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Work From Home during the COVID-19 Pandemic

1. Introduction

In the recent COVID-19 pandemic, work from home practices have been adopted by multinational corporations and small- medium sized companies, in order to maintain government legislations of social distancing and to stop the spreading of the virus (Prasad, Vaidya and Mangipudi, 2020). This study mainly focuses on analysing the work from practice in the recent critical situation of COVID 19 for evaluating occupational stress and psychological wellbeing of employees. It is important to explore the feedback of people working from home in the recent pandemic situation, where the maximum individuals are working from home and their mental health and psychological wellbeing is changing over the period. Through this research, it is possible to involve the respondents, who are working from home and give them the scope of sharing their experience in handling occupational stress and psychological wellbeing.

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2. Background of the study

Occupational stress is the physiological stress that is related to the individual jobs. The occupational stress can occur when the workers do not feel supported by the supervisor and the colleagues and there is little control over the work they perform in the organisation. The examples of occupational stress are such as long hour’s work, job insecurity, boring working activities, lack of autonomy and flexibility, tight deadlines, changes in duties and heavy workload. During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, individuals have been requested to work remotely in order to maintain social distancing and reduce spread of the virus in adherence with government advice. There have been drastic changes in working from home, as compared to the previous working culture within the organisation (Prasada, Vaidya and Mangipudic, 2020). Hence, there have been crucial impacts on the occupational stress and psychological wellbeing of the individual, where some people feel the practice of work from home is good and for some people it becomes hectic to handle the working activities (Gavin et al., 2020). There are some benefits of working from home which are saving the time of journey, saving extra expenses to go to office, as well as the remote working increase the scope of flexible working practice (De Kock et al., 2021). Family time can be managed in the case of work from home as well as there is cooperation and relationship building activities at home, where bonding with the family members are improved over the time. Minimising the travelling time and distractions are also other benefits of remote working activities (Holton et al., 2020). On the other hand, there are some disadvantages of remote working for which some of the individuals are suffering in managing the working activities and the family time due to excessive work pressure. It further raises the issue of lack of work life balance (Ceri and Cicek, 2021).

Isolation and loneliness further become frustrating for the individuals to tackle the working activities (Gavin et al., 2020). Domestic distractions are there and it raises interruption in working at home. It is also difficult for the employees to separate the working life and home and additionally the initial set up cost at home is high (Park, Jeong and Chai, 2021). The individuals are also suffering from stress due to excessive work pressure and without having good set up of the workspace; the individuals face difficulties in handling the working activities (Gavin et al., 2020). The mental health has been deteriorated among the individuals due to continuous work from home, where the individuals feel isolated, have monotonous working pressure at home to work. It also hampers creativity and employee innovation to work efficiently. Some of the employees prefer to have remote working facility for the benefits of flexible working system, but some of the staff members face difficulties to manage the occupational stress and it further deteriorates the psychological wellbeing (Meyer et al., 2021). The Lazarus theory of stress reveals that, psychological stress is a particular relationship between the person and the environment and thus tis study provides a scope to analyse the psychological theory related to stress in order to analyse occupational stress among the employees during the remote working practice in the recent pandemic situation. It is hereby possible to analyse the perception of the individuals, working from home in this pandemic situation to gain understanding about their mental health.

3. Aim of the study

The aim of the research was to analyse the effects of working of home on occupational stress and psychological wellbeing,

4. Research objectives

The objectives of the research include:

1. To explore the experience of remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic and to better understand occupational stress in more detail.

2. To understand the advantages and disadvantages of working from home as opposed to office working.

3. To better understand the impact of working from home in this pandemic situation on occupational stress and psychological wellbeing

4. To inform recommendations as to how individuals can better manage occupational stress and psychological wellbeing during working from home in the pandemic situation

5. Research questions

The research questions are,

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working from home as opposed to office working?

What are the effects of working from home in this pandemic situation on occupational stress?

What are the impacts of remote working on psychological wellbeing of the individuals in the recent era of COVID 19?

What would be the suggested recommendations for the individuals to manage occupational stress and psychological wellbeing during working from home in the pandemic situation?

6. Research methodology

The methodology of the research is crucial for this particular research, where the researcher has the scope to select the right method of conducting the project efficiently and in this research, Through selecting the qualitative research methods, the researcher would be able to gather valid data sources and information that further helps to analyse the above mentioned research topic efficiently and progress in the paper successfully in a systematic process (Abutabenjeh and Jaradat, 2018). The research is about analysing Occupational Stress and Psychological well- being in COVID Pandemic among employees working from home, where the researcher needs to select the qualitative study for gathering the information related to the working from home practices by empowering the individuals in the research. Hence, human participation is required to conduct this research with in depth evaluation and analysis (Park and Park, 2016). The methodology includes the research design, participants, data collection method and data analysis techniques as well as the requirements through which it is possible to develop appropriate methods of the research (Kumar, 2018).

