Article

Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment

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Abstract

A rising share of employees now regularly engage in working from home (WFH), but there are concerns this can lead to “shirking from home.” We report the results of a WFH experiment at Ctrip, a 16,000-employee, NASDAQ-listed Chinese travel agency. Call center employees who volunteered to WFH were randomly assigned either to work from home or in the office for nine months. Home working led to a 13% performance increase, of which 9% was from working more minutes per shift (fewer breaks and sick days) and 4% from more calls per minute (attributed to a quieter and more convenient working environment). Home workers also reported improved work satisfaction, and their attrition rate halved, but their promotion rate conditional on performance fell. Due to the success of the experiment, Ctrip rolled out the option to WFH to the whole firm and allowed the experimental employees to reselect between the home and office. Interestingly, over half of them switched, which led to the gains from WFH almost doubling to 22%. This highlights the benefits of learning and selection effects when adopting modern management practices like WFH. JEL Codes: D24, L23, L84, M11, M54, O31.

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... In addition, this shift to virtual meetings happened in a WFH context that was far from ideal for many employees (Fosslien and West, 2020). Indeed, while WFH generally is expected to have a positive impact on productivity, work-life balance and employee wellbeing (Allen et al., 2015b;Bloom et al., 2015;Felstead and Henseke, 2017), the pandemic induced a social, health and economic crisis across the world. As to the social and health crisis, for parents with kids at school, WFH was also combined with home-schooling their "kids-at-home", as schools were closed at several times in many countries when lockdown measures were in effect (Anderson and Kelliher, 2020). ...
... However, this cluster does focus on individual characteristics and outcomes, such as productivity, commitment, work-life balance, wellbeing, flexibility, autonomy, surveillance and job satisfaction (Allen et al., 2015b;Gajendran and Harrison, 2007). As to productivity, in a Chinese experiment involving 16,000 employees, Bloom et al. (2015) found that remote work led to increased productivity due to longer working hours and a quieter and more convenient working environment. Remote employees were also more satisfied and less likely to leave the company, however, they were also less likely to be promoted (with equal performance as their peers that remained present in the office) (Bloom et al., 2015). ...
... As to productivity, in a Chinese experiment involving 16,000 employees, Bloom et al. (2015) found that remote work led to increased productivity due to longer working hours and a quieter and more convenient working environment. Remote employees were also more satisfied and less likely to leave the company, however, they were also less likely to be promoted (with equal performance as their peers that remained present in the office) (Bloom et al., 2015). ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between virtual meeting participation and wellbeing. Based on the conservation of resources theory, we hypothesize that participation in more virtual meetings is associated with both negative and positive wellbeing indicators. Design/methodology/approach An online survey was sent to 3,530 employees across five Belgian universities in April 2020. Useful data from 814 respondents was collected and analyzed to test the hypothesized relationships. Findings The authors find support for their hypotheses, namely that participating in more virtual meetings is associated not only with negative wellbeing indicators (workload, stress and fatigue) but also with a positive wellbeing indicator, namely work influence. Research limitations/implications Given the unique work-from-home context during the pandemic, the generalizability of our findings may be limited. Nevertheless, this study contributes to the literature on Meeting Science and Virtual Work, as it is the first study to empirically relate virtual meetings to wellbeing indicators, including a positive one. Practical implications As virtual meetings and work-from-home are expected to remain prevalent, understanding wellbeing implications is of high managerial importance. Their findings can be useful for (HR) managers who develop flexible work policies for a post-pandemic world. Social implications The findings draw attention to the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between productivity and wellbeing in creating a sustainable work(-from-home) context. Originality/value The COVID-19 lockdown provided a unique opportunity to obtain insight on the relationship between virtual meetings and wellbeing at an unprecedented scale.
... The authors conducted a multifactorial survey during the first lockdown to investigate how well we had adapted to our new, remote working environments. 2 The survey reported that most respondents felt they had E doi: 10.56012/EJBJ4872 adapted positively and yet many were feeling lonely and isolated, with some adopting unhealthy lifestyle habits. 2 With the immediate crisis subsiding, one thing is eminently clear: we are not the same. ...
... In an experi ment undertaken with call-centre workers in 2015, the Ctrip study, sales staff were randomly assigned to either home-or officeworking for 9 months. 10 The study found that per formance increased in the homeworking group (13%). ...
... At the end of the Ctrip study, employees were given the option to con tinue working from home and about half decided to return, citing isolation and loneliness as their reason. 10 Interestingly, the data we collected appears to indicate that people are missing the office. The increase between our two surveys in feelings of loneliness and isolation from 28.1% to 45.6% is of concern. ...
Article
Successive waves of COVID-19 have altered opinions and working practices. We conducted a survey in early 2020 among 759 members of the medical communications community, recruited via our network, seeking their experiences, opinions, and insights. The survey was repeated 13 months later (N=925 respondents) using similar methodology. In both surveys respondents had a generally positive attitude to home working and appreciation for the lack of commute and time saved. In contrast, distractions in the home, inability to "switch off " at the end of the day, and concerns about potential impact on career development and/or connections with colleagues were highlighted. Notable findings include working longer hours as the pandemic progressed and an increase in feelings of isolation and loneliness in comparison to before the pandemic. Companies generally appear not to have used the time since the start of the pandemic to formally define home or hybrid working, including consideration of workplace health and safety requirements.
... Employees with internal cognitive styles would be well adapted to telework and this match between their cognitive style and the situation would likely be associated with high levels of commitment to telework (Workman et al., 2003). Finally, high levels of teleworker engagement (Brodt & Verburg, 2007;Golden & Raghuram, 2010;de Klerk et al., 2021;Pretti et al., 2020;Workman et al., 2003) and intrinsic motivation to telework (Bloom et al., 2015;Gupta & Pathak, 2018;O'Neill et al., 2009;Venkatesh & Speier, 2000) are also factors for successful telework. ...
... As stated by De Croon et al. (2005), there is a close relationship between the workplace and employee efficiency. An inappropriate workstation has a negative influence on employee efficiency (Bailey & Kurland, 2002), whereas a well-designed workplace can be considered an important productivity resource (Bloom et al., 2015). According to some authors, ergonomics and the immediate environmental working conditions, such as noise and temperature, can influence the success of telework (Bhattacharya & Mittal, 2020;Nakrošienė et al., 2019). ...
... In addition, the type of work and the skill level of employees often determine whether a position or employee is eligible for telework (Buscaglia, 2020). It is also revealed that employment flexibility is essential for successful telework (Bloom et al., 2015;Raghavan et al., 2008;Wang, Liu, et al., 2020;Wapshott & Mallett, 2012). Finally, effective telework also requires that the arrangements be designed following national labour legislation (Pyoria, 2011) and the safety and security of telework must be guaranteed (Koslowski et al., 2019;Robertson et al., 2012). ...
Article
Advances in information and communications technology have contributed to the spread of telework, which has been underway since the early 2000s. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telework became more than just an alternative to the traditional office: it became a strategic means of survival for many companies. Given its importance, in the last two decades, the scientific community has shown increased interest in the factors that affect successful telework. However, knowledge on this subject remains fragmented and disparate. This study aims to synthesise the literature on successful telework and consolidate its success factors into a framework that provides conceptual and holistic knowledge on the topic. Our findings demonstrate that telework is affected by factors categorised into five groups: technological materials, non-technological materials, teleworkers, teleworker work environment and teleworker family environment. A number of these factors has causal links, while some have become irrelevant and given way to new factors over time. Some have been confirmed to have an overall positive effect on telework. In addition to proposing a theoretical perspective and future research avenues, this study presents some HRM implications to help managers and policymakers make telework more effective.
