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Advantages and disadvantages of telework 

Advantages and disadvantages of telework 

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Article
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Telework is an increasingly popular flexible working arrangement. The aim of this article is to describe the features that characterize telework. The advantages and disadvantages of teleworking are outlined, as well as its effects on the health of the worker. The method used was a literature review. The outputs of this search show that in general,...

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... advantages and disadvantages of telework, from the teleworker perspective, have been identified by sev- eral authors [14,[17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26] and others have reviewed or listed them. [2,15,27,28] These are summarised in Table 2. Teleworkers spend less time travelling, commuting and away from home. ...

Citations

... As previously mentioned, the prepandemic literature pointed to a potential negative impact of WFH on mental health (Tavares 2017). As the experiment in Bloom et al. (2015) highlights, some workers who telecommuted missed the more direct social interaction with coworkers in the workplace, leading to an increase in feelings of isolation. ...
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The COVID pandemic that took the world economy by surprise at the beginning of 2020 brought many drastic changes to the way individuals carry on their daily lives. One that will have long-lasting effects, even after the spread of the virus is contained, is a shift toward flexible work arrangements, including remote work options. Initially implemented to comply with government-imposed stay-at-home orders, many employers decided to allow remote work even after the orders were lifted. This chapter will review some of the metrics used in the literature to measure the potential that a specific occupation is suitable for telework. This is important because Working From Home was often the only option for businesses to remain open during the first part of the pandemic. It also reviews the results of the literature on two important dimensions of inequality: the gender wage gap and income inequality. Moreover, some evidence of the effect of WFH on worker’s productivity in general and during the pandemic and on physical and mental health is considered. The chapter concludes with a description of what WFH may look like after the pandemic, by describing the process toward a possible “new normal” in the labor market.
... Our results supported WFH relating to physical complaints (i.e., muscular tension) but not to mental complaints. This is consistent with findings from other studies that showed that WFH might have no, positive or negative effects on health (Allen et al. 2015;Chirico et al. 2021;Oakman et al. 2020;Tavares 2017). For our sample, we think that it was mainly the unfavorable ergonomic workplace design that caused these WFH effects. ...
Article
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Background. Due to the ongoing COVID-19-pandemic and the need to improve health protection, companies in many countries have been encouraged to offer their employees more work-from-home (WFH) opportunities when possible, which is often the case with office work. WFH offers advantages and disadvantages in terms of work design and, as a consequence, employee health. Due to their health effects, rest breaks are a work factor that is strongly regulated by national legislation. However, their organization at different locations of work has been so far largely unclear. The aim of this study was to clarify if WFH affects employees' compliance with mandatory break regulations and if rest break behavior relates to physical and mental health complaints. Methods. This cross-sectional study relies on survey data (10-12/2020, prior to/during the 2nd pandemic wave in Germany) from 534 office workers working in the office (n = 391) or at least partially from home (n = 143). We assessed their compliance with six mandatory rest break criteria according to German legislation (i.e., total rest break duration, single break duration, no interruptions, no skipping, sched-uled/predictable, regular leaving of visual display workplaces and/or regular short rest break) and physical (muscular tension, headache) as well as mental (exhaustion, de-pressive mood) health complaints. Results. Ninety-two percent reported at least one violation of these rest break principles. WFH (frequency) did not affect the (non-)compliance with these regulations but was associated with increased risk for muscular tension (OR = 1.93). Frequent break skipping increased risk of headache (OR = 2.38). After controlling for potential confounders, noncompliance with three or more of these rest break criteria related to risk of depressive mood (OR = 2.61) and headache (OR = 3.11), and noncompliance related to risk of exhaustion in a dose-response relationship (3.10 ≤ ORs ≤ 3.69).
... Flexible work became an opportunity for employees to improve their work, family, and social life by reducing work limitations and achieving independence. A study related to the present study showed that teleworking makes a better balance between home and work life and ultimately leads to more significant employee satisfaction [47]. ...
Article
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Introduction The prevalence of COVID-19 as pandemic disease and efforts to control it have caused extensive changes in work methods and the global growth of teleworking, especially in health. This study aimed to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of teleworking in healthcare institutions during the Covid-19 era. Methods This systematic review was conducted up to January 1, 2022, by searching the relevant keywords in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and ProQuest databases. Study selection has been conducted based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. Data extraction was done using the data extraction form based on the study objectives. Results From all 276 articles retrieved, 14 studies were included in the study. The results show that England had the highest number of articles (6 articles). The advantages of teleworking have ten categories, and the disadvantages have nine categories. The most important benefits of teleworking include facilitating service delivery, increasing satisfaction, supporting healthcare providers, and reducing costs. The most important disadvantages of using teleworking have been the lack of facilities and support, the lack of technology acceptance, and reduced interactions between healthcare providers. Conclusion Although teleworking was a suitable solution for some problems in healthcare institutions during COVID-19, it is also associated with obstacles. It is recommended that managers make policies and guidelines to use appropriate technologies, provide facilities, and have continuous support and increased interactions between healthcare providers and patients.