6.1 Research design

Research design is mainly the strategy of the researcher to progress in the study for in-depth critical analysis and research evaluation. The major research designs are such as descriptive, correlation, experimental, diagnostic and explanatory (Zangirolami-Raimundo, Echeimberg and Leone, 2018). The researcher mainly focuses on the mental health condition of the people where they are working from home which is related to stress and loneliness. Hence, experiments of the individuals and sharing their experience during work from home practices are mandatory for the study to meet the above mentioned research aim and objectives. Hence, the researcher chooses both the primary and secondary data collection method. The primary data is being gathered through semi structured interview strategy, where the researcher arrange telephonic interview by engaging the participants and conduct in depth analysis on the basis of their feedback. On the other hand, the secondary data collection method also is chosen where the researcher collected secondary sources of information such as books, journals and published articles related to the working from home practice in the recent COVID 19 situation. Hereby, the qualitative study is being chosen by the researcher in order to collect semi structured interview data and analyse it by applying the secondary information.

6.2 Participants

The participants are mainly the employees, who are experiencing the work from home practice in the recent era of COVID 19, where they face stress and loneliness at home to work remotely. The researcher engaged the employees in the study in order to understand their perception about occupational stress and psychological wellbeing during the working from home practice. Total sample size in this study is 20, where 10 members are male and remaining 10 members are female. The feedback of the 20 working individuals is recorded through telephonic interview. The inclusion criteria are such as the employees must have the experience in the corporate firms, the employees have significant job role and designation in the organisation and the members are working from home.

6.3 Equipment and materials

Due to this pandemic situation, it is not possible to arrange face to face interview, hence, the researcher mainly focuses on arranging telephonic interview, through which it is possible to gather feedback of the participants. The open ended questions are developed for collecting data and the answers of the respondents is recorded through audio recorder with the participant’s consent. After that, the researcher stored the data and represent it in a word documents for in-depth analysis and evaluation.

6.4 Procedure

The telephonic interview is arranged with the consent of the participants and there is semi structured open ended questionnaire through which the researcher gathers the feedback of the participants. The social demographic data is not be required rather the employees must have experience with specific job role and organisational designation. The researcher includes the employees who are working from home in the recent pandemic situation. Moreover, for protecting the data and information in the research, the researcher implemented Data Protection Act 1998, which ensure that the information gathered from the participants is kept safely (Dźwigoł and Dźwigoł-Barosz, 2018). The researcher also ensured that the information of the participants be utilised only for this study and the confidentiality of the respondents be maintained by protecting their personal details. Through these ethical considerations, the researcher is able to conduct the study by engaging the participants and develop in depth critical analysis for evaluating the impacts of working from home on the occupational stress and psychological wellbeing in the recent pandemic situation.

7. Data analysis

Through critical analysis by reviewing the data, the researcher can perform data analysis for in depth evaluation in order to understand the trend and draw conclusion (Zangirolami-Raimundo, Echeimberg and Leone, 2018). The qualitative data analysis method refers to analysis of the secondary information and descriptive data through thematic analysis, in-depth evaluation (Basias and Pollalis, 2018). Qualitative data analysis is concerned about the non-statistical data and the typical data includes for example qualitative information, gender nationality religion, etc., which are useful to conduct in depth qualitative study (Zangirolami-Raimundo, Echeimberg and Leone, 2018).

In this particular study, the researcher selects the qualitative data analysis method, in order to review the interview transcript and analyse the gathered data efficiently. The researcher chooses the interview strategy for collecting the data and valid information directly from the employees, who are working from home in such pandemic situation due to COVID 19. Hence, the interview transcript be analysed through the qualitative data analysis method, and the researcher chosen the thematic analysis for in-depth data evaluation. As per the approach by Braun and Clarke, it is essential to follow the steps for qualitative analysis and the steps include transcribe, taking notes related to the research topic, coding the entire data searching for themes, reviewing the themes by the research topic and components, defining the themes and finalise the analysis (Zangirolami-Raimundo, Echeimberg and Leone, 2018). The researcher represented the interview transcript of the respondents for improving understanding about their perception to manage occupational stress and psychological wellbeing during working from home, and the thematic analysis is helpful for developing different themes as per the above mentioned research topic for in-depth evaluation. Hence, the qualitative data analysis method is chosen for analysing the interview transcript by thematic analysis and in depth evaluation by applying the secondary information and data.

