Is Working From Home More Stressful Than The Office?
You might think that being able to sleep in until just before nine o’clock and eating from the fridge all day may do wonders for your wellbeing, but a recent study suggests that your corporate wellness actually suffers when you work from home, as you are more likely to be stressed and exhausted compared to those who commute in to the office.
Researchers from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy,New York, discovered that if you manage your workload from home, you find it more difficult to switch off whatever is going on in the background, like your family life. The study found that working from home can even makes domestic disputes worse.
For the study, the team, led by Professor Tim Golden, investigated the working habits of 3,000 people who worked from home and in the office. They found that people who work from home are often left feeling more frazzled than they would if they had commuted to the office, even though it seems to everyone that working from home is the easier option in terms of mental wellness.
According to Professor Golden ‘The more work and family demands conflicted, the more people suffered from exhaustion’. He explained, ‘Those with already high levels of work-family conflicts suffered higher exhaustion when they spent extensive time working from home.’
People who work from home find it difficult to switch-off their family life and juggle their daily workload, in spite of the luxury of technology that allows you to be in constant contact with your work colleagues in the office. However, this may not be the case for everyone, as the study said ‘Those with low levels of conflict between work and family seem able to benefit more from telework than those individuals who have high levels of conflict between work and home’.
Working from home may seem like an option that only a minority of people have, but in fact British ‘Teleworkers’ are on the rise in the UK. Roughly 3.1 million people work from home everyday, and the Telework Association disagrees with the study’s findings: ‘Teleworking is one of the few cases which deliver a win-win scenario for employers, employees and the self-employed. It improves the output of employees, both in quality and quantity, whilst improving the work-life balance of the individual’. They went on to explain, ‘So at every level, individuals, business, industry, society or even the whole economy, it brings benefits. Some of these are highly quantifiable, such as cost savings, whilst others, such as the quality of life, may be less tangible but are certainly no less important.’