Work-From-Home in the New Normal: A Phenomenological Inquiry into Employees’ Mental Health
2. Literature Review
2.1. WFH during COVID-19 and Mental Health
2.2. Holistic Technostress Model
2.3. Current Research
3. Research Methods
3.1. Context of the Study
3.2. Study Design and Participants
3.3. Sampling and Data Collection
3.5. Data Analysis
4.1. The Overall Experience of Working from Home
“Working from home can never be completely positive for someone who has a family, especially kids, due to the distractions that an employee has to face at home from his spouse and kids” (R2).
“The less pressurized work environment increased my productivity, and I enjoyed this whole WFH experience” (R26).
4.2. Key Factors That Make Home Office Work Challenging
4.2.1. Technical Issues
“Sometimes the company’s web portal does not work properly. This creates a communication gap between workers and customers as well” (R6).
“The packages of software are really heavy…it is impossible to run them on our home computers. Also, this software is graphically intensive and cannot be managed by desktop sharing” (R10).
4.2.2. Work-Related Stressors
“Working from home has doubled the workload, seeing as one has to learn how to do things differently all over again” (R9).
“The company hasn’t given us flexible hours; we have to work from 9 am to at least 6 pm. Moreover, they haven’t compromised on the targets one bit, they say we realize the situation but still no compromise on the targets” (R24).
4.2.3. Non-Work Stressors
“The major stress is family and kids, especially when kids are demanding; it is hard to make them understand that the parents are at home but not available to them” (R3).
4.2.4. Communication Issues
“When we are working in the office, it is not only the work but the colleagues and social interaction which make the work interesting as a whole. I am a very social person. I enjoy the company of my fellow beings while working” (R19).
4.2.5. Motivation and Productivity Issues
“Remember, motivation comes from your higher management” (R18).
4.3. Strategies to Overcome WFH Challenges
4.3.1. Behavioral Coping
“Activities like gardening, spending time with pets, cooking, and practicing guitar help me unwind” (R29).
“Going out on the lawn, having a cup of tea with some snacks, listening to music of my taste, and reading a chapter of my favorite book are the best ways for me to cope with stress” (R40).
“I set targets for myself and assign times for various tasks. I try to complete the tasks within time…this helps me overcome work-related stress” (R35).
4.3.2. Cognitive Coping
“Personal interactions are important; they are not just limited to serving clients well, but also to getting coworkers’ assistance and supervisory guidelines” (R41).
“I used to sit in my home garden for some time to feel nature and breathe in the open air and think about my tasks the next day” (R32).
4.4. Recommendations for Effective and Efficient WFH
4.4.1. Recommendations for Organizations
4.4.2. Recommendations for Employees
5. Discussion of the Findings
5.1. Theoretical Implications
5.2. Practical Implications
6. Limitations and Future Directions
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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Memon, M.A.; Shaikh, S.; Mirza, M.Z.; Obaid, A.; Muenjohn, N.; Ting, H. Work-From-Home in the New Normal: A Phenomenological Inquiry into Employees’ Mental Health. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20, 48. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20010048
Memon MA, Shaikh S, Mirza MZ, Obaid A, Muenjohn N, Ting H. Work-From-Home in the New Normal: A Phenomenological Inquiry into Employees’ Mental Health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2023; 20(1):48. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20010048Chicago/Turabian Style
Memon, Mumtaz Ali, Saba Shaikh, Muhammad Zeeshan Mirza, Asfia Obaid, Nuttawuth Muenjohn, and Hiram Ting. 2023. "Work-From-Home in the New Normal: A Phenomenological Inquiry into Employees’ Mental Health" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 20, no. 1: 48. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20010048