Remote working and employee engagement: a qualitative study of British workers during the pandemic

ADISA, Toyin Ajibade, OGBONNAYA, Chidiebere and ADEKOYA, Olatunji David (2021). Remote working and employee engagement: a qualitative study of British workers during the pandemic. Information Technology & People.

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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.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Information Systems; 0806 Information Systems; 0807 Library and Information Studies
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2022 17:16
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 10:16

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