Working from Home is no Picnic... So try Co-working

Think working from home is ideal? Think again. What could be better than flexible hours, less office drama, and less commuting? All of this should add up to more productivity and general well-being. But that’s not the case according to a new study by the U.N.’s International Labour Organization (ILO).  They found working from a home -office can cause higher levels of insomnia, stress, and loneliness. Who would have thought? This study looked at three groups of workers: those who work from home, those who split their time between home and office and those who were “highly mobile” ie: those working in a variety of locations all outside the office.

Whilst technology has given us the freedom to work anywhere, anytime the flip-side is that this can cause the blurring of boundaries between work and home life. The study, which looked at workers in 15 different countries, discovered that staff working out of the office reported negative well-being and adverse health. Interestingly nearly half surveyed (41%)  of “highly mobile” employees demonstrated higher levels of stress compared to office bound individuals. Insomnia was also a concern with 42% of “highly mobile” workers reporting this disorder. Only 29% of office-bound workers suffered the same.

Here’s another thing - whilst your friends and family might think it is a breeze working from home - the study found that people working outside an office generally worked longer hours and reported feelings of isolation and lack of support.

To fix things, the ILO  recommends efforts to support those working from home and in particular keeping co-workers connected.  But what if you are not part of a corporate structure and work alone? You don’t have colleagues. You are solo! A one-man band. Co-working spaces are a solution. These offer the best of both worlds. You remain independent but are part of a community at the same time. You don’t need to be bothered by an annoying colleague or an irritating co-worker but you do feel part of something and you can always bounce an idea off a fellow co-worker or ask a question about something you are struggling with. Many of us working out of co-working spaces are in the same boat and it’s nice to know someone has our back.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash