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From anxiety to assurance: concerns and outcomes of telework

Takao Maruyama (Offices of the Vice Chancellor, The University of Bradford, Bradford, UK)
Susanne Tietze (Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 1 June 2012

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to compare pre‐telework anxieties, expectations and motivators reported by 394 teleworkers with their corresponding actual experiences of telework.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on an organizational survey, 394 samples were generated who had been teleworking for less than 12 months at the time of the survey. By using χ2 tests, comparisons were made between pre‐telework expectations and post‐telework outcomes reported by teleworkers with different characteristics such as gender, job type, the presence of dependent children, and working hours spent at home.

Findings

The study found that prior to adopting telework sampled teleworkers tended to underestimate positive and overestimate negative experience of telework. It further demonstrated some statistically significant differences in pre‐telework expectations and post‐telework outcomes reported by different groups of teleworkers. For example, female teleworkers were more likely to report that telework made it easier to cope with caring responsibilities. Sales and marketing teleworkers were more likely to report reduced visibility and career development.

Practical implications

Implementing and maintaining successful telework schemes requires managers to take heed of the emotional aspects that accompany the use of such flexible work arrangements. Furthermore, career implications and the development of appropriate support structures for teleworkers need to be taken into account.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper lies in the comparative approach between pre‐telework expectations and post‐telework outcomes. It compares different social and occupational groups.

Keywords

Citation

Maruyama, T. and Tietze, S. (2012), "From anxiety to assurance: concerns and outcomes of telework", Personnel Review, Vol. 41 No. 4, pp. 450-469. https://doi.org/10.1108/00483481211229375

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited