The Covid-19 has affected everyone in different ways. Some people got infected with the virus and some were affected due to their extended “work from home” jobs during the Covid-19 phase. But is more sitting while working from home during Covid-19 affecting work performance? Let us explore it in the following array of the article.
Is Sitting While Working From Home During Covid-19 Affecting Work Performance?
For many of us, the arrival of Covid-19 has changed lives significantly. Most of us became remote workers overnight due to the pandemic. Though it was needed to work from home during this critical time, more sitting while working from home during the Covid-19 has affected work performance differently.
Some Related Studies:
A recent study that involved 15,000 Japanese workers who had no prior experience of working from home were examined to see how it affected these workers.
It was found that four in every five of the Japanese workers did not experience any change in their work performance. However, 15% of workers told that their work performance worsened as they began working from home, and most people said that sitting most of the day while working from home hampered their job performance. This research was published in the “Journal of Occupational Health” on August 4th. (1)
However, the data is not conclusive because participants self-reported their work performance. More studies are required to get into any conclusion why and for whom sitting might affect their performance in work. However, there is indeed a link between a sedentary lifestyle and poor health that can be a global problem and this can impact the performance at work.
Increased Sitting Hours While Working From Home Causes Health Risks and Affects Work Performance:
Working in a place that is not designed for work, specifically can result in unsatisfactory IEQ conditions and it can have serious effects on both mental as well as physical well-being and even lead to overall reduced work performance. (2)
Mental Health Issues Due To Increased Sitting Hours In Work From Home Jobs Affect Work Performance:
People living alone who are doing full-time work from home jobs might get mental issues like depression since there is no face-to-face interaction and social support. (3) For other professionals, improper work-life boundaries can make it hard to detach from work mentally and it can ultimately cause anxiety and stress. (4)
There are a lot of studies that have examined the impact of Covid-19 on workers and explain that there was reduced job satisfaction by more sitting time and added stress. All these could be reasons why sitting more while working from home could impact work performances.
Physical Health Issues of Increased Sitting Hours While Working From Home Affect Work Performance:
Employees working from home do not have a scope to interact with colleagues and might have reduced physical movements like loss of walking between different locations in the office.
A study was published in ‘Occupational Medicine” in February 2021 that followed up with 112 desk workers from the US who had earlier participated in a clinical trial that was designed to curb sedentary time and improve physical activity. (6) It was reported during the pandemic that these U.S. desk workers mentioned that their sedentary time apart from their working hours increased by almost 1 hr. and they suffered from sleep issues, mood disorders, and bad life quality.
These physical health issues caused due to an increased sitting hour while working from home could impact work performance negatively.
Job Dissatisfaction While Working From Home Affects Work Performance:
Because the home office is not up to the standard of the office workplace, and since the transition of work-from-home jobs was all of a sudden, employees are having job dissatisfaction. Many employees are working in shared living spaces in their houses, such as living room dining room, bedroom, etc, there is a lack of concentration, and this results in dissatisfaction. This ultimately leads to reduced work performance.
Changing Your Daily Habits While Working From Home:
Certain habits can be practiced by employees working from home who have to sit for long during their working hours. Below are some of them:
- Aim to stand for at least 15 minutes in each one hour or try a standing desk too while working.
- Take a quick break every hour and walk or move a while.
- Take phone calls while standing or roaming around in the house. This would help you get some physical activity.
- Choose to walk around in your society after office time.
It’s indeed that remote work is now the new normal and we have to get adjusted to it, and accordingly, the employers and health plans should also address these emerging risks related to health and enhance the well-being of the employees. With this, there can be an improvement in the quality of life for people doing work from home jobs, and also there will be an increase in work performance.
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