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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2020

Walter Matli

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected most organisations' workplaces and productivity. Organisations have had to make provision for staff to operate remotely following the…

Abstract

Purpose

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected most organisations' workplaces and productivity. Organisations have had to make provision for staff to operate remotely following the implementation of lockdown regulations around the world, because the pandemic has led to restrictions on movement and the temporary closure of workplace premises. The purpose of this paper is to provide insights from remote workers' experiences in South Africa about immediate conversion from the normal workplace environment to working remotely from home. The structuration theory was adopted to understand the social structural challenges experienced by staff working from home.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected using a Web-based survey, administered when the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in movement restrictions, using the judgemental sampling technique.

Findings

The results are presented using both external and internal features that are linked to the social structures experienced by remote workers who participated in the survey. The key findings indicate that despite the positive aspects of remote working using advances in technology, there are also negative aspects and risks attached to remote working such as work overload and pressures to perform timeously. This can pose severe threats to workers' routines and lifestyle, and the lack of interaction can impinge on their health and general well-being.

Research limitations/implications

The online survey was carried out with first-time remote workers who were the target for the study. Some respondents may have had an affinity for remote working because of the novelty. The sample size may not be generalised, as the collected sample is moderately small, although the purpose of the paper was to report on a small sample size, given the rapidity of the study.

Practical implications

The paper seeks to highlight social structures that exist in South Africa, which accentuate the resource divide for remote workers. Also, the paper aims to encourage organisations (employers) to better understand challenges that workers encountered while working from their homes during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions.

Originality/value

The relevance of this paper is in its contribution to the structuration theory and remote working literature, as well as to the study of these topics in the context of South Africa.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 40 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2013

Christine A. Grant, Louise M. Wallace and Peter C. Spurgeon

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…

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.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 21 September 2020

Laura Louise Cook, Danny Zschomler, Laura Biggart and Sara Carder

Social work teams can provide a secure base for social workers, supporting them to manage the emotional demands of child and family social work (Biggart et al., 2017). As…

Abstract

Purpose

Social work teams can provide a secure base for social workers, supporting them to manage the emotional demands of child and family social work (Biggart et al., 2017). As the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated increased remote working, social workers have needed to maximise their use of virtual networks and navigate new ways of connecting with colleagues. This study aims to examine the extent to which social work teams can function as a secure base in the context of remote working.

Design/methodology/approach

Between 19th March and 13th June, the authors undertook 31 in-depth, qualitative interviews with child and family social workers across 9 local authorities in England. this research captured social workers’ perspectives on remote working and team support throughout lockdown in England.

Findings

In this study, the authors report findings in three key areas: how social workers experienced the sudden shift to increased remote working; how social work teams provided a secure base for remote working; and the challenges for sustaining the team as a secure base when working remotely.

Originality/value

These findings will be of interest to social workers, managers and local authorities as they adapt to the challenges of increased remote working in child and family social work.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2005

Tore Fjellheim, Stephen Milliner and Marlon Dumas

Mobile devices have received much research interest in recent years. Mobility raises new issues such as more dynamic context, limited computing resources, and frequent…

Abstract

Mobile devices have received much research interest in recent years. Mobility raises new issues such as more dynamic context, limited computing resources, and frequent disconnections. A middleware infrastructure for mobile computing must handle all these issues properly. In this project we propose a middleware, called 3DMA, to support mobile computing. We introduce three requirements, distribution, decoupling and decomposition as central issues for mobile middleware. 3DMA uses a space based middleware, which facilitates the implementation of decoupled behavior and support for disconnected operation and context awareness. This is done by defining a set of “workers” which are able to act on the users behalf either: to reduce load on the mobile device, and/or to support disconnected behavior. In order to demonstrate aspects of the middleware architecture we then consider the development of a commonly used mobile application.

Details

International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-7371

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Pi-Shen Seet, Janice Jones, Tim Acker and Michelle Whittle

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the reasons managers of non-Indigenous backgrounds move to, stay in, and leave their positions in Indigenous Art Centres in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the reasons managers of non-Indigenous backgrounds move to, stay in, and leave their positions in Indigenous Art Centres in remote areas of Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative study used structured in-depth interviews of 21 managers of Indigenous Art Centres to explore their reasons for staying in or leaving their positions.

Findings

The study finds that managers are not drawn to remote Art Centres for financial gain, or career advancement. In contrast, a broader range of pull factors beyond the job – in particular, the Indigenous community/environment and personal/family reasons – influence managers to stay or leave the job. However, the reasons for choosing to leave are qualitatively different from reasons given by managers who stay, pulling some managers to stay, whilst pushing other managers to leave. Significantly, shocks, in the form of threatening and frightening situations were also influential in explaining turnover.

Research limitations/implications

This research was limited to Art Centre managers in remote Australia and may lack generalisability in other countries.

Originality/value

The study adds to the few field studies that have investigated issues related to recruitment and retention of managers in the creative arts sector in remote areas. It contributes to the literature by extending push-pull theory to aspects of the entrepreneurial career process, albeit among “accidental entrepreneurs”. In addition, the authors have also incorporated “shocks” as catalysts to understanding career deliberations, and that threatening and frightening situations were especially influential in explaining decisions to stay or go.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 53 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2021

Riccardo Pronzato and Elisabetta Risi

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the measures of social distancing and home confinement have been perceived and experienced in the Italian socio-cultural…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the measures of social distancing and home confinement have been perceived and experienced in the Italian socio-cultural context, how they reshaped everyday life and which are their social implications.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was exploratory and interpretative in nature and a qualitative research design was adopted accordingly. A total of 60 in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted.

Findings

Research findings highlight the fact that the boundaries of everyday practices have been completely reframed during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in Italy. Informants show that scarcity of personal spaces, intertwined with the collapse of the boundaries between private and professional life, and also the lack of physical contact, resulted in a complex management of different social roles and in a stress overload.

Originality/value

There are no prior studies that critically analyse the lived experiences of individuals during the lockdown and the impact of home confinement on their meaning-making processes. This paper sheds light on the reframing of everyday life, thereby enhancing our understanding of a novel issue that is of primary concern for social scientists.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 6 April 2020

COVID-19 and remote work.

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB251819

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1998

Jonathan Franks

The nature of work is changing ‐ to adapt to the global marketplace. Many organisations will concentrate on core activities and outsource other services to those with…

Abstract

The nature of work is changing ‐ to adapt to the global marketplace. Many organisations will concentrate on core activities and outsource other services to those with specialist expertise, capable of taking advantage of economies of scale. Technology also makes possible new forms of working. Remote working is a real possibility for many. The virtual organisation is a network or federation of small companies and individuals, each contributing a key component of the overall set of processes that result in the delivered product or service. Outlines the natures of such changes and raises issues that must be addressed if such change is to be successfully managed.

Details

Work Study, vol. 47 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0043-8022

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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2013

The purpose of this paper is to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

Flexible working arrangements including working from home have become the norm in today's technology‐rich business environment. While the virtual office has many demonstrable advantages, including reducing office space requirements and assisting workers who are parents or carers, this flexibility has its critics who cite disadvantages such as a lack of social interaction between employees and reduced creativity. Solutions include upgrading technology to facilitate online meetings and audio conferencing, and creating hubs where remote workers can work and socialize with fellow virtual office employees from different firms and organizations.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy‐to digest format.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 October 2000

Abstract

Details

Facilities, vol. 18 no. 10/11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

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