Hierarchical Analysis of Forms of Support for Employees in the Field of Health Protection and Quality of Work during the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Desired Post-Pandemic Forms of Support

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Nov 23;19(23):15509. doi: 10.3390/ijerph192315509.


Issues of employee support during the COVID-19 pandemic and the post-pandemic period are of an interdisciplinary nature. Moreover, these should be considered from both an epistemological and a practical perspective. The aim of this study was to determine what forms of support for employees in terms of health and quality of work were provided by employers during the pandemic and what forms of support will be expected by employees after it ceases. The research process was carried out in two stages: primary and secondary exploration and quantitative clarification. In the first stage, a systematic review of the literature and a critical analysis of the so-called grey literature was performed. In the second stage, computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) methodology was used. Ward's method was used for data analysis. The results showed that the COVID-19 pandemic forced employers to search for new solutions to enable the continuation of their business activities, which consisted of switching from the traditional form of work to a remote form. The transition to the remote work mode changed the approach to the forms of work support provided for employees, with particular emphasis on the health of employees and the quality of work. The changes in the forms of support for employees in terms of health and quality of work were either bottom-up or top-down. Employers tried to provide access to remote infrastructure as much as possible, but the consequences of remote work in terms of the physical and mental health of employees were rarely noticed or considered. After the pandemic, online health support and access to the appropriate equipment and tools for remote work are unlikely to be needed.

Keywords: COVID-19; Ward’s method; clustering method; employee; health; hierarchical method; post-pandemic; quality of work.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Pandemics* / prevention & control
  • Teleworking

Grants and funding

N.M.-D.: The research is financed within the framework of the program of the Minister of Science and Higher Education under the name “Regional Excellence Initiative” in the years of 2019–2022 under project number 001/RID/2018/19; the amount of financing received was PLN 10,684,000.00.