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The surprising effects remote work has on your health

Working from home has quickly become more widespread due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Global businesses without flexible schedules or work-from-home policies in place have had to make quick adjustments to keep operating remotely. For many, the recent outbreak marks the first time they have ever worked remotely. In fact, the UK’s Office for National Statistics found that 49.2% of employed adults were working from home in April 2020.

While these statistics are in response to the pandemic, many believe that remote work will become more common after the crisis abates. This makes sense since working from home has been gradually increasing in recent years across the UK, Europe, and beyond. Some effects of remote work are known, such as saving time and money on commuting. But how does it affect your health?

In this Pacific Prime UK article, we’ll discuss the surprising effects remote work has on your health.

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Health benefits of remote work

To start, let’s take a look at some of the positive impacts that working remotely has on your health and wellbeing.

You make better food choices

Food options for those who work in an office tend to be more limited. If you want to bring your own food, it has to travel well from home to work. What’s more, if you can’t heat it up then you’ll have to eat it cold. You can go to the fast-food place nearby instead if you don’t mind having an overpriced and unhealthy meal. Working from home gives you access to your kitchen, which means you can enjoy healthy snacks or meals at any time. Plus, you won’t be tempted by the candy or junk food that colleagues often like to share.

You experience less stress

Working from home can reduce stress in many different ways. You no longer have to stress while waiting for public transport or worry about making it to a meeting on time. Additionally, you don’t have an employer looking over your shoulder or a colleague standing by waiting for you to complete a task. Since these factors will no longer negatively affect your day, you can focus on your tasks without added stress or concerns.

You get more rest

Most people don’t live right next to where they work, and therefore need to commute to get there. On top of commuting time, you need to wake up earlier to get everything done before heading out the door. Not only will you save money from not having to commute, but you’ll save time as well. That time can be used to get some more sleep if you need it. You can also take a nap to recharge and beat the afternoon slump, which is almost impossible to do in most offices.

You don’t get sick as often

Eating healthier, reducing your stress levels, and sleeping better helps strengthen your immune system. When you have a strong immune system, you reduce your chances of getting sick. Moreover, many ill people still come to work and put their coworkers at risk. Germs spread easily in offices, such as on door handles, toilets, or in the staff room. Working from home also helps you stay healthy by reducing your exposure to germs.

You work out more

Instead of spending time getting ready for work and commuting, remote work makes it easier to prioritise your workouts. In addition, your flexible schedule allows you to choose your ideal time to exercise – whether you prefer getting a work out in before work, during your lunch break, or in the afternoon. You’ll also be more motivated to exercise since you’ll want to move after sitting for a long time.

You have more freedom

People who work remotely experience more freedom and greater autonomy. You can wear whatever you feel like. You can work when you are at your most productive and take breaks when you want to. All these things can have a huge impact on your mental health. Simply knowing that you have a choice already makes a difference. Knowing that you have more freedom and are in control of how you spend your time does wonders for your state of mind.

The negative effects of remote work

While there are many reasons why remote work can be good for your health, there are also negative impacts you should be aware of.

Loneliness could kill you

One of the main problems that people find with working from home is feeling isolated. You tend to not go out and you don’t see as many people on a daily basis, if at all. Having strangers around you while commuting or a quick catch up with your coworker gives you some social interaction. You could end up feeling very lonely if you’re at home day in and day out, which can be detrimental to your health.

To combat feelings of loneliness or isolation, you can work from cafes or coworking spaces. This allows you to mingle with other people and feel like you’re a part of society.

You have trouble shutting off

Remote workers often feel like their office is open all the time. Whenever something needs to be done, you feel like you can do it. After all, your computer is right there. Most office workers leave work in the office and do not think about work outside of work hours or on weekends. Working from home makes it easier for your professional and private life to overlap. While this arrangement might work for some time, it’s common for remote workers to feel more stressed and depressed down the line.

How to stay healthy while working from home

Remote work can have numerous effects on your health. The following tips can help you stay fit in the body and mind.

  • Combine sitting and standing
  • Move your body
  • Eat healthy food
  • Get out of the house
  • Maintain social contact
  • Meditate
  • Have a daily routine
  • Switch up your work environment
  • Keep your work and private time separate

Working from home can benefit your health and wellbeing if you go about it in the right way. However, you have to be careful to avoid the negative impacts of telecommuting. By following the tips mentioned above, you can make the most out of a great opportunity and be healthier and happier.

Pacific Prime is here to help

Whether you’re looking for coronavirus health insurance or individual health insurance in the UK, Pacific Prime is here to help you find a plan that matches your needs and budget. We offer a wide array of private health insurance solutions, ranging from family health insurance to international health insurance and everything in between. Contact us to have your insurance questions answered or to receive a free quotation or plan comparison today.

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime UK
​​Jantra Jacobs is a content writer at Pacific Prime. On a typical workday, she writes and edits articles, guides, and anything else word-related. She loves creating content that is both easy to understand and enjoyable to read.

In her free time, she’s likely to be writing poetry and prose, geeking out on her latest interests, reading, or practicing yoga.