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1Literature ReviewWenjia Zhang Johns Hopkins University AS. 480.600.81: Research & Writing Method Professor Michael

1

Literature Review

Wenjia Zhang

Johns Hopkins University

AS. 480.600.81: Research & Writing Method

Professor Michael Bayer

April 16, 2024



The Psychological Challenges of Remote Work

The current work environment has been affected by significant transformations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote work became the primary mode of employment for different persons as businesses had to change their operational structures. Even though remote work had other benefits, it resulted in psychological challenges, as indicated by various studies. According to Chan et al. (2022), there is a strong relationship between remote work and symptoms of stress and anxiety. Working remotely causes people to need more human connection and interaction, reducing their ability to interact well. The authors implemented a document review process that included qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research documents discussing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on different individuals’ mental health status. It was discovered that work needs are highly technical and require employees to interact with each other physically; otherwise, they can experience psychological distress. Chan et al. (2022) then suggested that societal and government interventions were valid to ensure people would attain resilience concerning the new remote work trend.

According to Begum et al. (2022), job insecurity became a common trend affecting employees during the COVID-19 pandemic regarding work intensification, family dynamics, health, productivity, and work-life balance. When the job environment changes, employees face increased work demands, longer working hours, and work-life conflicts. It is inevitable for employees to get affected by job insecurity because they are the parties involved in performing daily work operations, and this affects their family time, parental stress, and household responsibilities. The authors then discovered that unreliable management of job operations causes adverse effects of job insecurity on employees’ mental and physical health. Operations of different job activities get their operational tactics reduced as there will be significant implications when attempting to establish a work-life balance. To ensure employees performed well regardless of conditions, the authors stated that implementing strategies to reduce job insecurity, like transparent communication during downsizing, stress management initiatives, and flexible work arrangements, is proper.

According to del Rio-Chanona et al. (2020), the pandemic caused disruptions in both supply and demand across various sectors due to social distancing measures and changes in consumer behavior to avoid infection. The strict social distancing measures and shifts in consumer behavior were implemented to mitigate infection risks, but they profoundly affected economic activities. There was a drastic decline in output caused by the closure of non-essential industries and the inability of workers to operate remotely. Even though employees were directed to work from, there was a change in productivity, but such change needed to be more reliable than working from organizational locations. Businesses like tourism, amusement parks, and travel industries could not conform to the changing work environment, which reduced the reliability of diverse work environments.

According to Lal et al. (2021), changing work structures to remote work causes a shift in professional and personal life boundaries. The use of technology became the primary mode of operation that presented both advantages and challenges. On the one hand, flexible work-home boundaries caused individuals to have a higher level of autonomy and the ability to perform both work and non-work responsibilities. On the negative side, the unregulated nature of removing work has caused an intensification of reliance on information and communication technology. Lal et al. (2021) highlight the adverse consequences as they contribute to emotional, psychological, and physical strains experienced by remote workers. As organizations continue to navigate the evolving landscape of work, Lal et al. (2021) stated that it is imperative to address the challenges proactively. Employers need to prioritize the mental well-being of remote workers by implementing strategies to mitigate stress and loneliness.

References

Begum, A., Shafaghi, M., & Adeel, A. (2022). Impact of job insecurity on work-life balance during COVID-19 in India.
Vision: The Journal of Business Perspective, 097226292110732.

Chan, X. W., Shang, S., Brough, P., Wilkinson, A., & Lu, C. (2022). Work, life, and COVID-19: A rapid review and practical recommendations for the post‐pandemic workplace.
Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources,
61(2), 257–276.

del Rio-Chanona, R. M., Mealy, P., Pichler, A., Lafond, F., & Farmer, J. D. (2020). Supply and demand shocks in the COVID-19 pandemic: An Industry and Occupation Perspective.
Oxford Review of Economic Policy,
36(Supplement_1).

Lal, B., Dwivedi, Y. K., & Haag, M. (2021). Working from home during COVID-19: Doing and managing technology-enabled social interaction with colleagues at a distance.
Information Systems Frontiers,
25(4), 1333–1350.

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