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Does lack of social interaction act as a barrier to effectiveness in work from home? COVID-19 and gender

V. Deepa (Amity Business School, Amity University, Noida, India)
Hasnan Baber (Abu Dhabi School of Management, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Balvinder Shukla (Amity Business School, Amity University, Noida, India)
R. Sujatha (Amity Business School, Amity University, Noida, India)
Danish Khan (Department of Management Studies, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora, India)

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance

ISSN: 2051-6614

Article publication date: 12 September 2022

Issue publication date: 6 March 2023

846

Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed organizations across the world to suddenly adopt work from home at a mass scale to maintain business continuity. This study aims to investigate the influence of lack of social interaction in work from the home arrangement on employee work effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were analysed using the partial least square (PLS) structural equation modelling (SEM) approach, a nonparametric method based on total variance, through SmartPLS software 3.0. The data were collected from 399 participants in India using the snowball sampling technique. The target populations were the people who were working from home due to the pandemic and by asking them to forward the survey link in their network.

Findings

The results suggest that social interaction has a significant positive impact on work effectiveness. However, this impact is not affected by the employee's perceived benefits of maintaining social distancing during the pandemic. The study also found that social interaction is important for both genders and found no significant difference in the relationship between social interaction and work from home effectiveness for male and female employees.

Practical implications

This study will be useful for human resource practitioners and managers as they build strategies to adopt work from home as a regular practice even in non-pandemic situations.

Originality/value

This study is the first to examine the influence of lack of social interaction on the work from home effectiveness during the COVID-19 times. It examines the moderating role of the perceived benefits of maintaining social distancing and gender on the effect of lack of social interaction as a barrier to work from home effectiveness.

Keywords

Citation

Deepa, V., Baber, H., Shukla, B., Sujatha, R. and Khan, D. (2023), "Does lack of social interaction act as a barrier to effectiveness in work from home? COVID-19 and gender", Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 94-111. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOEPP-11-2021-0311

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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