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Article
Publication date: 18 October 2022

Jie Sun, Sangahn Kim and Fang Zhao

As the pandemic begins to ease, many companies are figuring out that working remotely is the future of work and “a new normal”. This research focuses on strategic planning…

Abstract

Purpose

As the pandemic begins to ease, many companies are figuring out that working remotely is the future of work and “a new normal”. This research focuses on strategic planning and practices inherent in remote work, and aims to identify the optimal balance between virtual and on-site working. Specifically, the authors investigate the moderating effects of managerial ability and Hofstede's cultural factors.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors build a mathematical model to locate the optimal balance between virtual and on-site working. A numerical study is presented, and additional sensitivity analysis is conducted to validate the proposed model.

Findings

This model provides organizations with a general guideline with recommended optimal percentages of remote workforce based on specific Hofstede's national scores. The authors also find that organizations with varying levels of managerial ability exhibit different adoption rates of remote working.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the chosen research approach, the proposed model may lack empirical verification and require further adjustment of parameters. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to empirically and statistically test the proposed model further.

Practical implications

This model equips organizations and practitioners with a general guideline to identify their desired portion of remote workforce. The incorporation of managerial ability and cultural factors makes our model applicable to various business structures across different sectors.

Originality/value

This proposed model addresses this optimization problem from a mathematical perspective with an interdisciplinary approach. The model also considers the moderating effects of managerial ability and Hofstede's cultural factors.

Highlights

  1. The main contribution of this study is the theoretical development of our mathematical model that identifies the optimal balance between remote and on-site workforce in the context of managerial ability and Hofstede's cultural factors.

  2. A numerical study is presented, and additional sensitivity analysis is conducted to validate the proposed model and highlight the moderating effect of managerial ability and cultural influence on the adopted percentages of remote working.

  3. Our study suggests that organizational capabilities, managerial skills, and culturally suitable work arrangement are vital in successful development and implementation of remote working policy.

  4. Practical managerial implications and general guidelines are offered to organizations and practitioners.

The main contribution of this study is the theoretical development of our mathematical model that identifies the optimal balance between remote and on-site workforce in the context of managerial ability and Hofstede's cultural factors.

A numerical study is presented, and additional sensitivity analysis is conducted to validate the proposed model and highlight the moderating effect of managerial ability and cultural influence on the adopted percentages of remote working.

Our study suggests that organizational capabilities, managerial skills, and culturally suitable work arrangement are vital in successful development and implementation of remote working policy.

Practical managerial implications and general guidelines are offered to organizations and practitioners.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 May 2022

Olatunji David Adekoya, Toyin Ajibade Adisa and Opeoluwa Aiyenitaju

The urgent and unexpected transition to remote working during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic calls for an increased focus on the contemporary workplace…

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Abstract

Purpose

The urgent and unexpected transition to remote working during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic calls for an increased focus on the contemporary workplace, especially for the post-COVID-19 era. While most studies undertaken during the pandemic have focused on the consequences of remote working, this study, using the UK as the research context, focuses on the factors that may facilitate the effectiveness of remote working in the post-COVID-19 era from the perspectives of employees and employers.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses the interpretivist philosophical perspective to understand the study participants' subjective meanings and experiences. It utilises a qualitative approach, specifically data drawn from the semi-structured interviews of 31 participants.

Findings

The study highlights the factors that may facilitate the effectiveness of remote working in the post-COVID-19 era. Flexible working preferences, smart working practices, self-discipline, and leadership roles and expectations emerge as enablers of remote working among the participants. It is evident from the study’s findings that both employers and employees have expectations about remote working conditions.

Originality/value

Due to the changing work environment, where remote working is becoming more acceptable, this study focuses on a salient topic that examines how remote working may be facilitated effectively in the post-COVID-19 era. Thus, it makes predictions concerning the future of remote working post-COVID-19. It also emphasises that employers and employees have developed clear expectations about facilitating remote working and seek to meet these expectations by implementing various strategies.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 44 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Maria Charalampous, Christine Anne Grant and Carlo Tramontano

This present qualitative study explores the impact of the remote e-working experience on employees’ well-being.

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Abstract

Purpose

This present qualitative study explores the impact of the remote e-working experience on employees’ well-being.

