Work schedule flexibility and teleworking were not good together during COVID-19 when testing their effects on work overload and mental health

Jesús Yeves, Mariana Bargsted, Cristian Torres-Ochoa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven organizations to implement various flexible work arrangements. Due to a lack of longitudinal studies, there is currently no consensus in specialized literature regarding the consequences of flexible work arrangements on employee mental health, as well any long term potential impacts. Using the Job Demand-Resource Model, this study documents consequences of the implementation of two types of flexible work arrangement: work schedule flexibility and teleworking on employee mental health over time, and the mediating role played by work overload during the accelerated implementation of flexible work arrangements in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a longitudinal design and probabilistic sampling, 209 workers participated in this study, twice answering a flexible work arrangement and mental health questionnaire during the pandemic. Findings of this moderated-mediation suggest that work schedule flexibility generates positive effects on mental health over time due to decreased work overload, but only for employees not working from home. These results offer theoretical and practical implications applicable to organizations considering implementation of flexible work arrangements, particularly with regard to how these flexible practices could support a balance between demand and resources, their impact on work overload, and employee mental health over time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number998977
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • longitudinal study
  • mental health
  • new ways of working
  • teleworking
  • work overload
  • work schedule flexibility
  • working from home

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