... There are numerous studies on potential health effects from WFH. On the one hand, there are health-promoting effects: employees experience fewer interruptions, more privacy, and improved concentration during WFH [13]. On the other hand, WFH working conditions differ compared to working conditions in the office during the pandemic. ...
Article
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The continuous transformation process in the world of work, intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, is giving employees more scope to shape their own work. This scope can be experienced as a burden or as a resource for employees. Work design competencies (WDC) describe employees’ experience of their scope for design. Our study draws on existing datasets based on two Germany-wide studies. We used hierarchical cluster analyses to examine patterns between WDC, the age of employees (range: 18–71 years), the amount of weekly work time working from home (WFH), and work ability. In total, the data of N = 1232 employees were analyzed, and 735 of them participated in Study 1. To test the validity of the clusters, we analyzed data from N = 497 employees in Study 2. In addition, a split-half validation was performed with the data from Study 1. In both studies, three clusters emerged that differed in age and work ability. The cluster with the highest mean of WDC comprised employees that were on average older and reported a higher mean of work ability. Regarding WFH, no clear patterns emerged. The results and further theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Overall, WDC appear to be relevant to work ability and, in a broader sense, to occupational health, and are related to sociodemographic factors such as age.
... The COVID-19 pandemic has caused various health problems for workers in companies and other workplaces besides the infection itself [7][8][9]. These are secondary health problems such as musculoskeletal disorders due to teleworking at home in an inadequate environment and mental health problems due to isolation, lack of support, and overwork [10][11][12][13][14]. Accumulated stress and fatigue from teleworking can reduce work accuracy, increase the potential for human error, and increase the risk of workplace accidents and incidents, which can potentially be a problem for business continuity [15]. ...
... Many of these companies introduced the system without prior preparation, which had the potential to cause a variety of problems for workers. The main problems have been psychosocial factors, such as increased stress due to blurred boundaries between work and home and lack of support from supervisors and co-workers, and ergonomic factors, such as musculoskeletal disorders caused by working with fixtures and environments unsuitable for work [10][11][12][13][14]. The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused discrimination and stigma against infected individuals, their families, and those who do not vaccinate [47,48]. ...
Article
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Background The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had various impacts on businesses and workers worldwide. The spread of infection has been reported through cluster outbreaks in the workplace, and World Health Organization has emphasized workplace infection control measures. Occupational physicians (OPs) are expected to actively support employers’ efforts to minimize the damage of the pandemic. However, there is little research on the role of these specialists during a pandemic. Clarification of the contributions of OPs to health and safety at the workplace in the COVID-19 pandemic would be beneficial to ensure that OPs can be effectively deployed in the next pandemic. Methods We employed semi-structured interviews and qualitative content analysis of the interview transcripts. Twenty OPs were selected as priority candidates from among 600 OPs certificated of the JSOH, and thirteen who met the eligibility criteria agreed to participate. The online interviews were conducted in November and December 2020 with thirteen OPs. We extracted meaning units (MUs) from interview transcripts according to the research question: “What was the role of OP in the COVID-19 pandemic?“ and condensed and abstracted them into codes and categorized them. Validity was confirmed by additional 5 OPs interviews. Results A total of 503 MUs were extracted from the transcripts. These were abstracted into 10 sub-categories and two categories. Categories 1 and 2 dealt with “Role in confronting the direct effects of the pandemic” and “Role in confronting the indirect effects of the pandemic” and accounted for 434 (86.3%) and 69 (13.7%) MUs, respectively. These results were validated by another 5 interviews. Conclusion This study identified the role of OPs in Japan in the COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed that they made a wide range of contributions to the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic. We hope our findings will help OPs during future pandemics or other long-term emergency situations.
... In previous years, the telework modality had been considered as an alternative with multiple benefits, such as the flexibility of work schedules and the recovery of travel time to work to have more free time for personal or family recreation. However, a review from 2017 warned that telecommuting personnel were exposed to long hours of work in front of a computer, maintaining static postures and performing repetitive movements that could contribute to the development of musculoskeletal problems [34]. However, for that year the evidence was limited to five studies. ...
... According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the main existing regulations before the pandemic considered that teleworking was necessary when the worker could be at risk or in danger when attending the workplace, but regulations regarding physical health and psychosocial of the teleworker were not specifically established [5]. During 2020, the establishment of teleworking was forced for several countries and the absence of regulations in this regard could have been one of the factors of our findings, in which musculoskeletal problems are shown as a frequent consequence of teleworking for long hours in front of the computer [34,35]. ...