Design/methodology/approach

Forty (23 male) remote e-workers working for a British IT company were interviewed about their work-related well-being. Semi-structured interviews were framed within an existing theoretical of work-related well-being; hence, questions targeted five distinct dimensions of affective, professional, social, cognitive and psychosomatic well-being. However, data collection was not constrained by this model, allowing the exploration of other aspects interviewees considered relevant to their work-related well-being. Interview data were analysed using thematic analysis, where key themes emerged.

Findings

Findings support the relevance of a multidimensional approach to understanding remote e-workers’ well-being as it provides an in-depth understanding of the inter-connectedness between relevant dimensions. Further insight into the overlooked issues of detachment from work and health-related behaviours when e-working remotely is also provided.

Practical implications

This study proposes practical implications related to the organisational, managerial and individual level; providing individuals tailored guidance on how to remote e-work effectively and raising the importance of cultural change to support remote e-workers to be open about their working preferences.

Originality/value

An original contribution to the field of remote e-working is provided, by adopting a holistic approach to explore well-being, disentangling the interconnections between different well-being dimensions and discussing pivotal contributing factors that seemed to be understudied within extant remote e-working literature.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 44 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2021

Jana Prodanova and Ljupco Kocarev

As part of the COVID-19 preventive measures that have entirely impacted individuals' lives worldwide, remote work has been indicated as one of the most challenging aspects…

4178

Abstract

Purpose

As part of the COVID-19 preventive measures that have entirely impacted individuals' lives worldwide, remote work has been indicated as one of the most challenging aspects that have passed through great adaptation in the past months, highlighting the need for its better understanding. Following the fundamental theoretical frameworks of motivation, the authors argue that remote work tasks and the environment highly determine employees' productivity and satisfaction, which in turn influence their intention to continue working from home once the restrictions are relaxed.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from 363 remote work employees were collected, indicating their personal experiences of working from home during COVID-19 quarantine. The analyses were carried out using partial least squares–structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) methodology, employing the SmartPLS3 software.

Findings

The results reveal the possibility for reconciliation and the adequate remote work's flow as motivating, and the interruptions and technology-related anxiety as interfering impacts, in the process of achieving functional home office. However, although employees might be productive, it is not a sufficient condition for them to show an intention to continue working remotely after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, contrary to their satisfaction, which is found crucial for their future intentions.

Originality/value

The theoretical and practical implications of this study suggest several avenues for productive management of the transition to remote work, especially when the need is imposed urgently and an adequate selection of the most indispensable aspects for constructive working from home must be rapidly reached.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 60 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Content available
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…

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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

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…

30824

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.

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2022

Xinying Yu and Yuwen Liu

With the spread of COVID-19, governments have initiated lockdown procedures and forced organizations to switch to remote working. Employees working remotely in isolated…

Abstract

Purpose

With the spread of COVID-19, governments have initiated lockdown procedures and forced organizations to switch to remote working. Employees working remotely in isolated and confined situations are experiencing great stress and uncertainty. This study aims to investigate how remote workers perform during lockdowns.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on social information processing theory, this study developed and tested hypotheses linking professional isolation, cynicism and task performance. This study was comprised of 497 remote workers in the financial industry in China.

Findings

The findings revealed that professional isolation is positively related to cynicism, and cynicism is negatively related to task performance. Cynicism mediates the relationship between professional isolation and task performance. The results indicated that psychological hardiness moderated the mediation effect of professional isolation on task performance through cynicism.

Practical implications

This research offers implications for managers and practitioners on reducing employees' feeling of isolation through effective communication, collaboration and support via online platforms and preventing and reducing cynicism by introducing clear organizational policy and practice to balance job demands and job resources. Meanwhile, managers can develop commitment, control and challenge components of employees' psychological hardiness to enhance job performance.

Originality/value

This study extends the remote working literature in a crisis situation and fills the gap in the cynicism literature by understanding the role played by cynicism for remote workers. The current study also adds to the literature by highlighting the importance of psychological hardiness for remote workers during the pandemic.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 August 2022

Zahirah Mokhtar Azizi, James Cochrane, Niraj Thurairajah and Nurul Sakina Mokhtar Azizi

As remote working becomes increasingly popular, remote working could unlock new ways of working through digitisation. However, the construction sector has been slow to…

Abstract

Purpose

As remote working becomes increasingly popular, remote working could unlock new ways of working through digitisation. However, the construction sector has been slow to adopt digitisation in its processes, making digitisation difficult to assess whether this affordance may be well received and the current capabilities of digitisation to achieve this effectively. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the interest in remote working amongst construction sector personnel and to examine the factors affecting remote working through digitisation affordances.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a case study of one of the largest contractor firms in the United Kingdom, an online questionnaire survey was used to collect responses from 125 construction professionals. Statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) was used to do basic statistical analysis on the results.

