The Dark Side of Zoom: How We Pay the Price for Work From Home

March 2020.

Covid-19 pandemic started, and the world we knew, changed drastically. Schools, colleges, and traditional workplaces had to be shut down in fear of virus transmission. However, like the earlier disease outbreaks – it could not stop life! So, we resorted to work and learn from a distance, from the comfort of our living rooms.

Work from home
Many Faces of Work From Home []

Work from home has been a saving grace for many of us during this coronavirus pandemic. But despite all the perks, it is not exactly the ‘dream’ situation many expected it to be. We all have experienced some adverse impacts on our physical, mental, and sociological health during the last 18 months or so. The recent trend of Work From Home is responsible for many of them.

Work From Home – Good or bad?

Looking back, the aftermath has been received well by many, not so well by the rest. Remote work and distance learning has become a part of the new normal, and more organisations are leaning towards this trend. In fact, social media giant Twitter has led the charge with implementing work-from-home for the unforeseeable future, regardless of the covid situation. So, what’s the issue, exactly?

Work from home? Sign me up!

Continuing studies or work from home surely has its own perks. You can say no to tiring commutes to work! No more sedentary shifts in suffocating cubicles and desks! You can get your job done sitting on your couch, in your preferred schedules, while remaining close to your loved ones! In theory, you could be getting the best of both worlds!

Work From Home – some talking points []

But when thinking about it in the long term, problems start to appear. Work-from-home, distance learning, or remote work is held in the same parallel, in terms of effectiveness, convenience, and compliance.  While this is a new and exciting way of life, the novelty has fizzled out over the last year. Gradually people are coming to light about the pros and cons of remote work. Since one and a half year has passed since the pandemic started, many unforeseen problems regarding work-from-home have come forth.

Work From Home and its complications

Skyrocketing screen time

Since we have been locked up inside our homes as a part of safety measures, computer screens and monitors have become our closest companions. We are spending a large amount of time before our monitors every single day, and without any viable alternative. After all, these screens are our magic portal to the world of education or profession! In this pandemic period, a 2020 study showed that screen time for American adults spiked to 13 hours per day! This is way above what it should be, and definitely an unhealthy number. Excessive screen time can cause physical and psychological issues in both children and adults.

Work from home workplace
The common workplace in remote work [Mateusz Dach, Pexels]

Even Gen-Z can have tech limitations

More and more Gen Z-ers are entering the field of education and career. They grew up during the boom period of the internet and technology So it is presumed that Gen Z-ers are proficient in tech devices and functions. This is partially true, but unfortunately, there is a caveat. These devices are not 100% reliable all the time, and technical errors happen all the time. Such issues seriously disrupt the flow of work and cause a lack of motivation and productivity. This is the scenario for even the most tech-savvy generation. The older generations tend to suffer more from it.

No specific work hours

Surely, work from home offers some leeway regarding work hours and other constraints. However, today’s world is a fast-moving world. There is always so much work to be done! This conflict has resulted in a deplorable situation for different employees. Since no timetable is fixed in this pandemic, many professionals have to work round the clock. There is hardly any time to relax or enjoy light-hearted activities. Work from home might have done more wrong than right with work hours.

Isolation takes its toll

Humans are social beings. As humans, we need social interaction to function properly. But in the pandemic, socialisation is not really possible like it was before. Therefore, our mental health is taking a hit. Continuously working without emotional relief or relaxation is leading us to mental strain and burnout. Moreover, teamwork and meetings are much more difficult online compared to offline.

Here are some tips that could help you get the most out of online meetings.

Work from home isolation
Digital connections may not save us from isolation [Ivan Samkov, Pexels]

Loss in productivity and efficiency

Even though many employers claim that work from home ensures the highest creativity, productivity, and motivation among workers, it is not always true. Working from a home environment requires an individual to take care of both situations simultaneously. This can easily split his or her focus from work to family, and vice-versa. It is common to get stuck in limbo regarding household responsibilities and professional ones. In some cases, workers may end up with lesser work hours than the regular schedule, which dampens the productivity required in professional fields.

Is Work From Home all negatives?

As said earlier, work from home has both its pros and cons. It is up to an individual to weigh both sides. There are some issues that need to be ironed out. Ensuring that the employees are in a good health, both physically and mentally- is a big responsibility of their organisations. This is a difficult situation for all of us to live and work from home. So, empathy should be the foremost gesture when dealing with others.

How to Work From Home – a short guide

Work from home guide
Improve your Work From Home experience! []

The pandemic has been a very tough time for all of us, regardless of age, profession, and expertise. A whole year of completing tasks online has not been a pleasant experience for all. It is crucial to take care of our mental health during coronavirus outbreaks. We should treat emotional struggles and hardships seriously. Having a healthy and positive outlook on life can also benefit us!

With all the uncertainties and health hazards around, work from home has really been a pragmatic solution to answer the coronavirus crisis. Even though there are some drawbacks – too many for some – the harsh situation had no alternative other than work from home. Looking forward, will you be happy to work from home when things eventually get back to normal? Let us know in the comments!

Subscribe to our newsletter to get more tips and advice about coping with the pandemic!

Shadman Muhtadi
A writer, sports freak, and closet cinephile. Lost in a world of deep thoughts. Always looking for an escapade.