“Susan” shows how remote work can affect the human body in the long run

Company creates model of how remote work can affect the human body over time, if not taken care of

Since the beginning of the new coronavirus, remote work (also known as teleworking or home office) became something adopted by practically all companies whenever the activity allowed, as a way to maintain productivity even if it was impossible to put the whole team in a closed office. But how can it be that working for long periods of time in this regime can affect workers?

An experiment was done by Direct Apply (a platform for people who want to find a new job), which talked to psychologists and counselors to develop Susan, a model of what the average worker would look like after twenty-five years of home office one person more like a monster than a human.

According to the model created by the company, Susan is an obese person (due to lack of physical exercise), with pasty and pale skin (due to lack of exposure to sunlight), acquired a hump (also called tech neck or technological neck) ) for spending a lot of time looking at the phone, looking tired from spending the whole day looking at the computer screen, in addition to having higher stress levels due to the lack of contact with other people.

A real picture of remote work?

susan remote work Susan a caricature of what we can expect from someone working remotely for decades (Image: Direct Apply)

Despite bringing some interesting alerts, the model created by Direct Apply should not be taken too seriously. Susan is not exactly a creation based on extensive scientific studies, but it is closer to a caricature of how people who are not used to the idea of ​​remote work see these professionals.

The idea of ​​working from home is not something that came up with the COVID-19 pandemic, and for years there are professionals who work exclusively remotely and have not become “monsters”. This is because Susan based not exactly on the reality of these people, but on the extreme of the idea of ​​remote working in the case, what would happen if a person, who does not practice any other activity besides working, spent 25 years writing on the computer in inappropriate environments , without seeing the sunlight and whose only physical activity is to get up from the chair and go to bed.

For example, the reason given for Susan's posture is that she works in environments that, unlike offices, were not prepared for a person to sit for long periods of time comfortably in front of a computer. This is true: many people do not have chairs, tables and equipment at home designed to sit eight hours typing on a computer. But this is precisely because these people have never had to work inside their homes and this scenario has changed rapidly since the beginning of the pandemic, with an increase in the demand for office furniture.

Home-Office Problems such as excessive time in front of a screen are not exclusive to remote work

Other concerns turn out to be an exaggeration that disregards reality, such as the time that a person spends looking at a screen. This may even make a difference in some cases (such as someone who spent most of the day in face-to-face meetings and now needs to hold them by video call) but the reality is that most workers already spent the whole day looking at a screen, whether working on computer, fiddling with the cell phone while traveling by bus or relaxing at home while watching a movie. This idea that the excess of screens can cause health problems is not exclusive to remote work, but is a concern for everyone who needs to interact with current and new technologies.

In addition, the workers themselves seem to be enjoying the idea of ​​remote work, with surveys indicating that a large proportion of them would like to not have to go back to the office. And this contentment can also be good for companies, since since before the pandemic there were experiments that showed how this work regime could increase the productivity of employees.

Of course, some recommendations made by Direct Apply should be followed by any worker (whether remote or not), such as exercising daily, delineating what your work and leisure times are, creating a routine and ensuring that you are always in collaboration with your co-workers (even if virtually). But, unless you give up any social interaction, dedicate your whole life to using your notebook lying in bed and never see the sunlight again, you will hardly become a Susan even if you never work in an office again .

Sources: Direct Apply, WRCBtv, RTE, BBC