Text by: Marteyn van Gasteren – ITCL Technology Centre – WorkingAge Project Coordinator

How does teleworking affect our well-being at work? As many of us have experienced since last year, at our homes we work in a social micro-environment with less physical interaction compared to the office – maybe apart from children claiming attention because of a broken toy. The furniture used is ergonomically often not the best. Yet the lack of traffic jams and the comfort of home ease the mind. And certainly your own coffee tastes better than the one from that machine in the cafeteria!

Though the actual office work is practically the same, the conditions in which teleworkers perform their job are completely different. How does this affect the well-being of the workers? Obviously, general interest in teleworking has boosted in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic that obliged huge amounts of people worldwide to work from their homes.

The WorkingAge project has introduced teleworking as one of three use cases in which workers are supported in improving their well-being at work through a tool. This WAOW Tool (Working Age of Well-Being) monitors different conditions of the workers and their environment and helps the user to be aware of the negative ones and learn how to improve these. In this blog many examples of such conditions have been given, either related to the user’s physical state, psychosocial state or his or her environment.

Data collection through our pilots will allow us to compare teleworkers’ well -being with office workers; hopefully answering some research questions that have arisen during the pandemic regarding for example differences in distraction or stress. Moreover, many of the data will be anonymised and published so that other researchers can also use it for their studies. Looking forward very much to share our findings in the future!

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