New Health Risks of the Remote Workplace
Working From Home is the New Normal
Working from home is the new normal as many organizations implement remote work in response to COVID-19. Even as the economy reopens, rather than navigate the complexities of testing and social distancing in the workplace, many employers are continuing to keep office workers at home indefinitely—and likely until there is a vaccine. Some employers have even announced the option to work from home permanently beyond COVID-19.
Due to COVID-19, the workplace has changed overnight. Gone are commutes, office happy hours, and open seating. Instead, the workplace looks more like your dining room or kitchen table with your pet dog as your closest desk buddy.1
- New Health Risks of the Remote Workplace
The State of Remote Work During COVID-19
Two-thirds or 71% of respondents said they were currently working from home. And the majority are rookie remote workers with 78% temporarily working from their home office due to COVID-19 workplace policies and only 17% calling themselves permanent or regular remote workers.
The home office isn’t quite up to workplace standards. With the shift literally overnight to the remote workplace, employees are working in substandard conditions in makeshift offices. Most employees (46%) are camped out in shared living spaces like their dining room, living room, bedroom, or even laundry room. Only roughly a third (33%) boast of having dedicated office space in a separate room. While over half of those surveyed indicated they spend the majority of their time working at a desk, the dining table was the second most popular (15%) and couch the third likely place (11%).
While most remote workers brought their laptop home from their office (63%), their work stations are less than optimal. Less than half (48%) have a comfortable desk chair that supports their back or a monitor (41%) and keyboard (38%) to ensure they aren’t hunched over their small laptop all day.
Only 12% have a standup desk to take a break from sitting all day, and only 19% of remote workers got reimbursed by their employer for their home office equipment.