If you’re completely lacking a healthy work-life balance, you’ve probably fantasized at least once about quitting your day job and working from home. Maybe you’ve even gotten as far as planning out a sweet home office set-up and assembling your “business pajamas” wardrobe in your head. But many people actually avoid WFH because they assume it’ll make them lazier or less productive — because, let’s be honest, it can be hard to hit deadlines when your couch is right there and no one’s around to stop you from napping. But there are actually some major positives to WFH — especially when it comes to your health.
COMPANIES CONSIDER WFH A HEALTH BENEFIT
You might even be able to WFH without quitting your day job. Lots of companies these days offer their employees the option to work remotely, as a less conventional way to augment health benefits programs. Yep, that’s right — it’s considered a health benefit. As it turns out, when workforce experts think about employees working from home, they don’t picture them getting distracted by Facebook and wearing Cheeto-dust-covered sweatpants. They picture them happier and healthier — and therefore more productive.
To learn more about the health benefits of working from home that you probably haven’t thought about, we talked to Tricia Sciortino, a major advocate for remote workers and the president of eaHELP, a company that manages a huge team of virtual assistants and connects them with companies across the country.
THREE REASONS WFH IS SUPER HEALTHY
1. You’ll never again fall victim to an office plague. There’s something uncanny about how fast illness spreads in an office. All it takes is one person missing their flu shot, and suddenly the whole office is hacking up phlegm. That’s because, if you’re sharing so much as a stapler, you’re guaranteed to be sharing some germs. According to the Center for Disease Control, 80 percent of all infections are spread through hand-to-hand contact and touching contaminated surfaces. “Think of all the objects people touch at work — doorknobs, elevator buttons, office supplies, keyboards, coffee pots, telephones,” says Tricia. “And how many coworkers do you know who never take time off to recover when they’re sick?” Way too many. (Looking at you, Bob in accounting.)
2. You might actually eat better. Lots of people assume working from home equals too-easy access to the kitchen and no self-control around snacking. But then again, there’s just so much temptation in an office, between the candy jar and (help us) birthday cake. When you WFH, Tricia points out that there’s also less of a chance that you’ll be suckered into grabbing a fast-food lunch with coworkers. Don’t even ask us about the number of times we’ve ditched our Tupperware salad at the first mention of a Chipotle run.
3. You’ll have more time to actively stay on top of your healthcare. How much more inclined would you be to schedule that annual doctor’s appointment if you didn’t have to take a sick day to do it? (Having to take a sick day… to be healthy. It makes no sense.) “[Office] workers are often unable or fearful to take time out of their workdays for staying on top of their medical wellness,” says Tricia. “But home-based workers, who are better able to self-manage their schedules, are more likely to squeeze in time for necessary dental cleanings and physicals.” Now, if you could only remember to floss.
Thinking about taking the WFH plunge, or already in it and loving it? Tweet us what works for you @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)