What Are The Benefits of Working From Home With Psoriatic Arthritis?
Over the past 3 years, working from home has become the new normal for some. It was how we adjusted to working life during the global pandemic, and many people (and their corresponding workplaces) thrived. It is now, in 2023, that the trend of returning to the office has been increasing.
Strangely enough, I was initially skeptical of working from home. But my experience during the pandemic changed my mind. Working from home isn't just convenient; many have acknowledged the benefits, especially for parents and caregivers.
As for people with psoriatic arthritis and other chronic conditions, working from home can drastically improve their quality of life.
Before the pandemic, I hid my arthritis as much as possible
I'm sure the smell of Bengay and the compression gloves gave my co-workers an idea of my condition. At the time, I worked in an office and found it physically taxing to work at a desk all day, even with breaks to walk or stretch.
Despite having previously worked more physically intense jobs, I had no idea how painful a desk job could be. Coupled with my commute, it was still rough on my body and was an energy drain. But, I was fortunate to have some fantastic bosses.
When I eventually had to ask for accommodations, they immediately offered to let me work from home a few times a week. And I turned them down in favor of more flexible hours to make the commute more accessible, which helped a little.
Working from home proved to be beneficial all around.
During the pandemic, when the world shut down, I was sent home. I would only step into my office a handful of times over the next year and a half. Mandated work from home opened my eyes to how beneficial it was to my health.
With my spoons no longer spent on long commutes, I had the energy to exercise without worrying about draining myself. I could rest more and felt comfortable in my casual clothes and slippers. The flexibility was incredible, and I was more likely to attend my doctor's appointments since I found it easy to work them into my schedule.
My arthritis got more manageable, and I felt better. I still had flares, but they were easier to manage from home. It wasn't perfect. It can be hard to work from home and can be a little isolating. But I loved my coworkers, and we made an effort to stay connected virtually, which made things more fulfilling.
How this benefit directly impacts my psoriatic arthritis
Today, I am still fortunate enough to have a job that doesn't require me to be onsite frequently. I did have a period when I went into the office several times per week by choice in the warmer months. Still, I've appreciated the flexibility, especially in the cold months when the commute is much harder.
But I notice a trend of more and more job listings requiring full-time onsite work. It makes me worried about future opportunities for myself and others with arthritis, chronic pain, and other chronic conditions. While it's natural that many jobs cannot be done from home, I hope that there will still be remote work opportunities.
I truly believe remote work, either full-time or hybrid, provides an excellent opportunity for people with arthritis. And I also think it should be considered a reasonable work accommodation, so long as the work can be done.
I'm so grateful that it was offered to me and has been considered one of my workplace accommodations. I don't know where my future employment will take me. But I do hope it continues to have understanding employers who allow me to work from home in some capacity, as it allows me a much better quality of life.
This or That
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