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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 2 January 2023

Tanja Matikainen, Aino Kianto and Heidi Olander

This study aims to identify knowledge-related tensions in remote work in higher education institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic and increase understanding of how such…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify knowledge-related tensions in remote work in higher education institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic and increase understanding of how such tensions can be managed.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was conducted as an inductive, qualitative study in the field of higher education in Finland. The data were collected using semi-structured interviews of 34 managers in two higher education institutions and analyzed using an inductive and interpretive analysis method.

Findings

The findings demonstrate that the knowledge-related challenges and opportunities during the remote work period of the COVID-19 pandemic in Finnish higher education institutions can be conceptualized as tensions involved in knowledge codification, knowledge silos and creating new knowledge. The study contributes to research by presenting a framework for managing knowledge-related tensions in remote work arrangements to benefit remote and hybrid work in knowledge-intensive organizations.

Practical implications

This paper increases the understanding of the tensions in remote work arrangements; the results can help managers understand the challenges and opportunities of remote knowledge work concerning their organization and thereby assist them in management and decision-making in complex operational environments.

Originality/value

This study adopted the little-used perspective of tensions to examine knowledge management issues. By examining the various affordances that remote work may allow for knowledge-intensive work and higher education institutions, the study contributes to a deepened understanding of knowledge work in remote contexts, the related tensions and their management.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 16 November 2022

Fatima Mahomed, Pius Oba and Michael Sony

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated a shift to remote working for previously office-based employees in South Africa, impacting employee outcomes such as…

Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated a shift to remote working for previously office-based employees in South Africa, impacting employee outcomes such as well-being. The remote work trend is expected to continue even post the pandemic, necessitating for organizational understanding of the factors impacting employee well-being. Using the Job Demands–Resources model as the theoretical framework, this study aims to understand the role of job demands and resources as predictors of employee well-being in the pandemic context.

Design/methodology/approach

A self-administered online survey questionnaire was used to gather quantitative data about remote workers’ (n = 204) perceptions of specifically identified demands, resources and employee well-being. Descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation and moderated hierarchical regression were used to analyse the data.

Findings

This study found that job demands in the form of work–home conflict were associated with reduced employee well-being. Resources, namely, job autonomy, effective communication and social support were associated with increased employee well-being. Job autonomy was positively correlated to remote work frequency, and gender had a significant positive association to work–home conflict. Social support was found to moderate the relationship between work–home conflict and employee well-being. Findings suggest that organizations looking to enhance the well-being of their remote workforce should implement policies and practices that reduce the demands and increase the resources of their employees. The significant association of gender to work–home conflict suggests that greater interventions are required particularly for women. This study advances knowledge on the role of demands and resources as predictors of employee well-being of remote workforces during COVID-19 and beyond.

Originality/value

This paper provides insight on employee well-being during COVID-19 remote work. Further, the findings suggest that organizations looking to enhance the well-being of their remote workforce should implement policies and practices that reduce the demands and increase the resources of their employees. The significant association of gender to work–home conflict suggests that greater interventions are required particularly for women. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study carried out to explore the employee well-being during COVID-19 pandemic and will be beneficial to stakeholders for understanding the factors impacting employee well-being.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

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: 27 October 2022

Joanna Maria Szulc

The aim of this article is to extend current debates on organizational equality, diversity and inclusion to a consideration of neurodivergence in the remote workplace context.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this article is to extend current debates on organizational equality, diversity and inclusion to a consideration of neurodivergence in the remote workplace context.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the ability, motivation, and opportunity (AMO) model and an emerging strength-based approach to neurodiversity, this conceptual paper integrates research on neurodiversity at work and remote working to provide a novel AMO model for a neuro-inclusive remote workplace.

Findings

Through a theoretically informed discussion of barriers to effective remote work from the perspective of neurominorities, the AMO model for the neuro-inclusive remote workplace is offered to assist organizations in creating an inclusive remote work environment where both neurominorities and neurotypicals can equally contribute to organizational success. Specific examples of how certain barriers to effective remote work can be mitigated are outlined and explained.