... In this study, we found at least 14 studies that describe how different risk factors related to teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic may be possible causes of physical problems such as pain and MSDs. Before the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was little research exploring the risks of teleworking [34], although there was evidence that prolonged time working with the computer, excessive working hours and the work environment played an important role in the development of musculoskeletal problems in on-site work [14]. ...
Article
Introduction: The improvised and massive adoption of remote work in the context of COVID-19, has forced us to adapt homes as workspaces, this could promote the development of musculoskeletal disorders. This review explores the evidence for ergonomic factors associated with musculoskeletal disorders in teleworkers. Methods: A literature search was carried out in Medline, Embase, Scopus, Scielo, and EBSCO. We included observational studies published between March 2020 and October 2021 that included teleworking personnel due to the restrictions of the pandemic. Results: 212 studies were identified, 14 were chosen for complete review. The associated factors were the change of work modality (on-site work to telework), use of home environments as workspaces (areas not adapted for work and with low lighting), working furniture (non-ergonomic chairs and desks, use of tablets, cell phones and laptops), organizational factors (working hours, active breaks, sitting time), and individual factors (physical activity practice). Conclusion: Various ergonomic home factors and the characteristics of teleworking mainly: furniture, the environment of work and physical activity is associated with musculoskeletal disorders. This evidence suggests that the norms and regulation of telework can consider the adaptation of workspace and conditions at home to prevent health problems in the medium and long term.
... Several studies have shown the adverse effects of these working arrangements on workers' mental health during the COVID pandemic (Majumdar et al., 2020;Oakman et al., 2020;Biroli et al., 2021;Toniolo-Barrios and Pitt, 2021;Sentürk et al., 2021;Xiao et al., 2021). Working from home has been associated with psychosocial stress, social isolation, sleep disorders, concentration deficit, and screen fatigue from long working hours (Tavares, 2017;Majumdar et al., 2020;Buomprisco et al., 2021;Xiao et al., 2021). Long working hours have also been shown to have a significantly negative impact on worker's psychological health (Virtanen et al., 2012;Watanabe et al., 2016;Li et al., 2019;Park et al., 2020), and have been identified as one of the pathways linking working from home and mental health (Choi et al., 2021;Rugulies et al., 2021;Toniolo-Barrios and Pitt, 2021;Şentürk et al., 2021). ...
... Long working hours have also been shown to have a significantly negative impact on worker's psychological health (Virtanen et al., 2012;Watanabe et al., 2016;Li et al., 2019;Park et al., 2020), and have been identified as one of the pathways linking working from home and mental health (Choi et al., 2021;Rugulies et al., 2021;Toniolo-Barrios and Pitt, 2021;Şentürk et al., 2021). Indeed, those who work from home tend to work longer hours and spend more time on their cell phone and desktop/laptop than office workers (Nijp et al., 2016;Tavares, 2017;Majumdar et al., 2020). Working long hours can impact family activities and personal goals, foster imbalance between personal life and work (Żołnierczyk-Zreda et al., 2012), interfere with health-related behavior (Bannai and Tamakoshi, 2014;Virtanen et al., 2015) and reduce the time one has available for self-care (Soek et al., 2016). ...
... Working from home, an arrangement that is increasingly common worldwide, can be beneficial to both workers and employers, especially workers who live in large cities, as they eliminate commuting time, and workers with motor deficiencies (Tavares, 2017;Majumdar et al., 2020;Buomprisco et al., 2021; Conroy et al., 2021;Xiao et al., 2021). However, it can increase the costs workers incur to create the proper infrastructure for work and deprive workers of interpersonal relations with fellow workers. ...
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This cross-sectional study investigated the association between work-time control (WTC), independently and in combination with hours worked (HW), and four mental health outcomes among 2,318 participants of the Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil) who worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. WTC was assessed by the WTC Scale, and mental health outcomes included depression, anxiety, stress (measured by the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, DASS-21), and self-rated mental health. Logistic regression models were used to determine odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Among women, long HW were associated with stress (OR = 1.56; 95% CI = 1.11–2.20) and poor self-rated mental health (OR = 1.64; 95% CI = 1.13–2.38), whereas they were protective against anxiety among men (OR = 0.59; 95% CI = 0.37–0.93). In both sexes, weak WTC was associated with all mental health outcomes. Among women, the long HW/weak WTC combination was associated with all mental health outcomes, and short HW/weak WTC was associated with anxiety and stress. Among men, long HW/strong WTC was protective against depression and stress, while short HW/strong WTC and short HW/weak WTC was associated with all mental health outcomes. In both sexes, weak WTC, independently and in combination with HW, was associated with all mental health outcomes. WTC can improve working conditions, protect against mental distress, and fosterwork-life balance for those who work from home.
