Contrary to popular belief, not all stress is bad for you. The truth is that we do need a certain amount of stress to prevent us from becoming bored and feeling unfulfilled. Good stressors like getting married or buying a house are called eustress and they keep us motivated. The stressors we need to keep under control come from distressing situations and feelings, and these can arise in the working environment.
Are you suffering from a stress-related condition? The American Institute of Stress reports that negative stress levels in office workers have been on the rise over the past few decades. 80% of workers now say that they feel stressed on the job and nearly half of them admitted that they need help in learning to manage their stress. But what is it that is making working environments so stressful and how can working from home help?
People suffering from stress often don’t realize that their symptoms are related to their work environments and because workplace stress is so common it’s sometimes seen as “just part of life”. But this is far from true. Constantly high levels of stress can lead to serious health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
Symptoms of stress include headaches (often associated with screen glare and poor lighting), tense muscles, low energy, frequent colds and/or infections, chest pains, insomnia or poor sleep quality, and gastrointestinal issues.
Ways That Working From Home Can Lower Stress
No Commute – Face it, before you are even at the office you’re already stressed out. In most households, the mornings are the busiest time of day and once you’ve managed to leave home you’re usually faced with long lines of grumpy motorists who are also trying to get to work. Being able to cut out your commute means you can start your day in a better mood.
Relaxing Workspace – Working remotely means that you are free to set up your office to suit you. That means no more blinding florescent lights, loud telephones, or chattering co-workers. You can listen to music or nature sounds, install soft lighting, and work in a low-stress environment.
Easier Work/Life Balance – Many telecommuting positions involve a degree of flexibility, making it easier to attend to both work and personal commitments. And when you are not worrying about how you’ll get to everything you’re less stressed and more productive.
Healthier Living – Yes, you can eat healthy, work out and work in an office, but healthier habits are easier to cultivate when you have a work from home position. For starters, you’re not being tempted by vending machines and fast food plus you have access to your own kitchen. With a flexible schedule, you can also squeeze in time for exercise and meditation – both of which are proven to significantly lower stress levels.
Workplace stress has a direct link to productivity, absenteeism, and employee retention all of which are important factors for a company’s success. Remote working programs are beneficial for both the company and the individual as workers with lower stress levels are more likely to feel satisfied and be productive – very win/win! And to think this is only one of the many benefits of working from home…wow!