The amazing technological advancements of the last few years, although accompanied by some downsides, have had a world of positive outcomes.
One of these is the growth of telecommuting – working from home, or from another location, and submitting work and staying connected to colleagues and employers online.
Some positions are entirely online, while other employers allow workers to complete certain projects from home or while traveling. Telecommuting is not for everyone, but if it is an option in your field, you may wish to consider it, as it can provide significant perks, including benefits to your health.
Less stress, better sleep
A 2010 study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews analyzed ten studies on flexible work conditions and employee health, and found that some work conditions that gave individuals more control over their hours were linked to less daily fatigue and better sleep, as well as lower heart rate and blood pressure.
This finding may have a lot to do with lowered stress levels. Telecommuting, and some other forms of flexible work, provide the freedom to set your own schedule. This way, you may be better able to balance your work with your other daily responsibilities.
Knowing that your work can be done during the hours when you feel most productive can provide real peace of mind to many people. The time and hassle it takes to get to and from work also becomes nonexistent, and can give you more opportunity to unwind.
Additionally, if you set your own schedule, you may be able to choose what time you get up in the morning and go to bed at night, resulting in more quality sleep, and an enhanced ability to efficiently complete your work.
More time with loved ones
One of the main benefits of telecommuting is getting to spend more time with your family. This can be especially relieving if you have young children. Instead of having the kids in daycare from 9 to 5, you can take time to care for them, and complete your work while they are asleep or otherwise occupied. With older children who are in school, being at home to greet them at the end of their day is a real benefit for both you and them.
Whether you have children or not, spending more time with your family members, even if you’re working for some of that time, can greatly increase happiness. High levels of happiness and personal satisfaction are strongly tied to better health.
More chances to get up and move around
Sitting in an office cubicle, it can be difficult to find a few minutes to get up and walk around, aside from a quick, ten-second stretch session. When you telecommute from home, however, you can space out your work so that you can exercise in between projects, or project stages, to keep yourself from sitting too long. This is very important, as sitting for extended periods of time has been linked to heart disease, obesity and a higher risk of other dangerous health conditions.
You will also have more freedom to choose how to set up your work station. Set yourself up at a standing desk – or even a treadmill desk, or work at a city park in the great outdoors. The choice is yours.
An added bonus of telecommuting is that along with contributing to your health, it also contributes to the health of the environment. If you don’t have to travel to get to work, you don’t contribute auto emissions to the environment, and greatly reduce your carbon footprint. If your office is a virtual one, it also saves on the environmental cost of heating, lighting and air conditioning a physical office space.
If you are frustrated with your work environment, and feel that it is not working for you, take some time to research if telecommuting may be an option for you – it may just provide the flexibility you need in your life.
-The Alternative Daily