The impact of work characteristics on social distancing: Implications at the time of covid-19

Keisuke Kokubun, Yoshinori Yamakawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to spread globally. While social distancing has attracted attention as a measure to prevent the spread of infection, some occupations find it difficult to implement. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the relationship between work characteristics and social distancing using data available on O*NET, an occupational information site. A total of eight factors were extracted by performing an exploratory factor analysis: work conditions, supervisory work, information processing, response to aggression, specialization, autonomy, interaction outside the organization, and interdependence. A multiple regression analysis showed that interdependence, response to aggression, and interaction outside the organization, which are cate-gorized as ”social characteristics,” and information processing and specialization, which are cate-gorized as “knowledge characteristics,” were associated with physical proximity. Furthermore, we added customer, which represents contact with the customer, and remote working, which represents a small amount of outdoor activity, to our multiple regression model, and confirmed that they increased the explanatory power of the model. This suggests that those who work under interde-pendence, face aggression, and engage in outside activities, and/or have frequent contact with cus-tomers, little interaction outside the organization, and little information processing will have the most difficulty in maintaining social distancing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5074
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May 2


  • Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
  • Explanatory factor analysis
  • O*NET
  • Physical proximity
  • Social distancing
  • Work characteristics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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