... We make the standard fixed-lot size assumption, that is, each worker uses l = 1 unit of land for housing and pays the land R(x) when she resides at x ∈ X. 11 Hence, the city size is given by L s + L ℓ . In line with standard urban economics, we assume absentee landowners. ...
... Using (11) shows that the urban costs of a skilled in city 1 at any location x 1 ∈ (0, (1 − α)L s ) are as follows: ...
... As shown by (11), the urban costs paid by the skilled in city 1 are as follows: ...
Article
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In recent years the land-rent gradient for the city of London has flattened by 17 percentage points. Further, teleworking has increased 24 percentage point for skilled workers, but much less for unskilled workers. To rationalize these stylized facts, we propose a model of the monocentric city with heterogeneous workers and teleworking. Skilled workers, working in final goods production, can telework while unskilled workers, working in either final goods or local services production, cannot. We show that increased teleworking flattens the land-rent gradient, and eventually skilled workers move from the city center to the city’s periphery, fundamentally changing the city structure. The increased teleworking has implications for unskilled workers who move from the local services sector into final goods, leading to greater wage inequality between skilled and unskilled workers. The model is extended to two cities which differ in productivity. Teleworking allows skilled workers of the more productive city to reside in the less productive city where housing is cheaper. This increases housing prices in the less productive city, relative to the more productive city, and has implications for unskilled workers in both cities. We provide empirical evidence from housing prices in England which is consistent with this result.
... Telecommuting, as with working from home, provides flexibility (Bloom et al., 2015;Dockery & Bawa, 2014) and autonomy (Gajendran et al., 2015). Moreover, telecommuting can lead to an increase in job performance (Golden & Gajendran, 2019) and work satisfaction (Bloom et al., 2015). ...
... Telecommuting, as with working from home, provides flexibility (Bloom et al., 2015;Dockery & Bawa, 2014) and autonomy (Gajendran et al., 2015). Moreover, telecommuting can lead to an increase in job performance (Golden & Gajendran, 2019) and work satisfaction (Bloom et al., 2015). Despite the significant benefits of this form of work, we should also be aware of certain risks. ...
... Going further, it is also possible to optimize the work environment and, in the case of telecommuting, redesigning a home by turning it into a "smart home" (Bloom et al., 2015;Chan et al., 2008;Mustajab et al., 2020;Stefanov et al., 2004). The basis of such actions should be the reduction of distractors that make it more difficult to perform daily work tasks. ...
Chapter
Human Resources jobs are becoming more and more challenging as the work dynamics are changing during the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The processes of organisations have improved, and machines have become more complicated, but the basic principles of organisational processes remain the same (Wang et al., Appl Psychol 70(1):16–59, 2021). In contrast, Human Resources is about dealing with people who are constantly changing in terms of behaviour, habits, thinking, or according to their circumstances, albeit personal or professional (Hembrom, HR Future:32–33, 2020). This makes organisational processes more difficult because, while managing and understanding people, their state of mind is more important when communicating with them (Bui, The roles of leaders in virtual working environment, 2020). Talking to people in person, Human Resources managers can view body language, facial expressions of the employee, among others, which is helpful during communication. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic where the workforce is mostly working virtually from home the situation is a bit more complicated. The turn of events in the 4IR during the COVID-19 pandemic has not been very encouraging for organisations and business being slow and layoffs across the world have brought new Human Resources challenges (Richter, Int J Inf Manage 55:102–107, 2020; Rosario, HR Future 2020(10):34–35, 2020). It could be contemplated that it is easier to communicate without paying attention to emotions. However, the impact it has on the employees and their families is immense. Human Resources, known for its empathetic attitude, understanding nature, for offering solace and support to the employees, is now no more than a robot, delivering messages without any feelings by Zoom or WhatsApp, based on a decision taken by the organisation. The aim of this chapter is to conceptualise a new dimension of Human Resources, where a change in strategy is required to manage virtual work in the ‘new normal’. Organisations may never return to the old ways of working. There might be a mix of both office and virtual work. For organisations that prefer to return to the ‘old normal’ and do not allow for more flexible and virtual working practices, there is a very real risk that top talent will go elsewhere (Hubbard, Finweek, p 10. www.fin24.com/finweek, 2020; Waizenegger et al., Eur J Inf Syst 29(4):429–442, 2020).KeywordsFourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)New normalVirtual workRemote workDigital workWorking from homeHuman resources managementCOVID-19
... These data indicate that due to the outbreak of the pandemic, there should have been a large number of commuters lost during the morning peak, and this was indeed the case. In addition to commuting loss, the changes in the composition of morning peak commuting emerge, because different industries have different shares of workers that can work from home (denoted as WFHc for short) (Dingel and Neiman 2020;Cetrulo et al. 2020;Bloom et al. 2015), and capital-intensive industries such as information, management, education, finance, insurance, science and technical services account for a higher share of WFHc jobs than labor-intensive industries (Dingel and Neiman 2020). We expect this further changes the triangular shape that existed in the traffic flow diurnal curve pre-COVID. ...
... Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, each industry category has a part of workers who can work from home (WFH), and the corresponding capacity (referred to as WFHc) also has a weight (Dingel and Neiman 2020;Cetrulo et al. 2020;Bloom et al. 2015). For example, capital-intensive industries such as information, science, education, finance, business Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. ...
Article
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This paper analyzes the emergence of two well-defined peaks during the morning peak period in the traffic flow diurnal curve. It selects six California cities as research targets, and uses California employment and household travel survey data to explain how and why this phenomenon has risen during the pandemic. The final result explains that the double-humped phenomenon results from the change in the composition of commuters during the morning peak period after the outbreak.
... Among these, WFH is becoming an increasingly common practice [2]. Rapid developments in the Information and Communication Technology sector have been the primary driver of this model, becoming increasingly popular among employers and employees [3]. ...
... For obvious reasons, some job roles cannot be performed at home. But WFH now spans a broad spectrum of jobs, and it is most common among professionals and managers [2,4]. Usually, home-based workers are benefited from a reduction of commuting costs and time, healthy lifestyles, and flexible work routines. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Well before the Covid-19 pandemic, Work from Home (WFH) had become an increasingly common practice among employees. With the pandemic outbreak, millions of employees across the globe were forced to shift into full-time WFH in response to continuous lockdowns or health restrictions. It is expected that a considerable number of organisations will continue the WFH practice in a hybrid mode along with Work From Office (WFO) even after the pandemic. This study aims to predict employees' choice on continuing WFH after the pandemic. The data set was collected using an online questionnaire shared among a sample of employees engaged in WFH during the pandemic. Naïve Bayes, Artificial Neural Network (ANN), Random Forest, and Ensemble Learning-based approaches were used to generate the prediction models. Ensemble Learning-based approach was the best classifier compared to the other three classifiers, and it obtained a 91.6% accuracy value. Naïve Bayes showed the lowest performance.
