Measuring Work-from-Home Productivity and Stress: Restructuring, Validation, and Retest-Reliability of the Health Work Questionnaire (HWQ) and single-item scale alternatives in the Working-from-Home Context

MCRE Working Paper
Health and well-being, Behavioral Economics and Finance

This paper aims to improve a well-established scale in order to provide a versatile, self-report-based, multidimensional questionnaire to approximate high-skilled labor productivity in a working-from-home context. First, I find that the original Health and Work Questionnaire problematically underperforms in a work-from-home context. As a result, a principal component analysis identifies alternative factors for a large sample of Dutch homeworkers. This improved configuration, labeled Work-from-Home Health and Work Questionnaire (WFH-HWQ), identifies five factors: productivity, productivity by others, peer relations, nonwork satisfaction, and stress and irritability. These factors improve the statistical fit and conceptual constructs over the classic HWQ factors for two separate waves of data collection. Additionally, I explore the value of single-item scales and show that they could function as alternatives for some WFH-HWQ factors, but only when done with caution and when brevity demands it. For a metric so pivotal in performance research, this productivity questionnaire aims to be easy-to-apply yet better identified than its predecessors and current alternatives. The resulting tool can be used as an alternative when objective measures of work-from-home productivity are obscured or unavailable.

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