Health Risks Related to COVID‐19, Psychological Distress and Perceived Productivity. By: Park, Sarah and Koch, Michael. 2024. British Journal of Management. Vol. 35 Issue 2, p1040-1058.

The COVID‐19 pandemic has affected the lives of billions around the globe. Yet, our understanding of its impact on psychological distress and work productivity remains limited. Using data from two waves of the Understanding Society COVID‐19 study, a representative British survey of reactions to the COVID‐19 pandemic, comprising 5829 individuals, we find that perceived health risks related to COVID‐19 affect the productivity of working individuals negatively via increased psychological distress. Results also
show that the extent of homeworking amplifies the negative relationship between psychological distress and productivity. Additionally, we find that the negative relationship between psychological distress and productivity is stronger for self‐employed individuals compared to those who are in paid employment. Psychological distress, self‐employment status and gender jointly
interact in reducing productivity, such that self‐employed women experience the strongest decline in productivity. We discuss the implications of our findings in light of supporting individuals to reduce psychological distress and maintain their productivity following the COVID‐19 pandemic.