... Similarly, randomized control trials show that WFH improves the total factor productivity of Ctrip, the People's Republic of China's largest travel agency, by between 20% and 30% (Bloom et al. 2015). Giving employees some flexibility over time and place of work improves their productivity in a randomized experiment at a large Italian firm (Angelici and Profeta 2020). ...
... A pre-COVID-19 analysis reveals that productivity declines by 12% for workers who selected WFH (Emanuel and Harrington 2020). At the same time, many workers value social interactions at work and opted to return to the office even though they were allowed to WFH (Bloom et al. 2015). Additionally, many factors such as technology, internet connection, data connection, and the specific nature of work have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the WFH model. ...
Preprint
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We examine the adverse impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the performance of more than 12,000 firms in 32 countries along several dimensions; namely, revenue, production, and labor outcomes. We find that the majority of firms experienced permanent or temporary closures, decreased sales and working hours, reduced production capacity, and worker layoffs. However, the impact was heterogeneous across countries and industries. To explain the diverse firm performance, we identify key factors that significantly contribute to firm resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially access to digital infrastructure. After controlling for firm characteristics, macroeconomic conditions, and pandemic prevalence, we found that firms that have access to digital infrastructure performed better than those that do not. The key channel is an enhanced capacity to adopt electronic commerce business models and employ a larger share of the remote workforce, which boosts resilience during the pandemic when social distancing measures are mandated.
... While there's a lot of evidence suggesting that home workers are more productive than they initially thought, Frontiers in Environmental Science frontiersin.org however, they are also more likely to be neglected for promotion Bloom et al. (2015). This is a sign that the need to build social capital with coworkers. ...
... It is a segment of people's personality. According to Bloom et al. (2015), when people lose their job, half of their negative impact is due to the loss of identity and social ties, which often come with a job. Many workers who were laid off due to the pandemic still experienced significant well-being losses compared to those who did not lose jobs. ...
Article
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The pandemic has presented governments with a variety of complex effects. These include the disruption of the entire economy, the development of mass unemployment, and the impact of the pandemic on the public health systems. It is also becoming clear that the timescale of the crisis may significantly change the foundations of society’s daily lives. This study is focused on analyzing the effects of Covid19 on the employment and businesses sectors. It also examined the various policies and actions that governments of selected countries took and can take to sustain the economic recovery. Although the pandemic has already caused unprecedented social and economic crises, it is still not over. The pandemic caused unprecedented health, economic environment, and social crises at the global level, however, several measures to curb the damages are underway, as the development of vaccines, immunization campaigns, job retention schemes, and financial support schemes to offset the worst economic impact of COVID-19. Under the current pandemic situation where new variants are still on the loose and causing trouble in many parts of the world, it is extremely important to maintain highly targeted support, especially towards the sustainable job market. Otherwise, bankruptcies and unemployment can make the economic recovery much harder. Strong economic policies can create and sustain jobs by supporting employers to avoid bankruptcies particularly for emerging and high-performing companies. To avoid experiencing the same issues that young people experienced during the global financial crisis, states should take immediate action to help them avoid falling behind. Concrete measures are required to sustain their connection with the education system and labor market.
... We expect two conflicting views about the effects of COVID-19 on employee productivity: positive and negative. Previous studies demonstrate that remote work enhances employees' productivity because doing so can increase flexibility (e.g., Bloom et al., 2015). Since COVID-19 required employees to work remotely, it can have a positive effect on employee productivity (Wang et al., 2021). ...
... Research finds evidence that organisations that implement robust telework policies and systematic plans for digital adoption will see greater motivation and productivity in their employees (Rosewicz & Maciag, 2020). Bloom et al. (2015) found that when randomly assigned, employees working remotely experienced a 13% increase in performance than those who worked from office. Similarly, use of digital applications for work also have been found to have a positive impact on employee productivity (Hasa, 2020). ...
... A third strand of papers aims at estimating the WFH/productivity relationship. Before the pandemic, both Bloom et al. (2015) and Angelici and Profeta (2020) observe a positive effect of WFH and more generally flexible work arrangement on productivity. These results, however, concern mainly workers who switched to teleworking voluntarily, as well as enterprises with pro-WFH management. ...
... Note that bothBloom et al. (2015) andAngelici and Profeta (2020) measure worker's productivity using output provided by the employer, whereas virtually all "COVID-era" papers rely on self-assessed measure of productivity, as we do in this paper. ...
Preprint
The future of teleworking ultimately depends on its impact on workers’ productivity and wellbeing, yet the effect of remote working on productivity is not well understood. This paper investigates the link between personality traits and workers’ productivity when working from home. We exploit a survey providing measures of the “Big Five” personality traits for more than 1700 recent teleworkers. We document strong links between personality, productivity, and willingness to work from home post-pandemic. Ceteris paribus, Conscientiousness and Openness to Experience are positively associated with a higher productivity from home, especially for females. These results suggest that pro-teleworking employers will observe a positive selection on personality traits into their workforce. On the other hand, the link between Extraversion and preference for teleworking is negative. Our findings suggest that a one-size-fits-all policy is unlikely to maximize neither firms’ productivity nor workers’ satisfaction. Keywords: Personality traits, teleworking, work from home, productivity, COVID. JEL: J24, J32, J81
... clining after the changes to teleworking compared to the normal office space (Morikawa, 2020). Disruptions such as social engagement with co-workers without addressing work, or enjoying forms of entertainment such as watching movies, singing, or playing with children can all lead to decreased job motivation (Osman et. al., 2020). However, study by Bloom et. al (2015) has shown that teleworking may enhance employee productivity, which can rise even more if the decision to telework is taken by the employees themselves, and this is not even tied to the setting of a pandemic. This is because employees must manage both working and personal activities since all family members are at home. Research on the ...
... This day, employee performance is highly related with teleworking during the pandemic covid-19. According to Bloom et al (2015), employees at the largest Chinese travel agency are having a very higher overall performance rather than employees who work from the office because of the more silent environment of work, besides they are to enjoy their rest time when working. Added to this, study made by Susilo (2020) prove that employee's job performance has a positive and significant effect with working from home. ...
... The last row of Table 10 shows that the number of days of school closures in adjacent treatment cities is significantly higher than that in adjacent control cities by 4.58 days until the end of July. 19 Because almost all of the schools started online teaching & learning in mid-February, we assume the outcome of online learning is 50% of the traditional face-to-face method, based on the estimates from Ariana (2016) and Bloom (2015), and a return to the schooling of 5% per year (Adda, 2016;Heckman & Li, 2004). We compute the loss of life cycle earning (37 years) as approximately 2153 yuan per child (net present value with an annual discount rate of 7%). ...
Article
We examine the effectiveness and costs of alternative nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) for COVID-19 containment. Using a border discontinuous difference-in-difference approach, we find that the enforcement of NPIs reduces the number of new COVID-19 cases by 10.8% in China. Among the three NPIs, contact tracing is much more effective than the other two NPIs, namely, public information provision and social distancing. The connections of mayors to the upper-level politicians reinforce the city's implementation of rigid NPIs. These networks also serve as an informal signaling channel to the neighboring cities, encouraging the adjacent cities to impose strict NPIs to curb the spread of COVID-19. We further estimate the long-term costs of the NPIs – a net present value of 2153 yuan per child in the human capital loss attributed to more prolonged school closure alone.
