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Experiences of working from home: umbrella review

Publication date: 

23 Dec 2023


Journal of Occupational Health, 2024, 66(1), 1–11


Hall CE, Brooks SK, Mills F, Greenberg N and Weston D

Publication type: 



Abstract Introduction: The concept of “working from home” is extremely topical following the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, it is unsurprising that there has been an increased interest in collating research related to homeworking. This has been carried out by multiple reviews, all with slightly different research aims and methodologies. Collating the findings from the available reviews is therefore highly beneficial to establish the experience of homeworking to create recommendations for the future of home-based work. Methods: An umbrella review was carried out. In June 2022, literature searches were conducted across 4 electronic databases. Published reviews of literature that used a systematic process, were focused on working from home populations, and detailed factors that could be related to the personal experience of homeworking (eg, barriers, facilitators, advantages, disadvantages) were included. Results: A total of 1930 records were screened and 6 review articles were included. Results report on the following sections: working environment (eg, workplace design, space conditions), personal impact (eg, satisfaction, career impact), and health (eg, physical health, well-being) including a total of 19 themes. Mixed findings were apparent for nearly all included themes, highlighting the need to consider individual and contextual circumstances when researching working from home. Conclusions: This review establishes the importance of retaining flexibility while homeworking for employees, managers, and organizations. Essentially, a one-size-fits-all approach to working from home is impractical as individual circumstances limit application. Eight recommendations for the future of working from home are suggested.