LITTLE FALLS, NJ — Author and health expert William Smith spoke with TAPintoTV’s Executive Producer Brian Brodeur about some of the challenges people are facing as more employees are working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Though remote work had been a growing trend for several years, COVID-19 has certainly sped up that evolution. Smith said that in 2020, half of the U.S. workforce will be telecommuting to some degree.
Smith has co-authored Tri Power, Strength Training Bible, The Strength Training Bible for Women, 7 Days to Live Forever and Mobility Workout Handbook. He is also the author of several books in the popular Exercises For series published by Hatherleigh Press including Exercises for Heart Health, Exercises for Back Pain, Exercises for Brain Health, Exercises for Cancer Wellness, and many others.
Two of the biggest challenges many remote workers are facing, according to Smith, are childcare and setting boundaries. Certainly with many parents and children working remotely while also limiting exposure to others, creates a huge childcare gap for working parents. And in terms of schedule, Smith said, “we’re not given as many boundaries anymore,” he said. “There’s an expectation, whether it's written or informal, that you are available more than you used to be.”
Remote work also brings physical challenges. In a professional office setting, Smith said, muscular/skeletal injuries are already high, but with people not having proper work setups at home, he said, those injuries will likely spike due to muscle strain as well as other limitations brought on by the pandemic. “COVID has prevented a lot of people from getting the preventative care they need,” he noted. Reminding yourself to stand up periodically during the day can help, Smith added.
Strain from looking at a Smartphone can also be problematic, and it can even disrupt your sleep patterns. Smith recommended not looking at your phone at least 30-45 minutes before bedtime. “Your brain is like many other muscles and organs in the body in that it does need to rest,” he said.