... Technically, WFH is not a new concept. Before the pandemic, remote workers have worked voluntary, autonomously, and productively at home (Jacobs et al., 1995;Deeprose, 1999;Bloom, 2014;Bloom et al., 2015). Research has found that productivity at a high level was achievable under certain conditions (Neufeld and Fang, 2005;Aboelmaged and Subbaugh, 2012;Bosua et al., 2013). ...
Preprint
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After the outbreak of COVID-19, firms appear to monitor Work-From-Home (WFH) workers more than ever out of anxiety that workers may shirk at home or implement moral hazard at home. Using the Survey of Working Arrangements and Attitudes (SWAA; Barrero et al., 2021), the evidence of WFH workers' ex-post moral hazard as well as its specific aspects are examined. The results show that the ex-post moral hazard among the WFH workers is generally found. Interestingly, however, the moral hazard on specific type of productivity, efficiency, is not detected for the workers at firms with WFH-friendly policy for long term. Moreover, the advantages & challenges for the WFH culture report that workers with health or disability issues improve their productivity, whereas certain conditions specific to the WFH environment must be met.
... for employees who worked from home through the Internet. The authors suggest that this can be explained in terms of both quieter and more convenient work from home [27]. However, there are also studies that suggest that family chores lead to decreased productivity [28]; employees have difficulty distinguishing between family and work boundaries, leading to overwork [29]. ...
Article
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We explore the causal effects of Internet use on job satisfaction using a sample of 83,012 Chinese labor force members aged 16–64 years from the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) from 2010 to 2018. We use ordered logistic estimation and find that Internet use significantly increases job satisfaction by 3.2%. Heterogeneity analysis shows that the Internet has a more positive impact on those who are in urban areas and have higher incomes and higher education. Our results are robust after eliminating endogeneity using instrumental variables and solving the self-selection problem using the PSM method. Our mechanistic analysis leads to similar conclusions to mainstream research, where Internet use induces job satisfaction by increasing time efficiency and enhancing job autonomy. Specifically, shorter working hours boosted job satisfaction by approximately 0.3%, while working in informal places boosted job satisfaction by 5.4%. Thus, employers may consider encouraging employees to access the Internet.
... Arbeiten im Homeoffice bringt für Mitarbeitende und Führungspersonen neue Anforderungen mit sich. Schon in der schweizerischen Querschnitt studie "Home Office 2012" stimmten fast 80 % diesem Umstand zu (Gisin, Schulze, Knöpfli & Degenhardt, 2013 (Bloom et al., 2015). Dieser Umstand kann unseres Erachtens ebenso gut mit dem Job-Demands-Resources-Modell unterstrichen werden. ...
Article
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ABSTRACT Working from home has become for many people a daily routine since the Covid pandemic. Therefore, this discussion focuses on leaders whose employees work from home. In addition, the focus is on the challenges and demands in the home office and how this affect health. Based on German-speaking and international studies, the opportunities as well as the risks are highlighted and critically discussed with the help of theoretical models.
... Furthermore, as remote working becomes more widespread, remote employees are likely to experience challenges related to how to remain visible and relevant in their organizations. Research shows that employees working from home are more productive but less likely to get promoted than their in-office coworkers (Bloom et al., 2015). Future research could examine whether robotic proxies could improve this downside of remote work as well as whether a robotic proxy could increase employees' visibility and signal a greater commitment to the organization to ensure equal opportunity with respect to career advancement; when and where being present via a robotic proxy could lead to better work and social interactions with managers and coworkers; and whether being present via a robotic proxy could improve one's chances of being assigned the most desirable tasks and projects. ...
Article
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This Perspective Paper discusses a special case of digitalization, namely social robots. Adding sociophysical and agentic properties to robots is likely to trigger new organizational and work dynamics. Despite high market expectations and increasing interest in robotics-related and broader interdisciplinary outlets, robotic technologies have attracted surprisingly little attention in the leading management outlets, thus leaving a gap in the existing high-impact management literature. This paper tries to fill in some of this void by discussing the commercial relevance of robotics and by identifying three main roles that social robots fulfill in real-life organizations. These roles set the directions for future and rigorous studies. Practical and policy implications identify some concerns relevant for decision-makers who seek to shape and steer robotics development and implementation.
... Some papers approach the issue more informally, discussing differences in means for a subset of covariates between the two datasets (Attanasio et al., 2011;Bloom et al., 2014;Muralidharan et al., 2019). It is typically difficult, however, to use this information on its own, as one would also need to know how the treatment effect differs along those dimensions. ...
... On the other hand, there are also some conflicting views on productivity. One of the first experimental studies on remote work by Bloom et al. (2015) recorded productivity increases due to work recoveries caused by the time lost in commuting. However, this was far from reality within the pandemic context. ...
Article
In response to the increasing prevalence of remote work during and after the pandemic, industrial–organizational psychologists postulated a diverse set of recommendations on key actions based on what we already know about remote work complexities that are well captured in the literature. However, as most recent recommendations were made under light of past studies, which elaborated remote work as a voluntary perk rather than a reactive response under the crisis situation, most of the actual challenges that people experienced while working from home remained untouched. Therefore, with this piece, our aim is to present counterarguments to already published recommendations entailing the core difficulties linked to the forced nature of remote work during the pandemic. We believe that the unique pandemic conditions pose particular complexities that go beyond previously identified ones. Thus, there is a need to underline these unidentified obstacles to better equip leaders and employees working remotely during and after the pandemic conditions. We conclude our article by recommending leaders to evaluate the contextual differences in their organizational settings and take appropriate actions by taking a critical lens in evaluating the latest research.
... COVID-19-related remote working conditions, indeed, required a peculiar form of adaptation and adjustment for several reasons [48]. Firstly, remote working before the pandemic represented an alternative to office work offered to employees to promote a higher work-life integration [100]. During the pandemic, instead, it became a full-time mandatory practice, thus losing the voluntary nature that characterized it [48]. ...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations across all sectors and sizes to undertake crucial changes in order to remain productive during the emergency. Among these, the shift towards remote working arrangements is still present in our workplaces, impacting employees' well-being and productivity. This systematic review aims to describe the pandemic's consequences on work organization by analyzing whether and how the shift towards remote or home-working impacted employees' productivity, performance, and well-being. Furthermore, it describes the role of individual and organizational factors in determining employees' adjustment to remote work. Sixty-seven peer-reviewed papers published from 2020 to 2022, written in English, were selected through the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Findings describe how remote working arrangements, the workplace and organizational factors, and the employees' individual traits and skills impacted employees' productivity and well-being. Furthermore, they provide a description of the organizational enforcement actions reported in the literature. Managerial and practical implications, such as enforcement actions, team management strategies, and initiatives to promote employees' physical and mental health, will be discussed in the paper.
... Though we conducted our study during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we were mainly interested in the impact of WFH on contexts and locations of sports participation that were significantly affected by the COVID-19 restrictions, our results may nonetheless be relevant after the pandemic. Several studies pre-dating COVID-19 also suggest that the flexibility and autonomy that come with WFH bring more opportunities to participate in sports [7,[20][21][22][23]. Consequently, there seems to be an argument for organizations to encourage workers to work from home under the right conditions, even after the COVID-19 pandemic. ...
