Remote Work with a Disability & Working from Home Pros and Cons

If you are disabled working from home, we discuss remote work with a disability, and the working from home pros and cons. My name is Jenny Gilker and I’m the employment information coordinator for Spinal Cord Injury Ontario Employment Services. During this pandemic, there has been a noticeable increase in interest and necessity for working from home. So today, we’re talking about some advantages and disadvantages of working from home as a disabled person.

Many organizations, ours included, have temporarily changed working conditions for staff, encouraging staff to safely work from home. Being the social person that I am, I had zero interest in working from home. However, my attitude has changed somewhat over the last year. I have come up with seven advantages of working from home.

First, there is zero Covid19 work exposure, which means there’s no need to wear a mask. Second, there is no commuting when working from home. People could spend two hours on the road, especially during construction and winter season. The time saved can be used to increase your productivity at work. The ability to rest when needed and have more control over the pace of work is a huge plus, especially for people who have a medical condition. Moreover, cooking meals at home saves money versus buying food from the cafeteria. At home, every day is casual Friday, so there’ no need to dress up from waist down. If you are a sole proprietor, you can register as a small business, which gives you tax benefits. In addition you can also open a business account with an office supply vendor. This will give you discount on purchasing office supplies.

I also came up with seven disadvantages of working from home – with or without a disability – and I’m offering solutions of how to deal with them.

The number one disadvantage is distraction. This is most bothersome to people especially when they are sharing a small space with multiple family members. What you can do is if possible dedicate a remote corner or a room as your home office, wear headphones, and do not multitask by doing chores. Number two, working at home creates less structure in your day. It might mess up your time management. Try to keep your work hours between nine and five, and with same lunch time between noon and one every day. Keep a journal of your work day and hours, especially if you are not on a full-time schedule.

Number three, if you are a social person, you might miss having social interaction with other staff. One solution is you can attend a weekly team huddle to keep everyone connected. Put a face to the voice by using Zoom or MS teams instead of using a phone when calling a work colleague. Reading body language can be more challenging with zoom meetings. When that happens, start looking at facial expressions. Instead, turn the view mode on Zoom to speaker mode. That way you are able to see the face of the speaker in a larger frame. Number five, when we don’t feel the need to dress up for work, we might develop a sloppy attitude and work habits over time. Personally when I am scheduled to work, I dress appropriately wear makeup and appear to have it together.

Number six, when snacks are readily available, many people report weight gain while working at home. Consider having healthy snacks like fruits and nuts, drink water or chew gum when feeling hungry. Lastly, increasing screen use may cause headaches and stress on your eyes. The solution is to take regular breaks from staring at a computer screen or your phone. Step outside, walk around and stretch for a few minutes. Walk your dog even if you don’t have one.

I hope you will find this video helpful. It’s time for a hot tub break. Marks that as another advantage of working from home! If you enjoyed today’s video about disabled working from home, remote work with a disability, and the working from home pros and cons, please remember to like, share, subscribe and leave a comment if you have any questions, suggestions or feedback. We hope to see you here again soon!

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