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Dear Colleague,

I have eagerly looked forward to the publication of this special issue on work from home. My appreciation and gratitude are extended to Kermit Davis and Susan Kotowski for their dedication to making this important topic as a special issue of WORK a reality.

Karen Jacobs


Guest Editorial

In recent years, work from home (WFH) has become widely prevalent in many industries as the majority of the world was sent home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This special issue dedicated to WFH will provide an extensive look into the unique opportunities and challenges these work environments present. While many may think that WFH is a unique paradigm that resulted purely from the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous companies have worked from home for years. The case study by Larry English provides insights into one example of how working from home can be successful, as they have been doing so for more than a decade. This case study sets up the broader context of the WFH modality. Other research [2–4] has provided insights into the ergonomic stressors and the necessity to accommodate workers at home. Further, WFH has especially unique environments that impact the visual strain of workers, relating to the lighting conditions [5, 6]. WFH has also offered unique opportunities for certain occupations by allowing workers to do traditional in-person work through telework, oftentimes with little or no impact in service [10–12]. There also appears to be an impact on the work life-balance. It has also been found that these WFH work environments may have lasting impact on the health and well-being of the workers [7–10].

One profession that appears to have been particularly impacted by a transition to WFH is academicians [13, 14], leading to adverse well-being and burnout. Students have also shifted to having many courses online where they have had to adapt to learning in non-traditional work environments. They are oftentimes using laptops in non-traditional workspaces, and have limited resources to create safe and ergonomic workstations [15, 16]. With many schools, particularly universities, continuing online courses, students and professors will need to consider the work environments at home.

Although the pandemic will hopefully wind down in the near future and become an endemic, WFH and the accommodation of workers is likely here to stay as companies continue to shift to WFH or hybrid work [17]. A systems approach [18] will likely need to be utilized as workers will be in complex environments, potentially impacting worker well-being, stress, and burnout. While the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in millions of employees working from home, other natural disasters [19], future pandemics, and corporate culture changes will ensure WFH is a mainstay in the future of work.

The special issue provides many insights into the complexity of working from home. While there is an opportunity to utilize WFH effectively, workers will need to be accommodated from an ergonomic and organizational perspective.

Kermit Davis and Susan Kotowski


Read the PR on this special issue here


Special issue: Working from homeOpenly Available
Jacobs, Karen

Centric Consulting case study: Culture is the key to remote work success
English, Larry

Measuring pandemic home-work conditions to determine ergonomic recommendation relevanceOpenly Available
Black, Nancy L. | St-Onge, Samuelle

The role of at home workstation ergonomics and gender on musculoskeletal pain
MacLean, Kathleen F.E. | Neyedli, Heather F. | Dewis, Colleen | Frayne, Ryan J.

Almost a year in: Virtual offices remained an ergonomic trouble spot
Kotowski, Susan E. | Davis, Kermit G. | Gerding, Thomas

The role of trataka in ameliorating visual strain and promoting psychological well-being during prolonged use of digital displays: A randomized controlled trial
Swathi, P.S. | Saoji, Apar Avinash | Bhat, Raghavendra

Ergonomic lighting considerations for the home office workplace
McKee, Cameron | Hedge, Alan

The role of work stress, organizational climate, and improving employee performance in the implementation of work from homeOpenly Available
Pradoto, Herlam | Haryono, Siswoyo | Wahyuningsih, Sri Handari

Job satisfaction and challenges of working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic: A study in a Swedish academic settingOpenly Available
Ahmadi, Fereshteh | Zandi, Saeid | Cetrez, Önver A. | Akhavan, Sharareh

Telework benefits and associated health problems during the long COVID-19 eraOpenly Available
Zalat, Marwa | Bolbol, Sarah

Prevalence of burnout syndrome among Work-From-Home IT professionals during the COVID-19 pandemicOpenly Available
Kumaresan, A. | Suganthirababu, Prathap | Srinivasan, Vignesh | Vijay Chandhini, Y. | Divyalaxmi, P. | Alagesan, Jagatheesan | Vishnuram, Surya | Ramana, K. | Prathap, Lavanya

Toward successful future use of telehealth in occupational therapy practice: What the COVID-19 rapid shift revealedOpenly Available
Abbott-Gaffney, Cynthia R. | Gafni-Lachter, Liat | Cason, Jana | Sheaffer, Katherine | Harasink, Rachael | Donehower, Kelsey | Jacobs, Karen

Telework during the COVID-19 pandemic: Ergonomic and psychosocial risks among Brazilian labor justice workersOpenly Available
El Kadri Filho, Fauzi | Roberto de Lucca, Sérgio

Teachers feeling the burden of COVID-19: Impact on well-being, stress, and burnoutOpenly Available
Kotowski, Susan E. | Davis, Kermit G. | Barratt, Clare L.

How does the working environment transition impact perceived work-related quality of life for postsecondary teachers within the United States?Openly Available
Horton, Nicholas | Jacobs, Karen

Efficacy of an ergonomics intervention for remote college studentsMoslander, Delaney | Jacobs, Karen
Moslander, Delaney | Jacobs, Karen

The virtual office: A perspective from college students
Kotowski, Susan E. | Davis, Kermit G.

Trends in remote work: A science mapping study
Rampasso, Izabela Simon | Santana, Monica | Serafim, Milena Pavan | Dibbern, Thais | Rodrigues, Edilson A. | Filho, Walter Leal | Anholon, Rosley

Virtual office intervention effectiveness: A systems approach
Robertson, Michelle M. | Lin, Jin | Huang, Emily | Schleifer, Lawrence

Impact of workplace displacement during a natural disaster on computer performance metrics: A 2-year interrupted time series analysisOpenly Access
Sarnosky, Kamrie | Benden, Mark | Sansom, Garett | Cizmas, Leslie | Regan, Annette K.


Most Read WORK Articles in 2021

Featuring the top 5 of all WORK articles published that were most read in 2021

Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic: Impact on office worker productivity and work experience (Research Article in Vol.69, Iss.4, 2021) – Openly Available
Awada, Mohamad | Lucas, Gale | Becerik-Gerber, Burcin | Roll, Shawn

Model of Human Occupation as a framework for implementation of Motivational Interviewing in occupational rehabilitation (Research Article in Vol.62, Iss.4, 2019) – Openly Available
Park, Joanne | Gross, Douglas P. | Rayani, Fahreen | Norris, Colleen M. | Roberts, Mary Roduta | James, Carole | Guptill, Christine | Esmail, Shaniff

E-Learning perception and satisfaction among health sciences students amid the COVID-19 pandemic (Research Article in Vol.67, Iss.3, 2020) – Openly Available
Abbasi, Maria S. | Ahmed, Naseer | Sajjad, Batool | Alshahrani, Abdullah | Saeed, Sumera | Sarfaraz, Shaur | Alhamdan, Rana S. | Vohra, Fahim | Abduljabbar, Tariq

An assessment of ergonomic issues in the home offices of university employees sent home due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Research Article in Vol.68, Iss.4, 2021) – Openly Available
An assessment of ergonomic issues in the home offices of university employees sent home due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Recommendations for working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic (and beyond) (Research Article in Vol.66, Iss.2, 2020) – Openly Available
Lopez-Leon, Sandra | Forero, Diego A. | Ruiz-Díaz, Paola

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Join us for the upcoming Learn at WORK webinar!

Understanding work participation among employees with common mental disorders: What works for whom, under what circumstances and how?

Presented by: Dr. Suzanne van Hees

Wednesday, April 6 at 1-2 pm EST


Besides the protocol article published in WORK, the results article of this systematic realist review's findings, as well as the experience with the method realist research will be shared.


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