In spring 2020, at the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, many employees found themselves unexpectedly setting up home offices and settling in to flatten the curve. Beds, dining tables, couches: Anything could be a workspace in this new world. Now, nearly three years later, many people have finally returned to the office, albeit more frequently following a hybrid model. But the 59% of Americans who work from home some—if not all—of the time might find themselves stuck with the bad WFH habits they developed at the start of the pandemic. And it could be hurting their bodies and brains.
While we still don’t know much about the long-term implications of remote work, researchers agree that working outside of a traditional office setting can negatively impact our brains and our bodies with everything from eye strain to back pain. (Admittedly, there were also issues pre-pandemic with spending too much time sitting at the office.) But there is hope. We talked to experts to learn more about the short-term impact of WFH and what can be done to make remote work better.