Occupational health management in the home office: 4 problems and their solution


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Home office is seen not only by employees, but increasingly also by employers as an alternative to traditional office work. But this also involves many health risks. 4 tips.

Occupational health management in the home office: 4 problems and their solutions Occupational health management in the home office: 4 problems and their solution


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Homeoffice: health tips against the freedom lure

Home Office. Working at home. There is so much in this circumstance that makes it the apparent universal answer to many of the problems of our time. 3 benefits include:

  • Employers are pleased that they have to pay less office workplaces plus electricity and heating.
  • Workers enjoy the absence of commuting, distracting colleagues and controlling supervisor.
  • Even Mother Nature and virtually every person benefit from this because home office workers relieve traffic.

But as rosy as it may seem, this freedom carries some hefty health risks. Which are those and how to avoid them, we have summarized.

1. Stress and overwork

In the eyes of most, home office sounds like the total absence of things that make a job stressful. First and foremost, disruption, control pressure and the thousands of little things that keep you from concentrating on work.

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In fact, however, the opposite is true. The determined researcher of the UNO workers' organization ILO 2017 in a large-scale study, The experts found the following main focuses of home work:

  1. By Equality of place of residence and place of work many blur the boundaries between states Work and Leisure in the head.
  2. This tends to work more and at other times, aided by the ease with which you usually have to go to the office.
  3. Due to the lack of social pull factors, especially colleagues, breaks are more frequently shortened, canceled and work overtime.

Home office increases the personal output. But at a high price: the more you work from home, the greater the risk of doing more work than you would in the company. This, despite the absence of commuting, to get an overall higher stress balance.

Solution 1: Firm rhythms

Even at home, the job should run strictly according to fixed patterns. This means stringent work start and end times. Consistent taking of statutory breaks (the Labor law makes no difference in home work, the same rules apply). Also, overtime at home should be placed only on order and you have to fight any lure, to work on "untimely".

At home, you should follow the same work schedule that you would follow in the office. Even then you will tend to do a few more percent more than there.

Solution 2: Healthy limits

A sustainable attempt should be made to create an "internal border" between work and living space. Above all, this means spatial separation so that the mind can clearly differentiate between work and leisure time. An enormously important factor for the much-vaunted work-life balance.

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The ideal solution would be to rededicate a room in the house or apartment to the office. It does not have to be a big room. In principle, even a storage room is sufficient, as long as it has a sufficient source of daylight (or alternatively daylight-like lighting). The important thing is that this room is only entered to work, so as not to cause "confusion" in the subconscious.

Where that is not possible, especially in small rented apartments often a big problem, you should still try to create a separation. This can be a corner of the room where you have your work utensils and which you can see through a spanish wall ("screen", you can also build yourself) at least optically separated from the rest of the room. Under no circumstances should one simply sit down at the kitchen or living room table for the home office or even lie down on the bed with the notebook. That would be fatal.

2. Unhealthy pleasure behavior

Work in the office means that despite everything, you have to forego certain amenities of home life. For the coffee you have to go to the remote office kitchen, a fridge full of private treats also have the least. Where it is not completely prohibited, you have to go to smoke at least in a separate from your own workspace smoking room.

Apart from the fact that the presence of superiors and colleagues on most people has a disciplining effect. A kind of "pleasure discipline" that prevents you from feasting on your work the way you would at home.

Conversely, of course, it looks like in the home office. Here, no colleague jokes about the fact that one enjoys "already again" a chocolate bar. No Chef critically eyeing that you "smoke" again, especially since it is also possible to do this directly at the workplace; many smokers in the home office notice right at the beginning of a much increased cigarette consumption, even if they do not smoke in the apartment, but for example on the balcony.

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Summa Summarum are therefore surprisingly many health risks in the home office with those congruent, which also exist among the unemployedbecause both groups spend much of the day in their own homes.

Solution 1: self-discipline

As with working hours, it is important to realize that the mere fact that you are unobserved at home can not be a reason to exaggerate your consumption of goodies.

To support this, it can be a good idea to equip your office (compartment) with your own mini fridge. This is filled with "healthy" food, so you will not be tempted to enter the normal kitchen, where all the goodies wait, you would treat yourself in the normal working day only after work.

Solution 2: reduce smoking or transposing

It is incredibly difficult for most smokers to muster the self-discipline that, despite home-use, does not like smoking at home and even eating out distractedly by working uncontrollably.

E-cigarettes can help here, because the manufacturers try at least, through the targeted use of liquids with low nicotine content the health (long-term) risks to reduce.

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3. Acute lack of exercise

Office work is generally not work that would provide a balanced movement budget. But where you have to spend at least a minimum amount of walking and standing units for normal office life, it often happens in the home office according to the following scheme:

Out of bed -> on the office chair -> on the couch -> into bed

No walking to the parking lot, no standing in public transport. A maximum mobility-poor professional life, which finds only a few interruptions.

Where a few years ago, when home office was still a rarity in this country, the number of disease-induced illness days in Germany breached the 100 million sound barrier has, one should not be surprised that there are more today.

As hard as it sounds, but Home Office seduces to be even lazy than it is by a normal office job anyway.

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Solution 1: Compensate

The more days a week you spend in the home office, the more stringent you should create a balance. The gym may be the most obvious solution, but despite the practiced multi-functional load is not the only suitable answer.

Alternatively, one can also fall back on outdoor sports, can get a dog, which forces a regular walks. In fact, one could also rent in a allotment garden club and swing there regularly the hoe, against lack of exercise, any kind of movement is good.

Solution 2: Ergonomic working

This can be done by height-adjustable desks that force you to stand or ergonomic chairs. It should be remembered, however, that purely legally the boss in the home office for an ergonomic workplace design must take care.

4. Social loneliness

This final point is especially for singles. However, also partnered people are not immune to it. Because home office is a lonely place of work. Even if you work with dozens of colleagues in a large corporation, in reality most of them will at best be seen on the computer screen, if not just on the phone.

This does not even mean the professional-interpersonal. Rather, what makes collegiality apart from pure work. Here is a chat about everyday life, as the common lunch break.

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Only at home do many people realize that they really miss their colleagues.

Solution: Look for more social contacts after work

Whether that's in the sports club or with friends, does not matter. Perhaps it is even an option to raise a kind of regular regulars' table with colleagues (who may also now be suffering from acute loneliness) so that the contact does not fall asleep completely.


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