Working remotely has always been a pleasure for Americans and now, more Americans are taking the opportunity to work remotely, for some time at least.
According to a study conducted by Princeton and Harvard in 2016, the percentage of workforce working remotely in the United States of America rose from 10.1 percent in 2005 to 15.8 percent in 2015. The latest Gallup poll suggests that the percentage of workforce working remotely in the US has reached 43 percent. The study further stated that one-third of the workforce worked remotely for at least four days or more in a week.
Research conducted around this trend of remote jobs, as well as self-employment has made some shocking revelations. According to the research, working remotely has its own pros and cons.
According to Peter Warr, emeritus professor, Sheffield University’s Institute of Work Psychology, UK, the biggest benefit of working remotely is that the remote workers are more satisfied than their counterparts.
He further explains, if assumed that the income of a self-employed worker is adequate, they have the freedom to make their schedule and work according to their comfort. This offers great job-related satisfaction and happiness.
According to Irvin Schonfeld, professor of psychology at City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center, there is a thin line between “opportunity” self-employment and “necessity” self-employment. “Opportunity” self-employed people are those who willingly leave their traditional jobs, while “necessity” self-employed people are those who lost their job and become self-employed to earn bread and butter. He adds that most people are a combination of both these categories.
Schonfeld also highlighted the issues associated with self-employment and the major one is income insecurity. He says that the self-employed workforce always harbors anxiety over the uncertainty of their income. Absence of affordable health coverage also gives them sleepless nights. He says that the Affordable Care Act, though not perfect, could at least offer them health insurance.
Lack of affordable health care and income instability are both connected to lack of sound physical, as well as mental health. Some reports also say that many self-employed workers work extra to fulfill work commitments and this negatively impacts their mental wellbeing. However, this varies from individual to individual.
Coming to employees with traditional jobs but who work remotely, the results are mixed.
According to a survey, remote workers lead a fitter lifestyle than the office-going individuals. Office-going workers show signs of stress, pains, aches, and hypertension related to long commutes. This brings focus to the benefit of remote work where there is no stress associated with commuting.
Cornell University highlights the disadvantages of remote working. According to their research, remote workers are susceptible to professional, as well as personal, isolation. They have also established a link between social isolation and risk of cardiac issues and mortality, as well as sleeping problems and depression. However, the risk is minimal for those who have access to family and friends.
The pros and cons of both in-office and at-home work vary from person to person.
Based on these studies and the leading health tips blog, it isn’t wrong to say that an amalgamation of both working environments is a good thing.