Practical implications

The conceptual model presented in this paper can assist HR practitioners in developing a comprehensive approach to skill, motivation, and opportunity-enhancing practices that are tailored to the unique needs of neurominorities in a specific context of remote work to generate mutual gains.

Originality/value

The model of interactions between individual and system factors offered enables a better theoretical understanding of the conditions under which high performance of neurodivergent individuals could be achieved with an associated positive impact on their well-being. The paper contributes to recent calls for more equitable and empathetic approaches to investing in employees with different cognitive profiles and does so in the underexplored context of remote work.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 51 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 August 2022

Gang Li, Qiqi Zheng and Mengyao Xia

Due to the fact that most employees have been forced to work remotely during the lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is great concern about how to…

Abstract

Purpose

Due to the fact that most employees have been forced to work remotely during the lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is great concern about how to alleviate increased stress among employees through human resource (HR) practices. Drawing upon the job demands-control (JDC) model and the job demands-resources (JDR) model, this study empirically investigated the direct effect of HR practices on employee stress in enforced remote work and the mediating role of sources of stress (SoS) and sense of control (SoC).

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through an online survey platform called Wenjuanxing from March 15 to 22, 2020 in Hubei, China and from April 22 to 29, 2022 in Shanghai, China. Respondents scanned the QR code on WeChat to enter the platform. A total of 511 valid questionnaires were received with a response rate of 75.4%. After controlling demographic variables, the authors used the mediation modeling and PROCESS tool to test the proposed hypotheses.

Findings

HR practices negatively affect stress in enforced remote work among employees. Both SoS and SoC partially mediate the relationship between HR practices and stress. HR practices can alleviate stress via decreasing SoS and enhancing SoC, respectively. Moreover, employee care and training are found to be two key factors of HR practices to help employees alleviate stress in enforced remote work.

Originality/value

Lockdown as an extreme external condition has brought great challenges in employee work arrangement as well as HR practices. Although the relationship between HR practices and job stress was studied previously, there is a lack of research on the effects of HR practices on stress in enforced remote work due to lockdown. It advances knowledge on HR practices' stress-reducing effect in the context of remote work and provides suggestions for HR practitioners on ways of alleviating employee stress in remote work.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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…

2180

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: 17 January 2022

P. Arunprasad, Chitra Dey, Fedwa Jebli, Arunmozhi Manimuthu and Zakaria El Hathat

Remote work (RW) literature is a megatrend in HRM literature, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of RW as a concept and an organisational practice…

2663

Abstract

Purpose

Remote work (RW) literature is a megatrend in HRM literature, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of RW as a concept and an organisational practice. Given the large number of papers being published on remote work, there is a need for a critical review of the extant literature using bibliometric analysis. This paper examines the literature on remote working to identify the factors crucial for managing a remote workforce. This study uses the complex adaptive systems theory as a foundation to build a framework that organisations can use to manage their remote workforce, focusing on three outcomes: employee engagement, collaboration and organisational agility.

Design/methodology/approach

Bibliometric analysis was conducted on the research published in Scopus journal in the area of remote work, followed by critical literature analysis.

Findings

The bibliometric analysis identified five clusters that reflect five organisational factors which the management can align to achieve the desired outcomes of engagement, collaboration and agility: technology orientation, leadership, HRM practices, external processes and organisational culture. The present findings have important implications for managing the remote workforce.

Originality/value

The five factors were mapped to propose a conceptual model on engaging individual employees, fostering team collaboration and building organisational agility while working remotely. We also propose an application model for using technology to achieve the outcomes of engagement, collaboration and agility in the organisation. Practitioners could use this framework to focus on the factors that can create a conducive environment to improve work efficiency in a remote workforce.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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.

2779

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…

4385

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…

14519

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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