A study to find the effects of working from home on the mental and physical health of staff members at Liverpool John Moores University.
Keywords:Working from home, COVID-19, Caring responsibilities, Gender, Age, Mental health, Physical health
Working from home became essential for many in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the attempts to reduce its spread by lessening public interactions. This sudden increase in people working from home had a large knock-on effect on people’s mental and physical health as they, in many cases, were not prepared for this shift to home working. This study sets out to find the extent to which peoples’ mental and physical health was affected by this change and how factors such as gender and caring responsibilities further impacted. A survey was undertaken with university staff at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) asking how working from home affected their physical and mental health, as well as finding out what specific factors were having this effect on them. The study found that all participants with caring responsibilities experienced some level of negative physical health when working from home, showing that caring responsibilities had the biggest effect of all recorded factors. Since many participants worked from home during the COVID-19 restrictions at the same time as schools being closed, they had to balance caring for their children as well as work. Some participants reported working longer hours which may be a result of juggling work and home commitments. It is concluded that if companies expect their employees to work from home in the future, significant investment in infrastructure to support this shift needs to be undertaken. Further research with the use of an increased sample size needs to be carried out to confirm and validate these results.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.