Today we see hundreds of people earning a living, working on the computer, from the “sweatshop” of the digital era – Home. Is working from home any easier? Researchers investigate to find out what goes on behind closed doors.
Home office workers armed with computers and latest gadgets, and robotically wired to the hilt, are working under severe pressure and stress created by the internet economy, that is looking for information constantly, in the form of comments and news.
What is it these people do? They blog and they do it till they drop. They get paid per piece and they are of course happy doing it. Most bloggers profess a love for what they do and of the excitement the internet provides with its nonstop action.
Through blogging, they have the means of setting up a global outlet, reaching millions of people without a huge investment.
In spite of all the benefits and passion for the internet and blogging, some people are starting to wonder if something has gone wrong. The last few months have seen the sudden death of two of these internet aficionados.
Two weeks ago in North Lauderdale, Russell Shaw, a prolific blogger, who blogs on technology related information, died of a heart attack at age 60. Another technology blogger, Marc Orchant died at 50, due to a massive coronary, in December. The third person, Om Malik who is 41 survived a heart attack in December.
Obviously, since there is no such official diagnosis of “death by blogging,” and even if these deaths do not constitute an epidemic and we cannot say with certainty that these people died due to blogging,
a research showed that bloggers in general do feel a lot of stress. Many bloggers complain of weight loss or weight gain, sleep disorders, stress, exhaustion and other issues born out of the strain caused by blogging nonstop to produce information.
Even those working for themselves complain of severe problems. Michael Arlington, who is the founder of a popular technology blog and making millions in advertising revenue, says that he has gained weight during the past three years and developed a severe sleeping disorder. He says, “At some point, I’ll have a nervous breakdown and be admitted to the hospital, or something else will happen.” On hearing this, the question that comes to mind is, what is it that makes him so certain that something bad is going to happen to him? Researchers are sure it is called “stress.”
Studies show that there are several thousand people who blog for pay, and may be even tens of thousands of people. The emergence of the information worker has seen the development of online economy. Along with publishing, advertising has also expanded to the internet.
Although virtual offices are being set up by individuals and even companies allow their employees to work from home, analysts feel there is a downside to the whole concept of working from home. For obsessive workers, it could mean never leaving their home. In spite of blogging being very lucrative for some, there are thousands others who earn very little per post.
Is it time to rethink what is happening to those of us that are working from home. Is it time to take steps to ensure that we are not stressed out and we retain our sanity. All the money we make is fine, but at the end of the day, it is our health that should be our top priority and we are certainly not doing all this only to end up with our legs in the grave early.
Psychologists advice taking time off from the computer frequently and spending time doing things we love, like being with the family, indulging in our favorite sport, taking walks in the fresh air, doing yoga or just swimming since water is considered to be therapeutic not only to the body but to the mind too.