Occupational Stress and Health Outcomes Comparison of Faculty Teaching in Online, On-Ground, and Mixed Working Environments

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Abstract

This quantitative cross-sectional comparative study used the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health occupational stress model to determine if stress levels and associated health outcomes vary among university educators based on work environment. Occupational stress has been identified as the most damaging form of stress, leading to lost work hours, low productivity, numerous health issues, and high health care costs. This study used a survey of 1,000 university instructors within the United States comparing undergraduate online educators who work remotely, undergraduate educators who work in an on-ground university, and undergraduate educators in a mixed environment. There was a significant difference in self-reported stress levels across groups, with on-ground educators experiencing more stress than online educators. No significant difference existed in health outcomes across groups.

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