Back pain, vision problems, loneliness and constant stress are all consequences of remote work.
Experts from the World Health Organization warn that prolonged online work is harmful to both physical and mental health. The most obvious are problems with the musculoskeletal system and visual impairment. However, social isolation, the lack of full-fledged communication gradually destroys mental health, causing stress. The WHO technical review states:
“With the right organization and support, remote work can have a positive impact on the physical and mental health and social lives of employees. However, when the health and safety risks associated with remote work cannot be avoided and workers cannot make healthy choices while working remotely, this type of activity can have serious adverse health consequences.”
Among the additional risks for physical health, WHO experts draw attention to lighting, heat intolerance, indoor air quality, and the safety of electronic devices. Studies show that remote work, as the pandemic period has shown, can lead to an increase in the number of domestic conflicts.
And at the same time, both employers and employees have discovered the undeniable advantages of the new employment format. With some workers continuing to work remotely after the pandemic, the International Labor Organization and WHO are calling for critical changes to protect their health. Among the main proposals:
provision of appropriate equipment for work at home; training in the main criteria for reducing the impact of remote work on mental health; compliance with the working hours and the right to turn off – that is, during non-working hours, employers should not disturb their subordinates; providing professional advice on maintaining health; providing vacation leave.