Effects of smart working on productivity and personal and job wellbeing in a sample of employees of the university of l'aquila: analysis two years after the COVID-19 Emergency
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Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1903
Since March 2020, the University of LAquila, has adopted different measures against COVID-19, including the introduction of distance learning for students and smart working for almost all of its employees. The possibility to opt for smart working, albeit partial, and on individual basis, was left possible also after the end of the emergency period.

The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of smart working on job productivity and on personal and professional well-being of workers, in two different periods: April 2022 and December 2022.

Materials and Methods:
A questionnaire consisting of 29 multiple-choice questions was sent by mail to all workers of the University of L’Aquila in two different periods: April 2022 and December 2022. Participation was free and voluntary. Data obtained were processed through software R4.2.1.

A total of 118 and 157 office workers participated respectively on April and December 2022 to the study. The most represented age group was 50-59 years. The GHQ-12 items score showed a reduction - even though non statistically significant - between the two periods. The analysis of the individual items showed a significant difference between items 6 and 9 of GHQ (9 not being able to overcome difficulties and 6 to feel unhappy or depressed), marginally significant in items 5 and 10 (5: constantly under pressure and 10: as if he as lost faith in himself). There was no significant difference in terms of sleep quality and duration. Statistically significant difference was instead in energy levels and ability to concentrate.

Our results show that the use of smart working is well accepted by office workers and seems to determine an improvement of the wellbeing of the workers, in terms of energy levels and ability to concentrate mainly between those that freely choose this kind of work.