8. Ethical considerations

The researcher follows the academic ethics in this paper for completing it with critical analysis and the researcher selects primary data collection method where the staff members are involved with this study in order to understand their occupational stress and psychological wellbeing. It is hereby important to manage the respondents and convince them for participating actively in the study for sharing their perception about occupational stress and mental health during the working from home in the recent pandemic situation (Snyder, 2019). The researcher respects each employee and convinces them to take active part in the interview rather than forcing them to involve in this study. It further provides a scope to the researcher to handle the participants and develop strong bonding with the employees so that they can feel free to participate in the interview and share their perception and own experience in working from home. For maintaining validity of the research and authenticity, relevant and valid data is included in this study to fulfil the research questions and meet its aim of analysing the effects of working from home on occupational stress and psychological stress (Snyder, 2019). Authenticity of the research is also maintained by using valid sources of secondary information where the researcher collects the authentic information and cites its authors in order to maintain validity of the research. Hence, the researcher is able to collect authentic data and information through primary and secondary sources, in order to progress in the study efficiently.

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On the other hand, due to this recent pandemic era for COVID 19, the researcher faces issues in arranging face to face interview, and thus the researcher selected the telephonic interview process in order to maintain social distancing and engage the participants through telephonic interview and data gathering method. The researcher provided consent form to the respondents in order to maintain research ethics and additionally, the data is gathered and recorded through hone recorder in order to store the data and progress in the research through critical evaluation. The researcher in this regard also ensured that, the participants can withdraw at any time of the interview process if they are not feeling comfortable with the interview and research activities. Hence, with the consent of the participants, the research developed and the researcher focused on the fact that there are no such influential activities to change the information provided by the respondents.

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Reference List

Abutabenjeh, S. and Jaradat, R., 2018. Clarification of research design, research methods, and research methodology: A guide for public administration researchers and practitioners. Teaching Public Administration, 36(3), pp.237-258.

Basias, N. and Pollalis, Y., 2018. Quantitative and qualitative research in business & technology: Justifying a suitable research methodology. Review of Integrative Business and Economics Research, 7, pp.91-105.

Brannen, J., 2017. Mixing methods: Qualitative and quantitative research. London: Routledge.

Ceri, V. and Cicek, I., 2021. Psychological well-being, depression and stress during COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey: A comparative study of healthcare professionals and non-healthcare professionals. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 26(1), pp.85-97.

De Kock, J.H., Latham, H.A., Leslie, S.J., Grindle, M., Munoz, S.A., Ellis, L., Polson, R. and O’Malley, C.M., 2021. A rapid review of the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of healthcare workers: implications for supporting psychological well-being. BMC Public Health, 21(1), pp.1-18.

Dźwigoł, H. and Dźwigoł-Barosz, M., 2018. Scientific research methodology in management sciences. Financial and credit activity: problems of theory and practice, 2(25), pp.424-437.

Gavin, B., Hayden, J., Adamis, D. and McNicholas, F., 2020. Caring for the psychological well-being of healthcare professionals in the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. Ir Med J, 113(4), p.51.

Holton, S., Wynter, K., Trueman, M., Bruce, S., Sweeney, S., Crowe, S., Dabscheck, A., Eleftheriou, P., Booth, S., Hitch, D. and Said, C.M., 2020. Psychological well-being of Australian hospital clinical staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Australian Health Review, 45(3), pp.297-305.

Kumar, R., 2018. Research methodology: A step-by-step guide for beginners. London: Sage.

Meyer, B., Zill, A., Dilba, D., Gerlach, R. and Schumann, S., 2021. Employee psychological well‐being during the COVID‐19 pandemic in Germany: A longitudinal study of demands, resources, and exhaustion. International Journal of Psychology.

Park, J. and Park, M., 2016. Qualitative versus quantitative research methods: Discovery or justification?. Journal of Marketing Thought, 3(1), pp.1-8.

Park, S., Jeong, S. and Chai, D.S., 2021. Remote e-Workers’ Psychological Well-being and Career Development in the Era of COVID-19: Challenges, Success Factors, and the Roles of HRD Professionals. Advances in Developing Human Resources, p.15234223211017849.

Prasad, K.D.V., Vaidya, R.W. and Mangipudi, M.R., 2020. Effect of occupational stress and remote working on psychological well-being of employees: an empirical analysis during covid-19 pandemic concerning information technology industry in hyderabad. Indian Journal of Commerce and Management Studies, 11(2), pp.1-13.

Prasada, K.D.V., Vaidya, R.W. and Mangipudic, M.R., 2020. Effect of occupational stress and remote working on psychological well-being of employees: an empirical analysis during covid-19 pandemic concerning information technology industry in Hyderabad. Indian Journal of Commerce & Management Studies, 11, pp.1-13.

Snyder, H., 2019. Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines. Journal of Business Research, 104, pp.333-339.

Zangirolami-Raimundo, J., Echeimberg, J.D.O. and Leone, C., 2018. Research methodology topics: Cross-sectional studies. Journal of Human Growth and Development, 28(3), pp.356-360.

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