Is working from home a risk to your health?

17 Mar 2017

Workers are risking their health by working from home in inappropriate office set ups, according to new research.

A survey of 1,004 UK workers in full or part time work carried out by Furniture123.co.uk has revealed that while 41 per cent take work home with them at least once per week, the vast majority do not do so from a desk set up.

Just one in three (34 per cent) of those who work from home claim to do their work at a desk within their home.

And only one in five (19 per cent) do so from an office chair in their home, suggesting many could be risking problems such as repetitive strain injury and back injuries, due to poor posture.

One in four (24 per cent) even claim to work from their sofa when doing overtime in their homes.

Almost a third (32 per cent) of those who fail to work from either a desk or office chair claim that this lack of a proper set up is due to not having enough space in their homes for this type of furniture.

The youngest demographic of Millennial workers (those aged 18 – 24 years) are the most likely to be risking their health by not working from an appropriate work station at home, with just 18 per cent working from a desk.

Mark Kelly, marketing manager at Furniture123.co.uk says, ‘The data shows that, unfortunately, many workers are really risking their physical health to get their work done. The odd hour or two slumped in front of a laptop on the sofa might not seem like it will cause a big problem in the long term, but over time this can cause issues with posture and repetitive strain injury.

‘It is vital that, if working from home is a regular thing, workers have a proper office chair and either a desk or laptop to work from, to allow them to ensure their screen or laptop is at the correct height, their posture will remain straight and their arms will be at the right angle while typing. All of these are vital to preventing some of the problems associated with computer-based working.’

Those working in the information and communications industry were the worst offenders – with just 17 per cent saying they work from a desk when working from home.

These are closely followed by those in the marketing (21 per cent), professional services (25 per cent) and education (31 per cent) industries.