What is it about?

In Japan, telecommuting has spread due to COVID-19. The work that used to be in the office is now being brought into homes, creating a new situation that has never been experienced before, but the actual situation has not yet been fully understood. In the 2021 pandemic, we surveyed 500 telecommuters with roommates in Osaka Prefecture to clarify issues in the work environment at home.

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Why is it important?

17.4% of all subjects were classified high-stress in the Occupational Stress Survey. In all residential types, high-stress residents had sound-related problems. Contrary to expectations, high-stress individuals in detached houses and condominium apartments with a relatively large floor areas had problems related to roommates. Since the residents of these residential types are relatively older and their children are, the problems were assumed to be due to each resident's desire for greater privacy. The lack of privacy, including sound, in the work environment of urban telecommuters with roommates was causing high stress.


The pandemic made us realize that telecommuting offers many possibilities. Yet while the way we work has transformed, many employers' residence has remained traditional. Japanese houses have historically lacked heavy boundary walls and have had less of a concept of privacy than Western houses. Even in detached houses with sufficient floor space, a wooden framework has poor sound insulation. As remote conferences and classes become more accessible, designing houses that consider new sound problems will be essential. New ways of working could include telecommuting and using facilities outside the home, such as satellite offices or shared offices, which may be helpful when the residential type and size constraints are significant.

Daisuke Matsushita
Osaka Shiritsu Daigaku

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Work-Related Stress of Work from Home with Housemates Based on Residential Types, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, March 2022, MDPI AG, DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19053060.
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