• Julie Asbjerg Seltoft
4. term, Learning and Innovative Change, Master (Master Programme)
After the Covid pandemic reached Denmark at the beginning of 2020, many employees started working some days from their homes. This places the companies in a new situation with new issues and opportunities, which is the purpose of this thesis to investigate.
The thesis has been written in cooperation with a mid-size Danish company with three branches in the greater Copenhagen area. Five semi-structured interviews have been conducted with three employees and two managers. This comprises the thesis’ empirical foundation. In addition, access to the latest employee survey has been provided.
The thesis aims to answer the following issue:

How can we, based on Karasek & Theorell’s theory (1990), understand the influence of hybrid work on the mental health seen from the perspective of employees in company X?

The thesis attempts to answer this from an analytical perspective; primarily based on partly, Karasek & Theorell’s theory on the demands and control model, and, partly based on a subsequent theory by Karasek & Theorell model of the psychosocial work environment. Secondarily, Warr’s theory on the definition of mental health will be used, including his 12 parameters for well-being in a work context. Further, the analysis will draw on perspectives from research made prior to the thesis.
The issue will be analyzed from three angles:
1. Social contact
2. Overall perspectives on working from home (positive and negative experiences)
3. The duality in employee influence (trust)
It is seen that the employees experience less distractions and calmer surroundings, and thus increased immersion to obtain new skills when working from home. It can also be identified that the daily breaks, which however may disappear when employees work from home, are important and support mental health. Further, the daily breaks may well comprise something social or include something from the employee’s leisure activities.
Because all employees making up the empirical foundation for this thesis work more or less in teams it is not an option to quit the community. Quite the contrary, the community should be prioritized since it contributes to upholding a high level of social capital and thereby supports mental health.
The last perspective is that there exists a mutual trust among employees and managers which makes the employees dare to experiment. This experimental approach is experienced positively by the employees, and it also benefits the managers.
Although the trust is something positive, employees also experience a need for guidance and work/leisure separation. This duality is complex to handle for both the employees and managers and therefore requires attention. It is consequently not beneficial for the employees to have completely unrestricted frameworks and choices.
Publication date30 Aug 2022
Number of pages80
ID: 479375593