Article
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Previous research has focused mainly on the association between working from home (WFH) and physical activity, establishing that physical activity diminished among people WFH during the COVID-19 pandemic. In our study, we investigated the association between WFH and specifically sports participation (competitive and non-competitive). We theorized that WFH would offer individuals additional opportunities to practice sports during the pandemic. Governmental restrictions at the time constrained opportunities to participate in organized sports and in sports with others. We, therefore, expected sports participation during the pandemic to be largely restricted to individual participation and participation at home or in the public space. By means of descriptive analyses and adjusted analyses of variance (n = 1506), we found positive associations between WFH and various aspects of sports participation. Lower-educated individuals, in particular, seem to be benefiting from WFH related to their sports participation in the public space, and economically deprived individuals also seem to be benefiting from WFH in regard to their sports participation at home. Our findings extend the literature on physical activity and sports participation among people who worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic while offering implications for policies on WFH, sports opportunities in public space and physical activity-friendly environments.
... Some papers approach the issue more informally, discussing differences in means for a subset of covariates between the two datasets (Attanasio et al., 2011;Bloom et al., 2014;Muralidharan et al., 2019). It is typically difficult, however, to use this information on its own, as one would also need to know how the treatment effect differs along those dimensions. ...
... 3 See Schwalbe (1985). 4 See, for instance, Bloom at al. (2015). 5 See, for instance, Tomasi (2012) and Cowen (2021). ...
... The advantages of remote working include work opportunities, flexible commuting, higher work flexibility, and work satisfaction. The findings of the study are in line with the results of previous studies that examined remote work from the perspective of the general population [34][35][36]. Furthermore, remote working was preferred by others among the neurodivergent population, including individuals with ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism (see [15][16][17]). ...
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Background and aims: With remote work becoming more common across industries, employees with autism may experience different work support needs from neurotypical peers. However, the specific remote work needs of this group of employees are underexplored in the literature. We aim to propose ways to assess workplace digital adaptation needs for individuals with autism and a framework for communicating these needs to employers. Methods: This qualitative study included interviews with 13 Polish business professionals, including coworkers and/or supervisors of employees with autism (n = 9) and female employees with autism (n = 4), about their remote work support needs. Participants responded to semi-structured interview questions identifying advantages and risk factors associated with remote work for this specific group of employees. Results: Participants reported advantages of remote work, such as limiting sensory overload and intensive interpersonal contacts, indirect interpersonal communications, flexible work hours, and eliminating the need to travel to work. Participants also reported challenges of remote work, such as reducing wanted or helpful social contacts, engaging in direct electronic communications, limiting opportunities to learn from other employees, and managing work-life balance. Conclusion: These findings suggest a need for an autism-inclusive digitalized remote work design customized to the unique needs of employees on the autism spectrum. Business managers would be key partners in the design of autism-inclusive digitalized remote work systems. Additional research is needed with larger and more diverse samples of employees with autism.
... According to this classification of occupations, Dingel and Neiman (2020) found that up to 37% of occupations in the United States could potentially be performed at home. For their part, Bloom et al. (2015) indicated that according to pre-COVID-19 statistics in 2016, 60% of companies in the United States offered remote working as an alternative way of working. The stated that executives may be reluctant to use remote working arrangements because of concerns about the possibility of distractions that could lead to reduced productivity. ...
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Background: Given the challenges that COVID-19 pandemic presents for the worldwide economy, there is a number of specific lessons that can be learned from this crisis. The main objective of this article is to help professional accountants to resume their activities and improve their forward-looking strategy. More precisely, it is intended to identify the variables that contribute to the improvement of the professional accountants' activities mainly after the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: Through non-directive interviews with the professional accountants, we could identify 23 variables which represent the future system that refers to events, trends and decisions that can be made. The methodology research is based on cognitive mapping, which makes it possible to analyze the prospective strategies after the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, the cognitive map helps to clarify the mental orientation of a person and to visualize some ideas and beliefs on the achievement of their objectives. Results: The obtained results showed that "digitization and Technology" are the most influential variables in the thinking of the professional accountants as they represent the evolution during the COVID-19 period while "communication and clients number ", which are the most dependent, represent the objectives to be achieved while the variables "teleworking and teleconference " are the means to achieve these objectives. Conclusion: This research analyzes the accounting strategy in which the emphasis is on the mind and the forward thinking of professional accountants. Moreover, this study may increase awareness about the positive results of the COVID-19 period and develop a future strategy of work.
... The ever-advancing world of technology has made it possible for students to work from home and this has affected the way students, especially those on practical shifts at hotels, those on Work Integrated learning, as well as those on E-learning platform. Previous studies such as Bloom et al., (2015), Troup & Rose, (2012), and Song & Gao, (2019) have only discussed the topic theoretically, but the feelings or views of employees on the topic have not been thoroughly studied. ...
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The Impact of Covid-19 caused a deep contraction in the global economy with tourism being the most affected. The closure of borders through lockdowns had devastating effects on the sustainability of tourism businesses. Hence loss of employment negatively impacted on people's livelihood, socioeconomic and psychological conditions. The aim of the paper is to investigate the lived experiences of students on the challenges faced as a result of working from home. A qualitative approach was used where ten students were interviewed using a semi structured interview-guide. A thematic analysis was used to analyse results. The results show that learning from home presented a number of opportunities for students. Some of the emerging issues include the ability for students to learn at their own pace, comprehension of the subject matter through rehearsals, the use of technology in research, and innovative strategies for content retention. However, Covid-19 presented a number of challenges for students such as anxiety, anger, conflict and overcrowding. Other challenges included shortage of food due to limited resources, poor access to technology, insufficient financial resources to buy data and boredom. The study concludes that new mechanisms need to be developed to ease working from home.
... Furthermore, job suitability for WFH, perceived personal benefits of WFH, stress connected to commuting or working at the workplace (Mokhtarian and Salomon, 1997), and not having a driving license and having knowledge of someone teleworking (Scott et al., 2012) were all found to play an important role in telecommuting as well. These results are in line with those obtained by initial studies during the COVID-19 epidemic: Brough et al. (2020) found a lower propensity for WFH during the outbreak among lower-income and less educated people; Bick et al. (2020) concluded that switching to remote work was much more prevalent among highly educated, high-income, and white workers. showed that WFH is more readily available to middle and high-income groups and men. ...
Article
The COVID-19 crisis has forced many people to work from home, rather than at their regular workplace. This paper aims to assess the impact of the pandemic on telecommuting and commuting behavior after the end of the crisis: Will people embrace teleworking and reduce commuting, even to some extent, or will they resume their pre-pandemic work patterns? This study, implementing a cross-country survey from Israel and Czechia, combines data regarding revealed preferences about work habits before and during the pandemic and stated intentions data regarding anticipated work patterns when life returns to “normal” after the pandemic. Two models were used for the data analysis, one addressing factors that affect the increased/decreased teleworking trend and the other addressing factors that affect the frequency of actual commutes. The results reveal that most respondents (62% in Israel and 68% in Czechia) will maintain the same telecommuting/working from home balance. About 19% of respondents in both countries expressed their intention to reduce the number of commuting days, while 6% stated they would increase out-of-home days. However, these estimates rely only on workers’ expectations not accounting for employers’ point of view and other constraints they may have. Not accounting for potential bias, a moderate reduction of 6.5% and 8.7% (in Israel and in Czechia, respectively) in the number of commuting trips is expected in the post-pandemic era. The anticipated decrease in commuting days is accompanied by an increase in teleworking: from 10% to 14% among those who work more than 20 hours a week (in both countries) and a drop in the rate of those who telework five hours or less a week (down from 73% to 63% in Israel and from 76% to 70% in Czechia). Self-employment, travel time to work, working solely on premise during the lockdown, and personal preferences regarding telework versus working away from home were found to significantly contribute to a decrease in the number of commuting days and to an increase in teleworking. An interesting finding is the high probability of increased teleworking among people who teleworked for the first time during the lockdown or who increased their teleworking time during the lockdown. This indicates that the teleworking experience due to the pandemic has enabled some people to view working from home as viable. Although, overall, the change in working habits does not seem dramatic, our results suggest that hybrid schemes for combining on premise and telework are expected to be adopted by some sectors.
