Is working from home good or bad?
The second wave of the Corona epidemic is causing many employees to once again work from home. We have asked Peter Hasle, professor of sustainable production at Department of Technology and Innovation, four questions about working from home.
There are both pros and cons. The individual employee saves transport time and has the opportunity for more flexible work hours. You become less disturbed and spend less time small talking, so typically you become more efficient at the work tasks that require a higher level of engagement.
The downside is that the home workplace is typically not equipped in an ergonomically. One typically sits for far too many hours locked in front of a small screen on a shell chair at the dining table. When working from home, it is more difficult to maintain social relationships, engage in creative processes and initiate new projects when ones fellow employees are also working at home - small talk is necessary to make work processes efficient.
Will we see more people working from home in the future?
I certainly think so – many people have become accustomed to it and have realised that it works well. We will also see many more online meetings. They are much easier to organise than physical meetings. But there will still be a need to physically meet up in order to maintain social relationships and to be able to exchange ideas in a creative process. Socialising is important for both the well-being and efficiency of the workplace. If we end up working side by side rather than cooperating, then it will also show in missing results
The studies we have executed have typically looked into how working from home is organised, where through your employer you agree to one to two work from home days a week, and from this, the results have been positive. However, due to corona, some employees work at home five days a week. Furthermore, this has only been investigated to a limited extent.
What do you think is most important when sitting at the kitchen table five days a week?
Concerning the physical work environment, you must arrange yourself properly and organise your work so that you do not sit in a locked position and look into a screen for eight hours in a working day. It is not healthy - you have to vary the way you work. Most people with a lot of screen work spend a large part of a normal working day moving; talking to colleagues, holding physical meetings, going down to the printer or canteen. Many are currently sitting at home, bending over a small laptop screen for far too many hours without breaks. It may be going very well, but after a month the injuries start to show up.
You're talking about organised breaks, maybe it's not such a bad idea to do the laundry?
It is definitely a good idea in terms of getting the body moving. It is important to get the body moving, to be efficient. So it would be a good idea to do gymnastics, cycling or go for a walk because you typically sit more quietly at home than at work.