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The changing dynamics of work from home and its association with sleep disturbance through work-family conflict during the COVID-19 pandemic.

OBJECTIVES: Work from home (WFH) can increase sleep disturbances. However, only few studies have examined the connection between WFH and sleep disturbance while considering work-family conflict (WFC) and the changes brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aimed to examine the association between WFH and sleep disturbance, considering WFC, and assessed how this association changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

METHODS: We used data from the fifth and sixth Korean Working Conditions Survey. WFH workers and a control group were selected using propensity score matching. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for sleep disturbance in the WFH and control groups.

RESULTS: The workers working from home showed significantly higher ORs (95% CIs) for sleep disturbance before (4.26, 3.59-5.05) and during (1.52, 1.26-1.83) COVID-19 pandemic. When stratified by WFC, the association was significant only in the workers with WFC before COVID-19. However, the association was not significant during COVID-19 among the workers with WFC.

CONCLUSIONS: WFH was significantly associated with sleep disturbance among workers before COVID-19, but this association was not observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering the significant role that WFC plays in this association, companies should provide a family-friendly WFH environment when adopting WFH practices.

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