... Some research showed benefits of remote working. Bloom, Liang, Roberts and Ying (2015) in a research study in China found that working from home led to a 13% performance increase. Home workers also reported improved work satisfaction and their attrition rate halved. ...
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This document was prepared in the context of scoping the Cyber Security Leadership and Culture theme of 2020/21 at the Research Institute for Sociotechnical Cyber Security (RISCS) sponsored by, and in cooperation with the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). The aim of the project is to understand the implications of mass remote/hybrid working arrangements due to the Covid-19 outbreak, that started in March 2020 and is still on-going at the time of writing this document. The research objectives focus on the psychological contract between employees and leadership from the perspective of cyber risk, specifically: • To understand how different organisations adjusted to new forms of working while maintaining/reducing their cyber risk exposure. • To explore strategies used by cyber security leaders to keep a positive cyber security culture front of mind. • To gather best practices used for maintaining trust, nurturing teamwork, safeguarding mental health of team members (reducing insider risk / human error). This document represents the first evidence-gathering phase of the project and formed the basis of the topics of interest to be discussed in the next stage, during the expert interviews. The document includes gathering evidence on fresh research carried out within the research scope, and also previous, non-Covid 19 related research on the dynamics of remote working, mental health and cyber security risk. The initial scoping of the research and the current literature review document was brought together by the broader RISCS community. It is an example of a much needed co-operation between academic researchers (Georgia Crossland and Amy Ertan, PhD researchers at the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway, University of London), small business owners (Berta Pappenheim, RISCS Research Fellow and Co-Founder at The CyberFish and Nadine Michaelides, Founder at Anima) working together with, and supported by the UK Government (Nico B, from the Economy and Society engagement team at the NCSC).
... The rare studies prepandemic that involve forced telework organization-wide-such as a study from one large company that converted the entire firm to remote work-half of employees would return to the office if permitted, citing feelings of isolation, loneliness, and depression from working from home (Bloom et al., 2015). This suggests that there are many unknowns and possibly unique dynamics that emerge when examining telework at a mass scale. ...
Article
Most of our knowledge of the benefits and costs of telework are based on self-selected workers who have worked remotely part-time. Full-time, pandemic-induced mass telework may present benefits and costs that differ from what was understood in the prior context. Informed by conservation of resources (COR) theory, this study examines the effect of pandemic-induced remote working on work alienation in the public sector with two Canadian surveys: a panel of teleworking public servants ( n = 605), and a representative sample of teleworking Canadians in public and private sectors ( n = 1001). Teleworkers who fit the “conscientious” personality profile were less alienated in their new teleworker status, and by contrast “extroverts” were more alienated than before the pandemic. We then examine the types of organizational adaptations that lower alienation, and find that more autonomy, avoiding micromanagement and promoting communication among employees is most promising.
... The insight of HMX, and a property shared by most assortative matching models in economics, is that workers with similar 5 The model restricts the marginal effect of coworker productivity to be constant, which is not supported by empirical studies that find the effects are generally heterogeneous across workers and firms. First, the strength of the spillover effects are heterogeneous across observed or unobserved job characteristics: Mas and Moretti (2009) find apparent effects for workers from a supermarket chain; Herbst and Mas (2015) find consistent and significant cross-study evidence comparing 15 lab or field experiments; In contrast, Waldinger (2009) find only small peer effects for researchers in institutions; Bloom et al. (2014) find employees working from home has higher productivity compared to those working with peers among a Chinese travel agency. Second, the effects could be highly non-linear to coworker productivity: Jarosch et al. (2019), and Herkenhoff et al. (2018) found that the wage and the growth rate of a worker can be significantly affected by highproductivity workers above her but not by those low productivity. ...
Article
Observed worker and firm characteristics only explain a small wage variation. Beyond characteristics that are directly observed from the data, my thesis develops new empirical methods aimed at identifying unobserved heterogeneity in the labor market. Chapter 1 proposes an empirical method to measure the effects of coworkers on wages. I take advantage of the recent cutting-edge clustering method that combines machine-learning and economic theory to identify groups of workers with similar latent productivity type. I further apply the cluster-based method to identify the effects of coworkers on wages and evaluate their economic implications in empirical-relevant simulations. The proposed method has proven potential to be applied to the real-world data to improve our ability to understand the role of coworkers in substantive questions where existing methods have limitations.
... WFH is often associated with the perceived increase in productivity and job satisfaction, primarily self-reported by home workers, and a significant managerial issue [2]. Managers repeatedly raise the question of whether "working-from-home" would not lead to "shirking from home" [5]. The typical "Theory X style managers" [6] with a low perception of self-efficacy, i.e., who do not rely on their employees' ability to handle remote infrastructure, solve situations independently, manage time properly or work without supervision, have a skeptical attitude towards telework [7]. ...
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The COVID-19 outbreak has admittedly caused interruptions to production, transportation, and mobility, therefore, having a significant impact on the global supply and demand chain’s well-functioning. But what happened to companies developing digital services, such as software? How has the enforced Working-From-Home (WFH) mode impacted their ability to deliver software, if at all? This article shares our findings from monitoring the WFH during 2020 in an international software company with engineers located in Sweden, the USA, and the UK. We analyzed different aspects of productivity, such as developer job satisfaction and well-being, activity, communication and collaboration, efficiency and flow based on the archives of commit data, calendar invites, Slack communication, the internal reports of WFH experiences, and 30 interviews carried out in April/May and September 2020. We add more objective evidence to the existing COVID-19 studies the vast majority of which are based on self-reported productivity from the early months of the pandemic. We find that engineers continue committing code and carrying out their daily duties, as their routines adjust to “the new norm”. Our key message is that software engineers can work from home and quickly adjust their tactical approaches to the changes of unprecedented scale. Further, WFH has its benefits, including better work-life balance, improved flow, and improved quality of distributed meetings and events. Yet, WFH is not challenge free: not everybody feels equally productive working from home, work hours for many increased, while physical activity, socialization, pairing and opportunities to connect to unfamiliar colleagues decreased. Information sharing and meeting patterns also changed. Finally, experiences gained during the pandemic will have a lasting impact on the future of the workplace. The results of an internal company-wide survey suggest that only 9% of engineers will return to work in the office full time. Our article concludes with the InterSoft’s strategy for work from anywhere (WFX), and a list of useful adjustments for a better WFH.
