Covid-19, Lockdown and Telecommuting: A Qualitative Study of the Psychological Impact and Adaptation in Two Emergency States


  • Mónica Pires Centro de Investigação em Psicologia - Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, Portugal
  • Carlos Fonseca Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, Portugal
  • Raquel João Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, Portugal
  • Maria Santos Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, Portugal



Covid-19, Telecommuting, Psychological Adaptation, Coping, Emotional Regulation


Introduction Since the first reported case of Sars-Cov-2, studies show the negative impact on mental health, with high levels of fear, anxiety and depressive symptoms. In Portugal, the percentage of mental morbidity is high. Having low income, being young and female increases the risk of psychosocial vulnerability. Few studies address the subjective experience and adaptation processes in different pandemic stages; Objectives To access the psychological impact of COVID-19 lockdown and adaptation process in Phases I and III of the pandemic (April/2020-January/2021) by conducting online semi-structured interviews; Methods Interviews of ten Portuguese teleworkers were recorded, transcribed and analyzed using the IPA methodology and Lexical Analysis with Alceste®, allowing to compare findings attesting the validity of the consensual themes; Results The classes of lexical analysis corroborate the IPA’s emerging themes. In telecommuting, participants experience work, family and social impact, negative feelings, and difficulties in work-life balance, adopting, efficient coping strategies since the beginning of the pandemic. In the second lockdown, participants show less anxiety, but more stress, frustration, adapting self-regulation strategies over time; Conclusions By identifying the difficulties and negative impact of the lockdown, participants intuitively coped by adopting different adaptive cognitive, behavioral and emotional self-regulation strategies over time for their mental health and well-being. We present a model for the evolution of psychological impact and adaptation processes in two lockdowns, which may help to design more humanistic measures and outreach psychological prevention/intervention programs.


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How to Cite

Mónica Pires, Carlos Fonseca, Raquel João, & Maria Santos. (2021). Covid-19, Lockdown and Telecommuting: A Qualitative Study of the Psychological Impact and Adaptation in Two Emergency States. New Trends in Qualitative Research, 8, 26–34.