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An office away to keep the doctor at bay…

With 41% taking fewer sick days than the general population, could working from home be the key to better health?

  • Those who work from home take fewer sick days.
  • Those who work from home eat better and exercise more, finds study.
  • Although those who work from home report taking 7 days less holiday per year than national average.

According to a survey by OnePoll, the average Briton spends 1 hour and 38 minutes commuting to work every day.  It is no wonder then that more and more people are opting to make the switch to work from home. If this wasn’t reason enough alone, another survey of 2,000 people who worked from home, conducted by outdoor eco-office retailer, TG Escapes, suggests that there are many ways that making the switch can benefit you, particularly when it comes achieving better health.

A study by BBC Good Food showed that for two-thirds of the population, the ongoing 5-a-day campaign has fallen on deaf ears, yet the survey conducted by TG Escapes revealed that well over half of those who work from home achieved their daily fruit and veg quota. The disparities didn’t end with diet, but instead concluded that working from home also meant more exercise, with a whopping 73% having said they perform moderate exercise for 30 minutes at least 12 times per month. That’s compared with the dismal results of a study funded by the Economic and Social Research council that showed that 80% of the population fails to hit this national government target. But does this mean that setting up shop in the comfort of your home is for everyone? Well if you are easily distracted, perhaps not.

41% of those working from home found the biggest downside to be getting easily distracted, which could often mean not completing all that would usually be done in a typical 9-5 workday. While spending time with family was high up on the list of benefits at 33%, the inability to separate work and family life was also of high concern with 27% citing it as the biggest downside. These two factors have consequences that spill over into other areas, and the results showed that those who work from home got 45 minutes less sleep and took 7 days less holiday than their office-working counterparts.

Making a success of working from home is all about balance,” explains TG Escapes spokesperson Mark Brown. “Creating a tranquil, yet functional office space that is separate from other aspects of your life is the first step to getting there. If you can treat your home office like you would any other office, which means physically and mentally switching off the lights and closing the door when you leave, you’ll find the benefits far outweigh the challenges.”

Whilst working from home is a growing trend, it isn’t for everyone. Therefore TG Escapes collaborated with psychologist Robert Stewart and invented a nifty online calculator that can work out whether working from home is for you;

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