... Although these strides might not be consistently recognized as the initial steps to create the possibility of remote work, without the invention and implementation of the previously mentioned inventions, the operations of remote-first development teams would be very different. The consistent and speedy development of innovative and groundbreaking technology made many in information and technology-based roles realize that the tools they were working on allowed for more workplace flexibility and remote work [12], [13]. Fast forward about fifteen years of a slow increase in remote work, and the globe experiences the largest modern-day pandemic, Sars-CoV-2 [2019]. ...
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The trend of remote work, especially in the IT sector, has been on the rise in recent years, and its popularity has especially increased since the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to adopting remote work, companies also have been migrating toward managing their projects using agile processes. Agile processes promote small and continuous feedback loops powered by effective communication. In this survey, we look to discover the challenges of implementing these processes in a remote setting, specifically focusing on the impact on communication. We examine the role communication plays in an agile setting and look for ways to mitigate the risk remote environments impose on it. Lastly, we present other miscellaneous challenges companies could experience that still carry dangers but are less impactful overall to agile implementation.
... Call centers appear more productive remotely. Bloom, Liang, Roberts, and Ying (2015) find in a randomized control study that WFH substantially increased productivity and output for Chinese call center workers. 16 Similarly, Emanuel and Harrington (2022) find that during the pandemic-induced shift to remote work, formerly-on-site call-center workers at a U.S. Fortune 500 retailer were 6 to 10 percent more productive. ...
Article
The U.S. economy came into the pandemic, and looks likely to leave it, on a slow-growth path. The near- term level of potential output has fallen because of shortfalls in labor that should reverse over time. Labor productivity, to a surprising degree, has followed an accelerated version of its Great Recession path with initially strong growth followed by weak growth. But, as of mid-2022, it appears that the overall level of labor and total factor productivity are only modestly affected. The sign of the effect depends on whether we use the strong income-side measures of pandemic output growth or the much weaker expenditure-side measures. There is considerable heterogeneity across industries. We can explain some but not all of the heterogeneity through industry differences in cyclical utilization and off-the-clock hours worked. After accounting for these factors, industries where it is easy to work from home have grown somewhat faster than they did pre-pandemic. In contrast, industries where it is hard to work from home have performed extremely poorly.
Article
The goal of this article is to examine the influence of telework on organizational performance. Telework is a work process that help employees do their job activities from distance or out of their work surroundings. The study’s research questions concentrated on analyzing the opinions of 30 respondents within a multinational e-commerce corporation concerning the relationship between telework and the organizational performance based on their company’s effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, and financial viability after the implementation of telework. The study disclosed that there is a relationship between the implementation of telework and the increase of organizational performance.
Article
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.
Article
Employed women persistently suffer in mental health despite more family-friendly workplaces. The job demand-control theory argues that employed women's mental health depends on their job autonomy, while sociological research on the gender division of household labor locates the cause in how much they are expected by husbands to contribute to housework. The article integrates the two streams of literature by arguing that employed women's job autonomy and their spousal gender ideology interact to shape their mental health. Using nationally representative household-level panel survey and fixed effects models, the study showed that job autonomy improved employed women's mental health, but the benefits depended on their spousal gender ideologies. Specifically, women suffered a "double jeopardy" in mental health when they lacked job autonomy and had traditional husbands. In contrast, when women's husbands had an egalitarian gender ideology, they enjoyed mental health regardless of job autonomy. In addition, women's self-gender ideology did not predict their own or their husbands' mental health. The results point to a societal-level change in men's gender ideology as a fundamental way to improve employed women's family well-being. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11482-022-10090-8.
Chapter
Employers are actively considering how to normalize remote work technology across different industries. The residual risk of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) will necessarily lower the bar for allowing some workers to stay remote on a more permanent basis. This is based on the realization that many essential jobs can be teleworked while retaining or enhancing productivity. The decisions employers make regarding future work arrangements are based upon assumptions and evidence collected over the course of the pandemic, which are framed in a neurotypical context. This chapter examines the potential benefits and risks of mainstreaming telecommuting or remote working for older adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In doing so, this chapter considers different work and job redesign tools, which might be necessary to enable successful remote working including assistive technology and low-cost solutions based on publicly available software. Moreover, we consider technology-based solutions aimed at improving the long-term work well-being of older adults with ASD. Finally, we examine career stage and transition considerations with older adults with ASD in the context of the new normal.
Article
Nudging interventions typically presume some asymmetry of sophistication and power between the choice architect and the nudged. But the nudged need not be relegated to a passive role. We present evidence that individuals have a capacity to counter their biases, and even to use them to their advantage. This capacity for behavioral self‐management (“BSM”) can allow them to act as the choice architects of their future‐self. In our study, we provide participants with the autonomy to choose among a variety of loss‐ and gain‐framed contracts that govern the terms under which they perform a real effort task. The results show that subjects strategically harness their own loss aversion to counter their present bias and significantly improve their performance. The loss‐framed contracts give individuals a tool they can use to self‐nudge. This possibility of self‐nudging should widen our perspective on biases. Biases can cause cognitive error and dampen motivation, but they can also be a valuable tool for individual decision making. And giving subjects the autonomy to choose their favored contract adds to the effectiveness of their BSM strategy. We show that subjects' experience self‐determination utility separate from performance benefits driven by a better adjustment of work tasks to subjects' production functions. To demonstrate the policy relevance of our results, we expand on an application of BSM strategies to retirement savings plans, which we suggest may lift participation and savings rates at no additional cost.
Article
Las restricciones derivadas de la pandemia por el coronavirus 2019 instauraron un contexto prolongado de implementación forzosa de teletrabajo en diversas organizaciones e instituciones. El presente estudio examina el impacto ejercido por la intensidad en la adopción de dicho esquema laboral sobre la satisfacción de los colaboradores del sector de la educación superior. Para ello, se aplicó un instrumento transversal sobre una muestra de 154 colaboradores de una universidad colombiana, cuyos datos fueron analizados mediante un modelamiento de ecuaciones estructurales. Los resultados obtenidos sugieren la existencia de una asociación significativa entre las variables en cuestión. Se observa además que tanto los individuos mayores de 40 años como aquellos que cuentan con un lugar aislado para teletrabajar tienden a favorecer dicha relación.
Article
We study whether technology gains in sectors related to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) increase productivity in the rest of the economy. To separate exogenous gains in ICT from other technological progress, we use the relative price of ICT goods and services in a structural VAR with medium-run restrictions. Using local projections to estimate the effect of ICT-related technology gains on sectoral technology (TFP), we find two sets of results. First, since the mid-2000s there have been positive and persistent technology spillovers to sectors intensively using ICT. Second, neglecting leasing activity leads to an overestimation of the TFP response for all sectors except the leasing sector, where it is strongly underestimated.
Article
Purpose This article studies how experience and frequency of telework influence the acceptance and self-reported productivity of this mode of work in a context of pandemic-induced remote work. Design/methodology/approach The authors use a 2021 dataset of 542 professionals with previous or current experience in home-based telework. Two linear regression models are fitted using the willingness to telework and self-reported productivity as dependent variables. Findings The findings support the idea that previous telework specific experience and frequency of telework have a positive impact on the willingness to telework and self-reported productivity. Originality/value This paper questions the widely accepted idea according to which employees who telework occasionally experience the best outcomes. The authors have identified a “time after time” effect that shows the relevance of telework specific experience and frequency for the development of this mode of work.
