Hybrid working offers a flexible balance between working in the traditional office environment and working from home. You get to skip the commute on certain days and still experience the joy of working in the office with peers who are dedicated to the same cause.
A hybrid working model may be particularly good for your health and well-being. Hybrid working allows you to work from a home office or cafe or attend fitness classes in your area, while you still benefit from the social contact that comes from working in the office.
Why Working From Home May Harm Your Health
Working from home (WFH) was heralded as the new way to work when businesses went remote due to the pandemic. Social media was awash with people describing how their quality of life improved when they traded in their cubicles for a home office.
However, now that folks have settled into the remote working routine, many find that WFH harms their health. WFH may lead to burnout if you aren’t able to break from your routine and see other people during the day. Additionally, your home office may not be suited to long hours, meaning that you could experience musculoskeletal pain due to substandard chairs, keyboards, and desks.
Even if you have the optimum home office, you may find that WFH undermines your mental health. Working from home can be isolating, as you spend all day in a sedentary state. Breaking out of this sedentary routine can be difficult if your work is demanding and requires you to spend long hours sitting at a desk.
WFH may be particularly difficult if you’re prone to overworking. It’s all too easy to check in on your work emails when you should be resting and recovering after a hard day at work. However, logging on outside of work hours is a surefire sign of workaholism and may lead to further burnout.
Hybrid working forces you to break out of your daily routine and see other people. When you work hybrid, you typically have to visit the office at least once a week and will reap the rewards of social contact and connection.
Negative Effects of Working Away From Home
Full-time WFH can lead to burnout and isolation. However, working full-time in an office environment can be equally detrimental to your overall health and well-being. Working in an office environment usually requires commutes that undermine your health, lead to poor sleep quality and increase your risk of developing cardiovascular health conditions.
If you’re away from home working long hours, your health could suffer. Those who work on oil rigs or on commercial fishing boats often suffer from poor sleep quality, malnutrition, and social isolation. They’re also exposed to greater risks at work, as much of the work completed away from home is dangerous and may result in accidents.
Hybrid working takes the stress out of working away from home. You still get to enjoy your family life most days of the week but are expected to work in a physical workplace on occasion. This means you can still work in a field that excites you, but you don’t have to sacrifice your health and well-being to commute and work long shifts away from home.
Benefits of Hybridity
Hybrid workers are able to take full advantage of the modern workplace. They can use remote video conferencing to attend meetings when WFH but can also utilize on-site benefits like sensory break rooms, medical rooms, and weekly workplace events.
If you work in a hybrid model, chances are that you are able to work flexible hours, too. Unlike your office-bound peers, you don’t need to check in and out during opening hours and are only bound by the tasks and responsibilities that you need to fulfill.
This can be particularly useful if you have a busy life outside of work and need to take care of children or other adults that depend on you.
MIT research suggests giving employees more control over their schedule is the best thing employers can do. When working hybrid, you can juggle your schedule to ensure that you are able to protect your health. For example, if you know that you’re coming to the end of a busy project, you might want to start WFH earlier in the day to ensure that you’re able to get a full seven to nine hours of quality sleep at night.
As a hybrid employee, you’ll also save plenty of money on commuting costs, which can be reinvested into your health and well-being. Instead of paying for fuel or train tickets, you can spend the money you save on gym memberships, therapy sessions, or training with a dietician.
Hybrid working can be the best option for your overall health and well-being. If you love attending fitness classes but still want to meet your office peers face-to-face, then working on a hybrid schedule may be for you. Likewise, if you need to work flexible hours to care for your children, you may find that the opportunity to work hybrid lowers your stress and helps you get more from your workday.
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