Findings

The findings show that there is a general appetite for remote working on a flexible basis where a mix of “on-site” and “off-site” arrangement was deemed practical. This could potentially unlock significant time and cost savings as well as productivity gains. The main factors affecting remote working were the availability of interconnected systems allowing efficient communication and digital infrastructure that enable automated processes.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to a large contractor company and may not be appropriate for small and medium-sized companies. The findings may benefit organisations to evaluate the practical needs of ensuring effective remote working in the construction industry and unlocking efficiencies.

Originality/value

The paper adds value to understanding the affordances and constraints of digitisation for remote working from the perspective of construction professionals.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 June 2022

Irhamni Ali, Lingzi Hong and Jiangping Chen

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to prevent the spread of disease, the National Library of Indonesia Cataloging Department adopted remote working. There is a need to…

Abstract

Purpose

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to prevent the spread of disease, the National Library of Indonesia Cataloging Department adopted remote working. There is a need to examine the productivity of remote cataloging as this form of cataloging becomes more prevalent.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted using a mixed methods approach. The authors analyzed data to assess cataloging librarians' productivity based on system logs. Then, the authors interviewed librarians to understand librarians' perspectives concerning productivity and remote cataloging, and also to seek insights into factors that may affect productivity while working remotely.

Findings

The analysis found higher productivity in terms of quantity of cataloging. Librarians' productivity during remote cataloging is not statistically related to individual factors of age, years of experience, or gender. The in-depth interviews found that other factors may hinder the quality and quantity of the remote cataloging, including the working environment, infrastructure, and lack of policies on remote working.

Research limitations/implications

The findings were based on a study conducted in the National Library of Indonesia, which may not apply to libraries with different infrastructures or existing policies in remote cataloging. However, the authors identified numerous factors that could be related to remote cataloging productivity. More work needs to be done to identify these factors that impact productivity by conducting further surveys.

Practical implications

The research provides evidence showing the productivity of cataloging can be higher in remote working mode. The study provides insights for library managers to decide whether to implement remote cataloging and what additional perspectives could be considered for the better implementation of remote cataloging.

Originality/value

The gap in the literature about remote cataloging and productivity has been bridged.

Details

Library Management, vol. 43 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 August 2022

Francisco Javier Alvarez-Torres and Giovanni Schiuma

A new type of digital-based worker emerged during the COVID-19. As a result, during the adjustment to this scenario, family, resources and emotions were impacted…

Abstract

Purpose

A new type of digital-based worker emerged during the COVID-19. As a result, during the adjustment to this scenario, family, resources and emotions were impacted. Technological and emotional skills were crucial to give continuity and certainty to business. However, despite benefits, remote working has negative consequences, especially in well-being perception. This study proposes a model to measure the impact on the well-being perception of workers that adapted their job to remote positions during a pandemic and offers a valuable framework to understand future emerging changes in remote working and the relationship with well-being perception, especially during crisis scenarios.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used an online questionnaire and a structural equation methodology by partial least squares (PLS) using SmartPLS 3.3.3. Data were obtained from 567 respondents workers who adapted to their jobs during the pandemic in Mexico.

Findings

The results showed that six model dimensions: human relations (RH), emotions (E), well-being behaviors related to Covid-19 (CB), family economics (EF), routines and habits (RS) and family life (VF) were positive and significant to reflect the Index of Perception of Well-being (iWB) using a structural equation model. This indicates how the lockdown process changed people's perception of well-being and concerns. According with this, for remote working employees, two dimensions were relevant: RH and EF. This finding is relevant because during emergency lockdown, these workers needed to adapt their activities and were separated from all human interactions.

Practical implications

The researchers’ model of Index of Perception of Well-being (iWB) has conceptual and practical implications. From a conceptual point of view, it offers a methodology to measure the relationships between remote working and employees' well-being perception. While for practice, it offers managerial implications to better manage remote working adaptation without compromising people's well-being to create future innovation management environments (IME) for organizations.

Originality/value

This study contributes to develop research about changes in workers' well-being perception during digital adaptation.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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