Article
Despite being a worldwide disaster, the COVID‐19 pandemic has also provided an opportunity for renewed discussion about the way we work. By contextualizing in the early periods of China's ending of lockdown policy on COVID‐19, this paper offers evidence to respond to an essential discussion in the field of working from home (WFH): In terms of job performance, can WFH replace working from the office (WFO)? The present study compares job performance in terms of quality and productivity between WFH and WFO from 861 Chinese respondents using entropy balance matching, a quasi‐experimental methodology. Results reveal that WFH enhances job performance in terms of job quality but lowers it in terms of job productivity. In addition, the present study aims to capture and empirically measure the variations in fundamental job characteristics in terms of job control and job demand between WFH and WFO by applying the job demand control support model. More specifically, we find that job control items, such as ‘talking right’ and ‘work rate’, and job demand items, such as ‘a long time of intense concentration’ and ‘hecticness of the job’, are vital factors that contribute to how these differences exert influence on employees' performance in the context of the pandemic.
Article
This study investigates the effect of employee compensation on corporate investment decisions using a sample of Chinese listed companies during the period 2007–2019. We find that the improvement of employee compensation competitiveness reduces the overall investment level, but improves the investment efficiency, which supports the capital-skill complementarity theory and the liquidity constraint theory, rather than the displacement theory. We use the social insurance law as a quasi-natural experiment, and the adjustment of the personal income tax rate as an instrumental variable to relieve the endogeneity concern. In addition, cross-sectional analysis and mechanism analysis show that employee compensation competitiveness can crowd out enterprise investment and improve investment efficiency by increasing liquidity constraints, thereby improving the quality of human capital and increasing innovation. Overall, this study provides insights into how employee compensation reduces corporate investment and increases corporate investment efficiency in developing countries.
Article
Employee treatment is an important but challenging element of corporate environmental, social, and governance policies. Satisfying employee needs can increase corporate productivity, but is also costly to shareholders. Using unique data of Chinese publicly listed firms, we show that having satisfied employees is valuable to the firm. Specifically, firms with higher employee satisfaction scores withstand COVID-19 better, in terms of stock market performance. Such an effect is more pronounced for firms with more intangible assets and in knowledge-based industries. Moreover, higher employee satisfaction scores predict better operating performance. While not fully revealed in tranquil times, the effect of employee satisfaction is materialized when the firms experience negative shocks, such as COVID-19. Our findings suggest that firms can do well in crisis periods by doing good in normal times.
Chapter
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how the adaptability to telework has become the key to resilience for businesses and workers. In this chapter, we study how organizations can implement telework effectively to both enhance organizational resilience and improve workers’ productivity and welfare. To that end, we conducted a self-administered survey in Vietnam with five-hundred and fifty-four employees across 52 companies based in Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi. The quantitative analysis is further supported by informal interviews with by mid-level managers and senior executives in the University of Hawaii—Shidler Vietnam EMBA program. We identify workers’ technology readiness as an important driver for the productivity telework in that technology readiness has a positive and statistically significant impact on working from home productivity. Furthermore, adequate equipment and training positively and significantly influenced working from home productivity. This increase in productivity leads to higher individual performance expectations and company performance. Given strong evidence presented in this study supporting telework, senior management and executives participated in the survey recommend digital transformation strategy to cope with the new normal must consider the following tasks: (1) Technical capacity enhancement; (2) Categorize employees into different groups; (3) Change the management mindset; (4) Build a corporate culture for telework; and (5) Organize periodic virtual events such as team building, and open forum.KeywordsTechnology readinessDigital transformationTeleworkFuture workCOVID-19 pandemicVietnam
Chapter
Whereas the economic consequences of the physical distancing measures to control the transmission of Covid-19 are familiar, their effects on people’s mental well-being and the subsequent influence on work productivity are largely unknown. In this chapter, we introduce an agent-based model of a workplace where the mood (motivation to work) improves when the agent is socializing and deteriorates when it is working. No work is done during socialization and the productivity of a working agent is an increasing function of its mood. Moreover, low motivated agents seek company and high motivated agents focus on work. We find that decrease of frequency or quality of the social interactions leads the agents to enter a burnout regime where their motivations diverge to negative infinity, with the consequent vanishing of productivity. This mental breakdown regime is separated from a healthy regime, where the motivation to work is finite, by a continuous phase transition. Since the fraction of working agents, which is the only observable quantity in our model, changes continuously at the transition point, it is nearly impossible to perceive the proximity to the burnout regime. This finding highlights the need of quantitative approaches to study the interplay between mood, behavior, and productivity.
Chapter
COVID-19 has redefined flexible working arrangements. Work from home (WFH) has emerged as a reality, and most of the organizations in Saudi Arabia also adopted WFH, allowing employees to work from home or other locations. This research explores WFH and its impact on the wellbeing and the work family reconciliation of female workers in Saudi Arabia. This is a case study based on the unstructured in-depth interview of 13 women workers employed in the public and private sector in Saudi Arabia in the last two years. The study concluded that work from home has improved the overall wellbeing of the women workers because of the flexibility and freedom this type of work arrangement is offering. The women workers had better work-life balance (WLB) despite having higher level of stress and working longer hours.
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Schedule control and supervisor support for family and personal life may help employees manage the work-family interface. Existing data and research designs, however, have made it difficult to conclusively identify the effects of these work resources. This analysis utilizes a group-randomized trial in which some units in an information technology workplace were randomly assigned to participate in an initiative, called STAR, that targeted work practices, interactions, and expectations by (1) training supervisors on the value of demonstrating support for employees’ personal lives and (2) prompting employees to reconsider when and where they work. We find statistically significant, although modest, improvements in employees’ work-family conflict and family time adequacy, and larger changes in schedule control and supervisor support for family and personal life. We find no evidence that this intervention increased work hours or perceived job demands, as might have happened with increased permeability of work across time and space. Subgroup analyses suggest the intervention brought greater benefits to employees more vulnerable to work-family conflict. This study uses a rigorous design to investigate deliberate organizational changes and their effects on work resources and the work-family interface, advancing our understanding of the impact of social structures on individual lives.
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Performance rankings are a very common workplace management practice. Behavioral theories suggest that providing performance rankings to employees, even without pecuniary consequences, may directly shape effort due to the rank's effect on self-image. In a three-year randomized control trial with full-time design where I vary (i) whether to privately inform employees about their performance rank; and (ii) whether to give benchmarks, i.e. data on current performance required to be in the top 10%, 25%, and 50%. The salespeople's compensation is only based on absolute performance via a high-powered commission scheme in which rankings convey no direct additional financial benefits. There are two important innovations in this experiment. First, prior to the start of the experiment all salespeople were told their performance ranking. Second, employees operate in a multi-tasking environment where they can sell multiple brands. There are four key results: First, removing rank feedback actually increases sales performance by 11%, or 1/10th of a standard deviation. Second, only men (not women) change their performance. Third, adding benchmarks to rank feedback significantly raises performance, but it is not significantly different from providing no feedback. Fourth, as predicted by the multi-tasking model, the treatment effect increases with the scope for effort substitution across furniture brands as employees switch their effort to other tasks when their rank is worse than expected.
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