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WFH taking its toll on office workers

After a year and a half of working from home, many workers admit they’ve found themselves working from some unusual spaces in an effort to find some peace and quiet during the workday.

In a new poll of 2,000 individuals who have worked from home throughout the pandemic, 41% share that they have found themselves working from their car, 34% in their bathroom and 33% in their closet.

In fact, the average respondent said it took them four months to get used to working from home and five months to figure out how to do so comfortably – which isn’t surprising considering 82% of respondents reported experiencing aches and pains during this time.

From back pain (48%) and neck pain (42%) to shoulder pain (39%) and eyestrain (38%), respondents shared they experience aches or pains five times throughout the day and withstand the pain for four hours without treating it.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Advil, found a poor desk set-up is the top cause of work-from-home pain for over half (52%) of respondents.

Despite work-from-home aches and pains, nearly half (48%) of respondents shared that they prefer to work at home because of the increased flexibility. In fact, over half of respondents said that they would prefer to work from home permanently.

The survey found many have added healthy habits into their daily routines to combat burnout and pain. The top trick respondents picked up to reduce stress through the pandemic was exercising (52%). Other stress-fighters included going for short walks throughout the workday (41%), meditating (40%), working on a hobby (36%), and mixing up their working environment (29%).

Furry friends make working from home feel positive too. Seven in 10 respondents said their pets are the top reason they want to continue working remotely, and 78% said pets are their favourite coworkers.

“Many people who traditionally worked in offices are still working from home after a year and a half – and they’re feeling the pain,” said Brett Henige, Senior Brand Manager, GSK Consumer Healthcare. “Those of us at home are experiencing the physical pain associated with being relegated to less-than-ideal makeshift home offices, whether it’s headaches from long days staring at a screen or backaches from an uncomfortable desk chair.”

To make their workstations more comfortable, 30% of respondents obtained a comfortable desk chair, 18% bought or received blue light glasses to help relieve eye strain, and 27% bought or received a standing desk.

“Small, simple adjustments like a desk chair with lumbar support or blue light glasses can make a huge difference in maximizing your work from home set up,” added Henige. “The future of work is hard to predict, but nobody should feel like they have to suffer through aches and pains during the workday, whether you’re at home or in an office.”


  1. Back pain (48%)
  2. Neck pain (42%)
  3. Shoulder pain (39%)
  4. Eyestrain (38%)
  5. Headaches (38%)
  6. Wrist discomfort (32%)


  1. Exercise (52%)
  2. Going for short walks throughout the workday (41%)
  3. Meditating (40%)
  4. Working on a hobby (36%)
  5.  Listening to podcasts (29%)