To read this content please select one of the options below:

Remote working and employee engagement: a qualitative study of British workers during the pandemic

Toyin Ajibade Adisa (Royal Docks School of Business and Law, University of East London, London, UK)
Chidiebere Ogbonnaya (Department of Management, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK)
Olatunji David Adekoya (Royal Docks School of Business and Law, University of East London, London, UK)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 30 August 2021

Issue publication date: 19 July 2023

11294

Abstract

Purpose

Through the lens of Conservation of Resources (COR) theory, this study explores how remote working inhibits employee engagement. The authors offer a fresh perspective on the most salient work- and nonwork-related risk factors that make remote working particularly challenging in the context of Covid-19.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use data from semi-structured interviews with 32 employees working from home during the Covid-19 lockdown. Based on the interpretivist philosophical approach, the authors offer new insights into how employees can optimize work- and nonwork-related experiences when working remotely.

Findings

The authors show that the sudden transition from in-person to online modes of working during the pandemic brought about work intensification, online presenteeism, employment insecurity and poor adaptation to new ways of working from home. These stress factors are capable of depleting vital social and personal resources, thereby impacting negatively on employee engagement levels.

Practical implications

Employers, leaders and human resource teams should be more thoughtful about the risks and challenges employees face when working from home. They must ensure employees are properly equipped with the relevant resources and support to perform their jobs more effectively.

Originality/value

While previous research has focused on the benefits of remote working, the current study explores how it might be detrimental for employee engagement during a pandemic. The study provides new evidence on the most salient risks and challenges faced by remote workers, and how the unique Covid-19 context has made them more pronounced.

Keywords

Citation

Adisa, T.A., Ogbonnaya, C. and Adekoya, O.D. (2023), "Remote working and employee engagement: a qualitative study of British workers during the pandemic", Information Technology & People, Vol. 36 No. 5, pp. 1835-1850. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-12-2020-0850

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles