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Employees’ fit to telework and work well-being: (in)voluntariness in telework as a mediating variable?

Silvia Lopes (Faculdade de Psicologia, CicPsi, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal) (Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Centre for Philosophical and Humanistic Studies, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Braga, Portugal)
Paulo C. Dias (Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Centre for Philosophical and Humanistic Studies, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Braga, Portugal)
Ana Sabino (APPsyCI – Applied Psychology Research Center Capabilities and Inclusion, ISPA Instituto Universitário, Lisbon, Portugal) (CAPP – Centro de Administração e Políticas Públicas, ISCSP, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal)
Francisco Cesário (APPsyCI – Applied Psychology Research Center Capabilities and Inclusion, ISPA Instituto Universitário, Lisbon, Portugal) (CAPP – Centro de Administração e Políticas Públicas, ISCSP, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal)
Ricardo Peixoto (Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Centre for Philosophical and Humanistic Studies, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Braga, Portugal)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 31 August 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023

223

Abstract

Purpose

The present study aims to examine the mediating role of (in)voluntariness in teleworking in explaining the relationship between employees’ fit to telework and work well-being (i.e. work engagement and exhaustion).

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional survey design was used in this study. The sample comprised 222 individuals performing telework in Portugal. Statistical analyses employed were descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation, confirmatory factor and structural equation analyses, and mediation analysis using Hayes Process macro.

Findings

The findings confirmed the hypothesis that employees’ fit to telework raises the voluntariness in telework and decreases involuntariness in telework. However, contrary to expectations, no significant relationships were found between voluntariness in telework, work engagement and exhaustion. Yet, involuntariness in telework showed a significant role in decreasing work engagement and increasing workers’ exhaustion. The mediating role of involuntariness in telework was confirmed in explaining the relationship between employees’ fit to telework and exhaustion.

Practical implications

Managers in global firms can draw from the results to understand how employees’ fit to telework directly and/or indirectly contributes to work well-being and develop human resource (HR) management practices aiming to increase employees’ fit to telework.

Originality/value

Although teleworking is already studied, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, no studies have analyzed the same conceptual model employees’ fit to telework, (in)voluntariness in teleworking and work well-being.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was supported the strategical program of the Centre for Philosophical and Humanistic Studies (CEFH), funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (UID/FIL/00683/2021). The authors are grateful to the Centre for Philosophical and Humanistic Studies (CEFH) for supporting the research.

Citation

Lopes, S., Dias, P.C., Sabino, A., Cesário, F. and Peixoto, R. (2023), "Employees’ fit to telework and work well-being: (in)voluntariness in telework as a mediating variable?", Employee Relations, Vol. 45 No. 1, pp. 257-274. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-10-2021-0441

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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