Technical Report 2002-031

Telework Work Environment and Well Being: A Longitudinal Study

Carl Åborg, Elisabeth Fernström, and Mats Ericson

October 2002


The aim of this study is to analyse the effects that part-time telecommuting from home will have on office workers' physical and psychosocial work environment, at home and at the ordinary workplace, as well as on their general well being. Twenty-eight employees from two organizations were followed for a 2-year period. Diaries, interviews, and expert evaluation were used to collect data. Participants experienced part-time (1-2 days per week) telework from home as being helpful in obtaining a balance between work and leisure time, and in being more effective in their work. The participants worked more hours at home, worked long hours without breaks, and worked late at night and on the weekends at home. The workstation was seldom as good ergonomically at home as at the office. All the respondents experienced problems with the computer equipment and computer system.

Conclusions: Introducing telework can enhance work effectiveness; however, it can also result in both an increase in workload and various work-related health risks.

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