GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - In 2017, commuting to work can be as simple as moving from your bed to your desk. There are plenty of reasons why people love telecommuting, including a flexible schedule, but a new study found that working from home may be more stressful than the office.
The joint report by the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) and Eurofound is based on interviews with workers and experts living in 15 countries around the world.
The study looked at regular home-based workers, workers who split their time between the office and home, workers who are highly mobile and workers who are always based at the office.
Forty-one percent of "highly mobile" employees reported higher levels of stress, compared to 25 percent of office workers.
"I don't know if the stress level is higher," said Mondo Davison, also known as "The Black Tech Guy." "I think you can get caught up in the isolation. Like, is the work that I'm putting in actually making a difference? Because I'm just by myself grinding away."
Davison is a St. Paul entrepreneur who works in the tech industry.
"I'm super passionate about essentially influencing young black boys to go into the tech space," he said. "Like, that's what the whole 'Black Tech Guy' brand is about."
Davison used to work mainly from home.
"I used to spend a lot of time just working at a desk, in a bedroom," he said. "You get a little tired and you look over and you're like, 'Oh, there's my bed right there. Let me lay down for a quick second.'"
Now Davison spends most of his time working out of Golden Thyme Cafe in St. Paul.
Besides higher stress levels, the study found that people who work from home also have higher levels of insomnia and loneliness.
"At night I have to work at home," Davison said. "There's no other option. But during the day I just try to get out and actually see people."
The study found that people working from home have a tendency to work longer hours, blurring the lines between work and personal life.
But those who telework have more flexible schedules, better work-day organization and reduced commuting times, which can lead to a better overall work-life balance.
The report suggests that companies promote working from home part time; a couple of days in the office give employees a chance to connect with their colleagues.
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