The relationship between telework from home and employee health: a systematic review.

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    • Abstract:
      Background: Globalization and technological progress have made telework arrangements such as telework from home (TWFH) well-established in modern economies. TWFH was rapidly and widely implemented to reduce virus spread during the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and will probably be widespread also post-pandemic. How such work arrangements affect employee health is largely unknown. Main objective of this review was to assess the evidence on the relationship between TWFH and employee health. Methods: We conducted electronic searches in MEDLINE, Embase, Amed, PsycINFO, PubMed, and Scopus for peer-reviewed, original research with quantitative design published from January 2010 to February 2021. Our aim was to assess the evidence for associations between TWFH and health-related outcomes in employed office workers. Risk of bias in each study was evaluated by the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and the collected body of evidence was evaluated using the the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Results: We included 14 relevant studies (22,919 participants) reporting on 28 outcomes, which were sorted into six outcome categories (general health, pain, well-being, stress, exhaustion & burnout, and satisfaction with overall life & leisure). Few studies, with many having suboptimal designs and/or other methodological issues, investigating a limited number of outcomes, resulted in the body of evidence for the detected outcome categories being GRADED either as low or very low. Conclusions: The consisting evidence on the relationship between TWFH and employee health is scarce. The non-existence of studies on many relevant and important health outcomes indicates a vast knowledge gap that is crucial to fill when determining how to implement TWFH in the future working life. Systematic review registration number: PROSPERO registration ID # CRD42021233796. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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