No one asked for the COVID-19 pandemic, and without a doubt, it’s an event which will trigger painful memories for many of us. For some, however, the pandemic marked a major change in the way we live our lives – both our personal lives and at work lives. Work from home became the norm in 2020 and 2021 – but we’re now in 2023 and the trend continues!
Work from home
Before the pandemic, working from home was quite rare but not unheard of. If we look at some historical figures from 1981 (before the modern internet) we see that only 1.5% of those in employment reported working mainly at home – by 2019 it had tripled to 4.7%, but that’s still only about 5 in 100 people working mainly from home. During the pandemic this number shot up – the proportion reporting that they worked exclusively at home rose from 5.7% of workers in January/February 2020 to 43.1% by April 2020.
Some people love working from home, there are clearly major benefits in terms of flexibility, major savings in terms of commuting, and for many, mental health benefits associated with a calmer working atmosphere. For others, working from home felt isolating an depressing even if it was more convenient and saved money. No surprise then, that as we begin to move past the pandemic many people are continuing to work from home – and others are opting for a hybrid model, which often feels like the best of both worlds. It looks like working from home is here to stay – 78% of those recently surveyed who worked from home in some capacity said that being able to work from home gave them an improved work-life balance, and in 2022 only 21% of respondents said never want to work from home.
Benefits of working from home
So that’s all very interesting – but we’re a chiropractor, so why does this matter to us? Working from home is a major shift in the way that people structure their lives – and as provider of person-centred approaches to better health, this is a major concern for us. The way people structure their lives has a significant impact on their health, and the health of their spine in particular – when we make changes to that (even though they might be positive) we can end up predisposing ourselves to painful complaints down the line. The flip side is also true, changes, handled well, can improve our lives in many ways!
Working from home means a fantastic opportunity for spinal health – we have, for example, been saying for years that people should take short breaks every 30 minutes to stretch and move. Our clients are often shocked at how much difference this tiny activity can make. When you’re working from home, it’s easier than ever to do this. Working from home also saves a great deal of money on communing which you could invest in better health – be that a gym membership, eating better, or yes, visiting the chiropractor!
Problems with working from home
The issue is that while working from home presents the possibility to make positive changes, the fact that it came about during the pandemic has meant that many of these positive benefits have been missed. After all, in 2020 you couldn’t go to the gym, the chiropractor, or anywhere really. Therefore, we now have many work-from-home and hybrid workers who could be seeing huge benefits in terms of their overall health – but instead, we’re seeing more people – often younger people – with significant back and neck pain caused by nothing more than terrible posture, badly designed work environments and lack of movement.
What we’re doing about it
At Complete Chiropractic, we’re marking it our mission to try to address the needs of those working from home and using a hybrid work approach more than ever. Over the next few weeks and months, keep an eye out for information and offers designed for people who work in a new way, and need a chiropractic service which fits with that. Work from home people, we stand with you!