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How do teleworkers escape burnout? A moderated-mediation model of the job demands and turnover intention

Mohd Tariq Jamal (Department of Commerce, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India)
Imran Anwar (University Centre for Research and Development, Chandigarh University, Mohali, India)
Nawab Ali Khan (Department of Commerce, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India)
Gayas Ahmad (Department of Commerce, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 20 April 2023

Issue publication date: 27 March 2024

853

Abstract

Purpose

Working remotely in a COVID-19-induced lockdown has been challenging for both organisations and their employees; studies report that job demands changed, and teleworkers experienced increased burnout. This paper explores the negative employee outcomes that this work arrangement brings along and offers possible solutions to counter such negative outcomes since they could be detrimental to the much-touted future of work.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a time-lagged longitudinal design and collected two-waved data from 403 quaternary sector employees. The data were analysed using structural equation modelling and model-21 in PROCESS macro for SPSS.

Findings

Findings affirm that employees experienced increased job demands during this crisis. Employees reported an increase in turnover intention because of burnout caused by increased job demands. However, increased task interdependence alone did not have any effect on turnover intention. The perceived organisational task support (POTS) was found to forestall the negative effect of job demands on burnout, and employee resilience (ER) buffered the burnout and turnover intention relationship.

Practical implications

Providing remote work task support and boosting resilience among employees will help in doing away with the negative effects of teleworking. However, managers shall prioritise reducing job demands for teleworkers.

Originality/value

The linkage between work factors and turnover intention is well established. Drawing on the event system theory and using the COVID-19 context, the present study added to the existing knowledge by studying the role of job demands (workload pressure and task interdependence) on turnover intention through the mediation of burnout. The study goes beyond the existing literature by accounting for POTS as a first-level moderator between job demands and burnout relationship, and ER as a second-level moderator between burnout and turnover intention relationship.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all the research participants who took time out of their busy schedules and responded to the survey measure. All errors are authors’ own. This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors, and the authors do not have any conflict of interest.

Citation

Jamal, M.T., Anwar, I., Khan, N.A. and Ahmad, G. (2024), "How do teleworkers escape burnout? A moderated-mediation model of the job demands and turnover intention", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 45 No. 1, pp. 169-199. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-12-2022-0628

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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