficult to focus. Financial, work-related and family-related stress is on the rise and they are not able to maintain self-control.  Many people resorted to cooking and eating in order to reduce the stress.  Added to it, the increase in social media and overall screen entertainment has resulted in not only weight gain and unhealthy lifestyle but also poor posture. The best way to deal with the negative effects in this pandemic and WFH is to have a routine and more important is to stick by it.

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