world health organization issues warnings for employees working remotely during the pandemic
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have told employees to protect their mental health while working from home. WHO and ILO have called on governments to take measures to protect the health of workers who work remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at the World Health Organization, said that the Covid-19 pandemic led to an increase of remote working, which changed the nature of work practically overnight for many workers.
The WHO warned that without proper planning and support for health and safety, working from home can be bad for employees. The new report highlighted the health benefits and risks of teleworking.
Among the benefits, the report highlighted the benefit of work-life balance. Working from home gives opportunities for flexible working hours and physical activity. It also reduces traffic, time spent travelling to work and decreases air pollution. This leads to improving physical and mental health and social wellbeing.
WHO also added that teleworking can also lead to higher productivity and lower operational costs for various companies. Dr Maria Neira said that teleworking can bring health benefits, but it can also have a dire impact on workers.
The report also highlighted the demerits of working from home. WHO said that without planning, teleworking can affect the physical and mental health of the workers. It can lead to isolation, burnout, depression, home violence, eye strain, musculoskeletal, and other injuries. It can also lead to increased screen time and unhealthy weight gain.
WHO said that governments, employers, and employees can adopt measures to improve mental health. Measures that can be adopted by employers include receiving adequate equipment to complete the tasks of the job. Employees should receive training to reduce the psychosocial and mental health impact of teleworking. They should also take sufficient rest after work.