Mental Health Consequences of Working from Home during the Pandemic

A new GLO Discussion Paper finds for South Korea that working from home affected females negatively, but not when workers live with children in the household.

GLO Discussion Paper No. 960, 2021

Mental Health Consequences of Working from Home during the Pandemic Download PDF
by Kim, Jun Hyung & Koh, Yu Kyung & Park, Jinseong

GLO Fellow Jinseong Park & GLO Affiliate Jun Hyung Kim

Author Abstract: This paper examines the effects of working from home on mental health, using unique real time survey data from South Korea collected during the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that working from home negatively affects the mental health of workers in the first half of 2020. Furthermore, we find substantial heterogeneity across gender and home environment. The negative impact of working from home is concentrated on women, and on those who are primarily responsible for housework while also maintaining market work. Surprisingly, workers who live with children in the household do not suffer from the negative effects of working from home. Our findings suggest that family-work interaction may be an important factor in the optimal design of working from home.

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GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS,  EconPapers)Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.

The Global Labor Organization (GLO) is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organization that functions as an international network and virtual platform to stimulate global research, debate and collaboration.


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