... For example, Hayman (2010) reported a potential decrease in work overload when WSF is implemented. In the case of teleworking the literature has shown mixed results, whereas Mann et al. (2000) and Tavares (2017) stated that teleworking can increase work overload, while Gajendran and Harrison (2007) found opposite evidence. The current changes in the way work is performed (Van Steenbergen et al., 2018), makes pertinent a study of how these two types of FWAs interact in their effects on work overload. ...
... Although this mode of work can have many advantages, the nature of the work will dictate which jobs or professions will be better suited to teleworking than others. Highly suitable jobs or professions for telework include managerial and specialized professional information-based tasks, performed using devices such as computers and cell phones, which can be planned in advance and performed at any time of day and which require high levels of concentration and autonomy (Tavares, 2017). Shiri et al. (2022) found FWAs may have varying impacts on work depending on its implementation. ...
... Pre-pandemic literature distinguishes advantages and disadvantages in the consequences of teleworking (Tavares, 2017;Steidelmüller et al., 2020). Among the former, there is evidence that teleworking can diminish commuting time, while increasing autonomy, productivity, and work-family balance (Steidelmüller et al., 2020). ...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has driven organizations to implement various flexible work arrangements. Due to a lack of longitudinal studies, there is currently no consensus in specialized literature regarding the consequences of flexible work arrangements on employee mental health, as well any long term potential impacts. Using the Job Demand-Resource Model, this study documents consequences of the implementation of two types of flexible work arrangement: work schedule flexibility and teleworking on employee mental health over time, and the mediating role played by work overload during the accelerated implementation of flexible work arrangements in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a longitudinal design and probabilistic sampling, 209 workers participated in this study, twice answering a flexible work arrangement and mental health questionnaire during the pandemic. Findings of this moderated-mediation suggest that work schedule flexibility generates positive effects on mental health over time due to decreased work overload, but only for employees not working from home. These results offer theoretical and practical implications applicable to organizations considering implementation of flexible work arrangements, particularly with regard to how these flexible practices could support a balance between demand and resources, their impact on work overload, and employee mental health over time.
... However, blurred boundaries can also lead to family interfering with work (with telework increasing the amount of household responsibilities assumed by the remote employee) and work interfering with family when constant connectivity and response expectations (see Sect. 2.1) lead to stress and extended working hours (Allen et al., 2015;Rieth & Hagemann, 2021a). As another example, employees tend to enjoy more autonomy, fewer interruptions, and higher productivity when working from home compared to the office (Anderson et al., 2015;Müller & Niessen, 2019;Tavares, 2017). However, working alone and uninterrupted also reduces contact with colleagues and supervisors, which can lead to social isolation and concerns about career prospects (Cooper & Kurland, 2002;Gajendran & Harrison, 2007;Golden et al., 2008). ...
Chapter
This chapter provides an overview of important topics in human resource management (HRM) that are affected by digitalization and automation. It is outlined how work in HRM is changing in areas such as mental health at work, work design, leadership, and personnel development. The last section shifts focus and introduces a new way of working in HRM, known as HR analytics or people analytics. The fact that the various topics are not independent of each other and indeed intersect with each other is illuminated in the individual sections.
... Telework proved to be the best solution to maintain the company's operations while ensuring employees' health and safety during the pandemic and securing an income for those in quarantine [3]. However, teleworking might result in employees working more because work-life boundaries are still blurred [32][33][34]. It can furthermore have a negative impact on employees' mental and physical health [32][33][34], associated with a high risk of psychological distress and depression. ...
... However, teleworking might result in employees working more because work-life boundaries are still blurred [32][33][34]. It can furthermore have a negative impact on employees' mental and physical health [32][33][34], associated with a high risk of psychological distress and depression. Being away from both workplace and colleagues can make the employee feel isolated [35]. ...
... Although working from home can enhance flexibility, it comes with various social and psychological challenges such as cognitive overload and social isolation [32][33][34] that may negatively impact work productivity and well-being [51]. Thus, managers must find the balance between the work patterns. ...
Article
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Our study aims to present the perception and experiences of employees at a large multinational telecommunications company in Hungary working in home offices, as well as their health behavior and the workplace health promotion during the SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 outbreak. The sample consisted of the full sample of highly skilled employees at a large telecommunication multinational company (N = 46). Throughout the analysis, tests for homogeneity of variance were followed by a MANOVA test to compare the groups’ means by gender, age, and job classification. The results clearly show that in the short term, workers’ mental health did not deteriorate, they do not argue or fight more with their partners and are no more depressed or irritable than before. Workers are less likely to think of ways to be more effective at work than in a home office. Similarly, they do not think that employers have more expectations than before the pandemic. Our research shows the assumption about home workers being less efficient or less diligent in their daily work to be false. A supportive and flexible employer approach to health-conscious employees will be an essential aspect in the future.