Adopted by the majority of workers since the pandemic, remote work is particularly appreciated for the flexibility it offers and its advantages in terms of work-life balance. However, research has shown that working from home can cause certain problems to morale as well as to overall health.
Studies, conducted from 2020 to 2022 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute for Research and Safety (INRS) for the prevention of accidents at work and occupational diseases, have established that remote work has significant negative effects on the mental health, concentration and physical well-being of the greatly expanded number of remote workers.
Problems relating to a sedentary posture
According to a file published by the INRS, people who opt for remote work remain seated for long periods and drastically reduce their movements. Prolonged sitting puts workers at risk of developing physical problems such as musculoskeletal disorders or cardiovascular pathologies (high blood pressure, heart failure).
Deterioration of mental health
A new joint study by the WHO, this time with the International Labour Organization (ILO), published in February 2022, reveals that working from home can cause long-term stress related to technology and communication difficulties, as well as professional burnout, feelings of isolation or even depression.
The INRS notes that people working from home spend more time in front of their computer screens than those who regularly go to work at the office. Remote workers are therefore more prone to experience eye strain, which can lead to other physical problems such as temporary myopia, redness and stinging due to dry eyes, or headaches.
Disturbed sleep is another health problem linked to remote work by the INRS. Disorders observed include difficulty in falling asleep, later awakenings and a negative impact on sleep cycles caused by blue light from the computer and reduced exposure to daylight.
Comfortably installed at home, it’s easy for remote workers to indulge in snacking, have irregular or late mealtimes, and eat larger portions. According to the report published by the WHO and the ILO, poor eating habits while working remotely cause weight gain which can be harmful to health.