Today’s employment opportunities and career paths have diversified greatly since the days when one was either a farmer, or an iron worker in a factory.
The internet has provided the means for many people to find their dream form of employment. For many individuals this means working online from home, or wherever they feel comfortable. Working online as a freelance writer, online store manager, internet marketer, call center operator or data entry worker, indeed pays off well, but it also comes at a price. In this case, the cost is one’s health and well-being, as working all day on a computer can have detrimental effects to a person’s physical health.
Computer based career requires certain skills and expertise, however all online jobs have a few things in common and that is they take time, undivided attention, an eye for detail, and a tremendous amount of focus and concentration on behalf of those engaged. Working eight or ten hours a day on a computer is no easy task, and takes a lot of patience and self discipline. Computer based career may not be as physically straining and demanding as some other forms of employment, but the stress and pressure related to certain online jobs cannot be ignored.
The Pros And Cons Of Computer Based Career
The Pros Of Pursuing Computer Based Career
Working online is indeed an enticing opportunity, with potentially lucrative results. People who are actively engaged in working on the internet can benefit financially from using and applying a specific set of skills they may possess. More so, working online offers individuals a great deal of practical benefits.
Computer based career means flexibility – a person who manages their own online store for example, can be much more flexible and resilient with their product lines, marketing approach, means of shipping, etc. and always be ahead of large corporations with rigid organizational structures.
Individuals working online can also take advantage of mundane benefits like more free time to spend with their family and loved ones. Working online from home usually costs less than commuting to and from work five or six days a week.
Furthermore, people working from home save from uniform or business attire costs, not to mention day care costs for their children. All in all, the savings of working online from home can add up to a decent amount of money per month.
Online workers also tend to be much better and more efficient in managing their own work time and getting more done in less time. Occupational psychologists trend online workers as more self reliant and independent which allows for more effective self-time management. Working online seems to be only temporary for those who are viewing from the sidelines, however working online can be considered a self-investment. People, who put in the time and effort, can quickly build up their own brand, or service and be light years ahead in terms of profit and potential for growth.
The Cons Of Pursuing Computer Based Career
All good things come at a price, and computer based careers don’t make an exception. Although there is huge potential to grow and profit from working online, there are a number of very real, physical downsides to spending your days in front of a computer screen.
Eye problems are by far the biggest issue for people working online. Staring at a computer screen for eight, ten or even twelve hours a day can be disastrous for a person’s eye sight. Even new generation, flat panel screens can lead to deterioration of an individual’s eye sight. Unfortunately, twenty-twenty vision and internet profits don’t go well together.
Back pain is always a serious issue for persons working on a computer. Even the most ergonomic office furniture setup will eventually cause certain muscle strains and can very well lead to chronic back pains. Working on a computer all day long hardly uses any muscle energy, but is considered to be repetitive physical motion which is bad news for joints, muscles, ligaments etc. especially when one has been doing it for years.
Static lifestyle and obesity are also a very real threat for those working on computer. A person working on computer all day is prone to putting on extra weight therefore developing bad nutrition habits. Also losing tension and rigidity of certain muscles and joints, and being generally out of shape.
Social downsides of computer based career are no longer much of a factor these days, as social networking and numerous other means and forms of communication on the internet have somewhat eradicated isolation as a downside of working from home, on a computer.
Overcome The Threats Your Online Career Poses To Your Health
If you are not willing to throw in the towel, and like to continue your online career at full steam, then you can limit the ill effects of working in front of a computer, and even get into better physical shape than what you were before.
It is absolutely vital and paramount to keep your eyes working properly for as long as possible. Computers however won’t help. In order to spare the eyes from the deteriorating effects of staring at a screen all day, you need to do focus exercises.
Focusing eyes on close, nearby, and far off objects helps greatly. Do this every five or so minutes of every hour spent in front of the computer. This will help retain flexibility in your retina muscles, as these become rigid after staring at an object at a same distance for a long time. Make sure your room or office sees plenty of natural light, if possible.
If the back pain you are experiencing is still manageable, then you have every chance to cure yourself through a good dose of suitable and regular exercise. Make no mistake – temporary back pain caused by sitting on a desk and working on a computer will eventually become chronic or permanent. The more you exercise and keep your neck, upper and lower back (including the waist) in motion the better. Also, make sure that your work conditions are ergonomic and user-friendly i.e. a good office chair, a high enough work desk, a well positioned computer monitor etc.
Obesity And Stillness
These two are dealt with effectively by doing plenty of regular exercise. In this case however, healthy eating habits are essential for dealing with those extra pounds around the waist. Even those people, who do plenty of work outs, need to develop healthy eating habits and retain those indefinitely. In some cases, it is even recommended to do two exercise sessions a day – an aerobic one in the morning, and anaerobic one in the afternoon. If you keep up with this routine, you will not have any trouble working on the computer and staying healthy and in shape.
If a person has become overly consumed with their online business or job, antisocial or lack of social behaviour can be a problem. However dealing with one such issue is a strictly personal thing, and it might be best to seek specialized assistance instead of relying on general purpose advice.
Working from home means you take care of yourself, however working in an office environment is quite different. If you don’t have access to the required or promised recreational or health facilities at work, and you are experiencing some, or all of the physical issues listed above, then perhaps it is best to inform your employer, and ask them to act upon your complaint. You can also consult with a workers compensation attorney if the situation hasn’t improved, or if your employer hasn’t taken the necessary measures.
Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle, Even When Working
Staying physically and psychologically healthy is a full time commitment, and one that you owe to yourself. Healthy living, especially when working in front of a computer all day, is not easy at times, but a person should always take the time and effort to keep their body and mind working properly.
Keeping in shape, exercising, socializing (moderately) with others around you, should take place at, and out of work.
Getting out of the house, even if just for some errands is quintessential for people working alone from home, even when in constant electronic contact with customers, managers, coordinators etc. The trick is to keep things in balance. A good balance between work, social and personal commitments is necessary for all people working on a computer, either at home, or in an office environment. A balanced professional and personal life will allow for much satisfaction and appreciation of one’s efforts, and lead to positive more emotions and experiences.
Photo: Eiti Kimura