The Perception of Impacts of Work from Home on Employee Well-being.

Date01 October 2023
AuthorChatterjie, Samriddha,Nandi, Shampa,Chatterjie, Samriddha^Nandi, Shampa


Work from home is a practice that emerged towards the end of the 20th century. This improved work-life balance since employees could save commuting time and cost, and avail flexibility in work schedules. However, this was mostly introduced in the IT sector, on an occasional basis under certain circumstances. When the pandemic hit the entire world, employees were asked to work from home completely to maintain social distancing. Post-pandemic, home-based telework has been introduced in almost all sectors and in most companies. It is now an important HR policy that also has its effects on employee well-being.

Employees are becoming more comfortable with work arrangements that can mix more flexibly with family care (Zedeck & Mosier, 1990). However, this may have positive as well as negative effects. On the one hand, it provides more time for family care (Bailyn, 1989; Crossan & Burton, 1993; Olson, 1987), task autonomy, or traveling time and cost reduction. On the other hand, it can lead to work-family conflict (Gurstein, 1991; Leidner, 1988; Olson & Primps, 1984).

Studies have shown that longer working hours (Brannen, 2000; Duxbury& Higgins, 2001), and an increasing number of working parents (Office for National Statistics, 2007) have been creating examples of role conflict. Such work and home interference can lead to occupational as well as personal stress. This has negative effects like increased absenteeism and decreased job performance (Anderson, Coffey& Byerly, 2002; Frone, Yardley & Markel, 1997) at work, reduced life satisfaction, and increased physical and psychological strain at a personal level (Ford, Heinen & Langkamer, 2007; T. H. Hammer et al., 2004).

It is therefore important to study organizational culture that supports employees in order to maintain work-life balance. Given the current scenario, it is important for organizations to incorporate work arrangements that mix more flexibly with family care (Zedeck & Mosier, 1990). Employees who perceive receiving organizational support have shown greater job satisfaction (Allen, 2001), increased organizational commitment (Lyness et al., 1999) and decreased turnover intentions (Thompson, Beauvais & Lyness, 1999).

One of the policies introduced by most companies during the pandemic is the work from home arrangement, and this has stayed as an effort to support employees in balancing work and personal spheres (Bartik et al., 2020). Although there are many success stories that we hear about this new setup, it is inevitable that these changes will eventually affect the relationship between work and domestic lives, which in turn will affect productivity.

Although companies have adopted this approach of teleworking, there are still not many studies done to understand the effectiveness of working from home in the long run. Therefore, there is a risk to organizations if telework is used and managed without properly understanding the effects and outcomes. Studying the intraindividual aspects and day to day fluctuations in working from home is necessary to have more insights into this arrangement. Work from home aspects were studied (Delanoeije & Verbruggen 2020) and four outcomes have been found, namely work family conflict, work engagement, stress, and performance (Allen et al., 2015). From these studies, it has been seen that employees reported less work family conflict and stress and experienced higher work engagement and performance on working from home days. Other studies to investigate the effects of working from home show that employees experienced less negative affective well being and more positive affective well being on days when they worked from home (Vega, Anderson & Kaplan, 2015).

Theoretical Background

The 2-year long pandemic has caused an immense increase in telework or remote work arrangements across the globe. During the lockdown, it was compulsory for all organizations to introduce teleworking. However, the practice continues even post pandemic, since it has been found to be reaping more benefits than challenges.

Although working from home is not a new concept, the compulsory shift to remote working overnight had led to many challenges for employees. Telecommuting and remote working, both involve working outside the office. Allen, Golden, and Shockley (2015) conducted a comprehensive review of a wide range of telecommuting studies. As per the findings, telecommuting has two parts: working from a location other than the actual work location or office and using technology to perform work-related tasks.

Work from home fosters improved family and work integration. It also has positive effects like less fatigue and stress and better productivity. However, the lines between work and home have blurred and it can have a few negative impacts like limited support from organizations, extended working hours causing more stress, etc.

Psychological well-being generally deals with people's feelings about their everyday life activities (e.g. Bradburn, 1969; Warr & Wall, 1975; Campbell, 1976). This can also be defined as positive mental health (eg. Jahoda, 1958; Herzberg, 1966; Berg, 1975). The concepts of positive self-evaluation, learning from previous experience, freedom from constraints and some degree of personal success are included in this wellbeing. It takes into consideration an individual's daily affective aspects.

RQ1: Is there any relationship between work from home and physical wellbeing?

H01: There is no influence of work from home on employees' physical wellbeing.

Ha1: There is an influence of work from home on employees' physical wellbeing.

Working from home can be described as an 'escape' from the office working environment (Collins et al., 2016: 171) and in most cases, it has been a more pleasant working environment as per studies (Tremblay, 2002: 167). Research has shown that employees had more job satisfaction while working from home (Binder, 2016; Felstead & Henseke, 2017; Fonner & Roloff, 2015; Redman et al., 2009; Wheatley, 2017).

However, homeworking has also led to more stress in cases of overtime work. Employees often prefer working from home so that they can carry out other responsibilities simultaneously. This has resulted in longer hours of work causing increased stress. The extra earning due to overtime (Bell & Freeman, 2001; Schroeder & Warren, 2004...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT