Does Telework Stress Employees Out? A Study on Working at Home and Subjective Well-Being for Wage/Salary Workers

  • Younghwan Song
  • Jia GaoEmail author
Research Paper


With the expansion of high-speed internet during the recent decades, a growing number of people are working from home. Yet there is no consensus on how working from home affects workers’ well-being in the literature. Using data from the 2010, 2012, and 2013 American Time Use Survey Well-Being Modules, this paper examines how subjective well-being varies among wage/salary workers between working at home and working in the workplace using individual fixed-effects models. We find that compared to working in the workplace, bringing work home on weekdays is associated with less happiness, and telework on weekdays or weekends/holidays is associated with more stress. The effect of working at home on subjective well-being also varies by parental status and gender. Parents, especially fathers, report a lower level of subjective well-being when working at home on weekdays but a higher level of subjective well-being when working at home on weekends/holidays. Non-parents’ subjective well-being does not vary much by where they work on weekdays, but on weekends/holidays childless males feel less painful whereas childless females feel more stressed when teleworking instead of working in the workplace. This paper provides new evidence on the impact of working at home and sheds lights for policy makers and employers to re-evaluate the benefits of telework.


Working at home Telework Subjective well-being Happiness Time use 

JEL Classification

J22 J28 D1 



We would like to thank seminar participants at the International Association for Time-use Research Conference in Seoul, Korea, and A World to Win Conference at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands for their valuable comments. All remaining errors are ours.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUnion CollegeSchenectadyUSA
  2. 2.Poverty and Equity Global Practice, the World BankWashington, D.C.USA

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