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An exploration of the psychological factors affecting remote e‐worker's job effectiveness, well‐being and work‐life balance

Christine A. Grant (Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Department, Coventry University, Coventry, UK)
Louise M. Wallace (Applied Research Centre for Health and Lifestyles Interventions, Coventry University, Coventry, UK)
Peter C. Spurgeon (Institute of Clinical Leadership, Warwick Medical School, The University of Warwick, Warwick, UK)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 9 August 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of remote e‐working on the key research areas of work‐life balance, job effectiveness and well‐being. The study provides a set of generalisable themes drawn from the key research areas, including building trust, management style and the quality of work and non‐working life.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is an exploratory study into the psychological factors affecting remote e‐workers using qualitative thematic analysis of eleven in‐depth interviews with e‐workers, across five organisations and three sectors. All participants worked remotely using technology independent of time and location for several years and considered themselves to be experts.

Findings

The paper provides insights into the diverse factors affecting remote e‐workers and produces ten emerging themes. Differentiating factors between e‐workers included access to technology, ability to work flexibly and individual competencies. Adverse impacts were found on well‐being, due to over‐working and a lack of time for recuperation. Trust and management style were found to be key influences on e‐worker effectiveness.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the exploratory nature of the research and approach the research requires further testing for generalisability. The emerging themes could be used to develop a wide‐scale survey of e‐workers, whereby the themes would be further validated.

Practical implications

Practical working examples are provided by the e‐workers and those who also manage e‐workers based on the ten emerging themes.

Originality/value

This paper identifies a number of generalisable themes that can be used to inform the psychological factors affecting remote e‐worker effectiveness.

Keywords

Citation

Grant, C.A., Wallace, L.M. and Spurgeon, P.C. (2013), "An exploration of the psychological factors affecting remote e‐worker's job effectiveness, well‐being and work‐life balance", Employee Relations, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 527-546. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-08-2012-0059

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited