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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.

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. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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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…

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. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
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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4590

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

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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…

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23780

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.

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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2018

Christine Anne Grant, Louise M. Wallace, Peter C. Spurgeon, Carlo Tramontano and Maria Charalampous

The purpose of this paper is to develop and provide initial validation for the new E-Work Life (EWL) Scale. This measure assesses a range of theoretically relevant aspects…

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3236

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and provide initial validation for the new E-Work Life (EWL) Scale. This measure assesses a range of theoretically relevant aspects of the e-working experience related to four main areas: job effectiveness, relationship with the organisation, well-being and work-life balance.

Design/methodology/approach

This study presents structured item development. Internal validity and reliability were tested on a sample of 260 e-workers (65 per cent female, age range 25–74). Correlations of the EWL scale with a measure of general health were tested on a subsample of 119 workers to provide initial evidence of construct validity.

Findings

Exploratory factor analysis supported a 17-item scale assessing four factors: work-life interference, productivity, organisational trust and flexibility. Individual well-being was measured and a pattern of significant correlations against four factors as indicators of general health were found, including mental health and vitality.

Research limitations/implications

A new sample would confirm the strength of the EWL scale alongside further tests of validity. Coping strategies related to the scale would aid mapping of individual competencies for remote e-working to promote e-workers’ self-management, management style and organisational policy.

Practical implications

The EWL scale helps organisations to evaluate and support the well-being of remote e-workers. It provides measurement on three levels: individual, supervisory and organisational, whereby practical strategies for improvement can be linked to the scale.

Originality/value

The EWL scale completes a gap in the research by providing a measure aiding organisations to evaluate and support remote e-worker well-being.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2021

Toyin Ajibade Adisa, Chidiebere Ogbonnaya and Olatunji David Adekoya

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…

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.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2020

Laxmiprada Pattnaik and Lalatendu Kesari Jena

The purpose of this paper is to explore the inter-linkages of mindfulness, remote engagement and employee morale as a solution to new normal, during the turbulent times of…

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3699

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the inter-linkages of mindfulness, remote engagement and employee morale as a solution to new normal, during the turbulent times of the pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

Remote engagement is the biggest challenge that is faced by many organisations with their employees working remotely. This paper examines the relevance of mindfulness amidst all distractions that obstruct the employees to stay focussed in their work assignments while performing remotely. Therefore, a thorough literature survey has been made to analyse the conceptual relationship among mindfulness, remote engagement and employee morale. Based on the conceptual analysis, a set of possible frameworks linking the three constructs has been stated for future research.

Findings

This conceptual paper has come up with few possible frameworks to model the assertions by investigating and corroborating it with quantitative or qualitative studies by the future researchers.

Research limitations/implications

This paper has tried to advocate the linkage of the three constructs, which is the need of the hour for setting the organisation to the new normal way of work.

Practical implications

The current paper suggests that the organisations can deal with the toughest challenge of engaging people remotely by practising mindfulness technique, and thereby, it would result in high morale leading to improved performance. This approach paves the way for leading a “new normal” even post-pandemic.

Originality/value

Due to the prevalence of the unforeseen situation of pandemic, organisations have no other way but to resort to remote work. Through the practice of mindfulness, the engagement of employees can be adhered to an extent, which results in enhanced employee morale, which can help the organisation to achieve its business objectives amidst this turbulent time and gradually resorts to function in the new normal.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

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…

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2485

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

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Book part
Publication date: 24 November 2015

Daniel Hickey and Neely Tang

This chapter explores what academic librarians and their supervisors must consider when looking to a remote or telework arrangement as a staffing solution. The popular and…

Abstract

This chapter explores what academic librarians and their supervisors must consider when looking to a remote or telework arrangement as a staffing solution. The popular and scholarly literature on remote work is surveyed and contextualized for information professionals. Research is clear that with proper planning, remote work arrangements can succeed, benefitting organizations and individuals. Even so, liaison librarians are unlikely to have central support for remote work arrangements due to communication and cultural hurdles unique to the profession. While these have been mitigated by technology to varying degrees in other sectors and industries, adoption in libraries has been slow. When librarians do pursue remote work, they are often unsure how to gauge fit, negotiate an arrangement, overcome technical obstacles and cultural misconceptions, and balance work and life. Authors Hickey and Tang: (1) summarize and apply research on remote work for library science professionals; (2) propose a theoretical framework for understanding the future of remote work for practitioner librarians in higher education; (3) present a case study of a successful remote work arrangement at Cornell University; (4) provide thought-provoking coaching questions for librarians and supervisors considering remote arrangements; (5) and identify next-steps for advancing the discussion and study of remote work in libraries. The practical implication of this information, aimed at service providers and managers, is to help them create a better workplace where flexible remote work arrangements are an opportunity for both the individual and organization that facilitate the achievement of personal, library unit, and institutional goals.

Details

Library Staffing for the Future
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-499-7

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Book part
Publication date: 28 June 2016

Luisa Errichiello and Tommasina Pianese

To provide a conceptual framework for understanding the role of organizational control in the context of remote work arrangements.

Abstract

Purpose

To provide a conceptual framework for understanding the role of organizational control in the context of remote work arrangements.

Methodology/approach

The framework has been developed drawing on two distinct research streams. Existing frameworks on remote work arrangements enabled to identify relevant dimensions to include in our framework, namely drivers of adoption and outcomes of implementation. They also evidenced the importance of opening up the remote work implementation process addressing crucial management issues, notably organizational control. On the basis of extant organizational research we deconstructed the complexity of organizational control in its constituent elements and identified mechanisms of control enactment over time.

Findings

The framework links the dynamics of change in organizational control initiated by the adoption of remote work arrangements with its antecedents (drivers of adoption and characteristics of the remote work model) and implementation outcomes at individual, group and organizational level. It opens the implementation stage focusing on the dynamics of organizational control and clarifies its role when the organization decides to adopt remote working.

Originality/value

The framework assumes that organizational control is not a static entity but a process of mutual constitution between structures of controls and actions enacted over time by both managers and employees (remote workers and on-site colleagues). It shows the value of a process perspective that emphasizes time mechanisms underlying changes in organizational control of remote work. Moreover, it constitutes a valuable reference guide to interpret in an integrated way existing research on the issue and identify inconsistencies in empirical findings, relevant gaps and opportunities for future research.

Details

Performance Measurement and Management Control: Contemporary Issues
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-915-2

Keywords

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