BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 crisis has radically changed the way people live and work . While most studies have focused on prevailing negative consequences, potential positive shifts in everyday life have received less attention . Thus, we examined the actual and perceived overall impact of the COVID-19 crisis on work and private life, and the consequences for mental well-being (MWB), and self-rated health (SRH) in German and Swiss employees .
METHODS: Cross-sectional data were collected via an online questionnaire from 2118 German and Swiss employees recruited through an online panel service (18-65 years, working at least 20 h/week, various occupations). The sample provides a good representation of the working population in both countries . Using logistic regression, we analyzed how sociodemographic factors and self-reported changes in work and private life routines were associated with participants' perceived overall impact of the COVID-19 crisis on work and private life . Moreover, we explored how the perceived impact and self-reported changes were associated with MWB and SRH .
RESULTS: About 30% of employees reported that their work and private life had worsened, whereas about 10% reported improvements in work and 13% in private life . Mandatory short-time work was strongly associated with perceived negative impact on work life, while work from home, particularly if experienced for the first time, was strongly associated with a perceived positive impact on work life . Concerning private life, younger age, living alone, reduction in leisure time, and changes in quantity of caring duties were strongly associated with perceived negative impact . In contrast, living with a partner or family, short-time work, and increases in leisure time and caring duties were associated with perceived positive impact on private life . Perceived negative impact of the crisis on work and private life and mandatory short-time work were associated with lower MWB and SRH . Moreover, perceived positive impact on private life and an increase in leisure time were associated with higher MWB .
CONCLUSION: The results of this study show the differential impact of the COVID-19 crisis on people's work and private life as well as the consequences for MWB and SRH . This may inform target groups and situation-specific interventions to ameliorate the crisis.