Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

The Digitalization Boost of the Covid‐19 Pandemic and Changes in Job Quality

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Abstract:  The Covid‐19 pandemic caused a digitalization boost, mainly through the rise of telework. Even before the pandemic, advancing digital transformation restructured the way of working and thereby changed the quality of jobs—albeit at a different pace across occupations. With data from the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), we examine how job quality and the use of digital technologies changed during the first pandemic year in different occupations. Building on this, we analyze change score models to investigate how increased workplace digitalization connects to changes in selected aspects of employees’ subjective job quality. We find only a weak association between the digitalization boost in different occupational fields and the overall decrease in subjective job quality. However, telework—as one aspect of digitalization—is connected to a smaller decrease in work–family reconciliation and conformable working hours. Thus, it may buffer some detrimental pandemic effects on job quality. In addition, telework is connected to increased information overload, creating a new burden for specific employee groups.

Keywords:  digitalized workplaces; information overload; job quality; occupations; telework; work autonomy


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© Teresa Sophie Friedrich, Basha Vicari. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.