Remote workers’ wellbeing in the age of COVID-19

  • Clara Caldeira UFPA
  • Leticia S. Machado UFPA
  • Marcelo G. Perin FGV
  • Cleidson R. B. de Souza UFPA


Social isolation measures used worldwide to reduce the impacts of COVID-19 led many office workers to work remotely with little notice. While researchers have studied remote collaboration for more than two decades, the scale and context of remote work during a pandemic is unprecedented and has changed personal and work dynamics. In this paper, we discuss a survey study investigating the impact of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil, informed by Olson & Olson's framework for distributed collaboration. We report preliminary findings from this study, focusing specifically on workers' wellbeing. Our results suggest that the main factors influencing workers' well beings are Common Ground Challenges, Collaboration Readiness, Collaboration Technology Readiness, Organizational Management, and Interruptions.


Allen, T. (1977). Managing the flow of technology. 1977.

Bagozzi, R. P. and Heatherton, T. F. (1994). A general approach to representing multifaceted personality constructs: Application to state self-esteem. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 1(1):35–67.

Bezerra, C. I., de Souza Filho, J. C., Coutinho, E. F., Gama, A., Ferreira, A. L., de Andrade, G. L., and Feitosa, C. E. (2020). How human and organizational factors influence software teams productivity in covid-19 pandemic: A brazilian survey. In Proceedings of the 34th Brazilian Symposium on Software Engineering, pages 606–615.

Bjørn, P., Esbensen, M., Jensen, R. E., and Matthiesen, S. (2014). Does distance still matter? revisiting the cscw fundamentals on distributed collaboration. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 21(5):1–26.

Brynjolfsson, E., Horton, J. J., Ozimek, A., Rock, D., Sharma, G., and TuYe, H.-Y. (2020). Covid-19 and remote work: An early look at us data. Technical report, National Bureau of Economic Research.

Ciolfi, L., Gray, B., and Pinatti de Carvalho, A. F. (2020). Making home work places. In Proceedings of 18th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET).

Clark, H. H. and Brennan, S. E. (1991). Grounding in communication.

Ford, D., Storey, M.-A., Zimmermann, T., Bird, C., Jaffe, S., Maddila, C., Butler, J. L., Houck, B., and Nagappan, N. (2020). A tale of two cities: Software developers working from home during the covid-19 pandemic. arXiv preprint arXiv:2008.11147.

Fornell, C. and Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of marketing research, 18(1):39–50.

Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., Anderson, R. E., Tatham, R. L., et al. (1998). Multivariate data analysis, volume 5. Prentice hall Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Hertel, G., Geister, S., and Konradt, U. (2005). Managing virtual teams: A review of current empirical research. Human resource management review, 15(1):69–95.

Hinds, P. J. and Bailey, D. E. (2003). Out of sight, out of sync: Understanding conflict in distributed teams. Organization science, 14(6):615–632.

Kozlowski, S. W. and Ilgen, D. R. (2006). Enhancing the effectiveness of work groups and teams. Psychological science in the public interest, 7(3):77–124.

Kraut, R., Egido, C., and Galegher, J. (1988). Patterns of contact and communication in scientific research collaboration. In Proceedings of the 1988 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work, pages 1–12.

Lancet, T. (2020). Covid-19 in brazil:“so what?”. Lancet (London, England), 395(10235):1461.

Machado, L. S., Caldeira, C., Perin, M., and de Souza, C. R. (2020). Gendered experiences of software engineers during the covid-19 crisis. IEEE Software.

Mark, G. (2015). Multitasking in the digital age. Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics, 8(3):1–113.

Olson, G. M. and Olson, J. S. (2000). Distance matters. Human–computer interaction, 15(2-3):139–178.

Olson, J. S., Hofer, E., Bos, N., Zimmerman, A., Olson, G. M., Cooney, D., and Faniel, I. (2008). A theory of remote scientific collaboration. Scientific collaboration on the internet, pages 73–97.

Olson, J. S. and Olson, G. M. (2013). Working together apart: Collaboration over the internet. Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics, 6(5):1–151.

Orlikowski, W. J. (1992). Learning from notes: Organizational issues in groupware implementation. In Proceedings of the 1992 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work, pages 362–369.

Ralph, P., Baltes, S., Adisaputri, G., Torkar, R., Kovalenko, V., Kalinowski, M., Novielli, N., Yoo, S., Devroey, X., Tan, X., et al. (2020). Pandemic programming: how covid-19 affects software developers and how their organizations can help. arXiv preprint arXiv:2005.01127.

Slovic, P. E. (2000). The perception of risk. Earthscan publications.
CALDEIRA, Clara; MACHADO, Leticia S.; PERIN, Marcelo G.; SOUZA, Cleidson R. B. de. Remote workers’ wellbeing in the age of COVID-19. In: PESQUISAS EM ANDAMENTO - SIMPÓSIO BRASILEIRO DE SISTEMAS COLABORATIVOS (SBSC), 16. , 2021, Evento Online. Anais [...]. Porto Alegre: Sociedade Brasileira de Computação, 2021 . p. 117-124. DOI: