Mental Health Impacts of Working from Home after COVID-19: Does Gender Matter?
1Department of Commerce Economics, School of Economics, Beijing Technology and Business University, 100048 Beijing, China；School of Economics and Finance, Xi’an Jiaotong University, 710061 Xi’an, Shaanxi, China
2School of Economics, University of Nottingham Ningbo China, 315100 Ningbo, Zhejiang, China
3Department of Health Policy and Management, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
DOI: 10.31083/j.jomh1810197 Vol.18,Issue 10,October 2022 pp.1-22
Published: 26 October 2022
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to various social distancing practices such as mandatory working from home, which aim to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The purpose of this study was to compare the mental health impacts between men and women being forced to work from home following a COVID-19 outbreak. Methods: This study analyzed data collected from two rounds of surveys conducted in four cities in China: Beijing, Chengdu, Changsha, and Wuhan. A total of 940 individual responses were analyzed in this study. Multiple linear regression and ordinal logistic models were used to analyze the relationship between being forced to work from home, demographic variables, work-related variables, COVID-19 variables, family ties variables, and mental health variables. Results: The analysis showed that being forced to work from home was associated with worse mental health in men, but not among women. Married men reported better mental health compared with unmarried men, while the association between marital status and mental health was the opposite in women. Mental health was worse among those in higher job positions for both men and women. In addition, being forced to work from home was also associated with worse mental health among young, high-income men, and highly educated women. Conclusions: The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are far-reaching and amy persist for years. Furthermore, the number of workers who choose to work from home is expected to increase. The findings of this study can inform policy-making that will improve the mental health of employees working from home, with particular attention to men forced to work from home.
COVID-19 pandemic; SARS-CoV-2; mental health; work from home; gender; survey
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