ORIGINAL PAPER
Job stress among workers who telecommute during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Japan: a cross-sectional study
 
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1
University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Fukuoka, Japan (Department of Work Systems and Health, Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences)
2
University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Fukuoka, Japan (Department of Mental Health, Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences)
3
University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Fukuoka, Japan (Department of Environmental Health, School of Medicine)
4
University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Fukuoka, Japan (Department of Occupational Medicine, School of Medicine)
5
University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Fukuoka, Japan (Department of Occupational Health Practice and Management, Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences)
6
University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Fukuoka, Japan (Department of Public Health, School of Medicine)
7
University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Fukuoka, Japan (Department of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences)
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Kazunori Ikegami   

University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Department of Work Systems and Health, Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences, 1-1, Iseigaoka, Yahatanishi-ku, Kitakyushu, 807-8555, Fukuoka, Japan
Online publication date: 2022-03-09
 
 
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ABSTRACT
Objectives: The work system reform and the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan have prompted efforts toward telecommuting in Japan. However, only a few studies have investigated the stress and health effects of telecommuting. Therefore, this study aimed to clarify the relationship between telecommuting and job stress among Japanese workers. Material and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. In December 2020, during the “third wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic, an Internet-based nationwide health survey of 33 087 Japanese workers (The Collaborative Online Research on Novel-coronavirus and Work, CORoNaWork study) was conducted. Data of 27 036 individuals were included after excluding 6051 invalid responses. The authors analyzed a sample of 13 468 office workers from this database. The participants were classified into 4 groups according to their telecommuting frequency, while comparing scores on the subscale of the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) and subjective job stress between the high-frequency, medium-frequency, low-frequency, and non-telecommuters groups. A linear mixed model and an ordinal logistic regression analysis were used. Results: A significant difference in the job control scores of the JCQ among the 4 groups was found, after adjusting for multiple confounding factors. The high-frequency telecommuters group had the highest job control score. Further, after adjusting for multiple confounding factors, the subjective job stress scores of the high- and medium-frequency telecommuters groups were significantly lower than those of the non-telecommuters group. Conclusions: This study revealed that high-frequency telecommuting was associated with high job control and low subjective job stress. The widespread adoption of telecommuting as a countermeasure to the public health challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic may also have a positive impact on job stress.
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087