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The Health Benefits of Flexible Working

Close up low angle view of a man working from home on a laptop computer sitting at a desk surfing the internet-1Coronavirus has changed the world forever. Almost every aspect of the way we live and interact has been affected in some way during the past few months. Arguably, one of the biggest changes ever has been seen in the workplace.

Whether we’ve been furloughed or simply given the opportunity to do our jobs from home, work life has looked very different during the coronavirus outbreak. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, a lot of people have quickly gotten used to the change of environment.

Direct Line recently discovered as many as 44% of workers in the UK want to continue some form of flexible working, at least part-time, once the quarantine period ends. The study speaks volumes about the shifting attitudes of the British workforce since the beginning of the pandemic.

But aside from the ease of rolling out of bed and into your office, are there any health benefits to adopting a work from home lifestyle? Let’s explore some of the reasons why your body will thank you for staying home while you work.

 

 

4 benefits of flexible working

 

1. The Stress of the COMMUTE

Very few people enjoy their trip to and from work, and that’s especially true if you’re someone who relies on public transport to get from door to door. Even the freedom of driving can sometimes be frustrating – long traffic jams at busy times can easily be enough to stress anyone out.

Time highlighted some of the things that a stressful commute will do to your body every day, with their findings showing:

  • Blood sugar levels rising
  • Cholesterol levels rising 
  • Chance of developing anxiety and depression increasing
  • Cardiovascular ability might drop

These conditions are just the tip of the iceberg. There are a myriad of physical and psychological problems which can develop as a result of being forced to commute every day. With a work from home policy in place, they become a thing of the past.

 

2. Workout Flexibility

Do you ever get home after a long day at work and feel like you have no motivation to exercise? You’re not alone. As many as 40% of people say they experience some level of mental or physical fatigue after they come home from work.

When you’re working on your own time, you’re completely in control of when and where you can exercise. If you feel like you’re happy to give up a part of your lunch break or even want to head out first thing, you’ll have a lot more freedom to do so while working on your own schedule. This is particularly useful for anyone who lives a significant distance away from where they work. That’s especially true if you’re a runner with your favorite route at your doorstep.

 

3. A Greater overall Sense of Well-being

Countless studies have shown how transferring to a home-based office has had a major positive impact on the mental health of employees. The New York Times even went as far as to highlight one study which mentioned a knock-on effect on workers’ children.

The added freedom of working from home not only benefits parents, it also has a positive impact on the stress levels and sleeping patterns of their children. This could be a result of their parents being less stressed, and as such a little more lenient with them.

 

4. Control What You eat

It sounds like a funny one, but when you’re at home you have total dominion over what you consume. This can be particularly helpful if you’re someone who frequents the vending machines or cafeteria (if your office is fortunate enough to have them).

While you’ll obviously be able to purchase unhealthy snacks at home just as freely, you do at least have the option of finding something a little better for you in your local supermarket. It's a real First World problem, but something to take into account regardless.

 

Thinking about swapping to a healthy work from home life? Be sure to reap all the benefits of making the jump and use all of your extra free time wisely. Your body and your brain will thank you for doing so! That’s assuming you’re lucky enough to be given the option, of course.

 

HRO Today Yoh Workers Confidence Index

 

About the Author: Ellie Hayes has written for a number of publications, both online and in print, focusing on issues related to health, lifestyle and transport.

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