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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... Employee communication and internal corporate communication, on the other hand, have been little researched in the home office context, which suggests a research gap and underlines the relevance of the topic under discussion. Both Rupietta and Beckmann (2016) and Bloom et al. (2015) show that home office work leads to an increase in productivity of employees. While Bloom et al. (2015) recognize a 13 percent increase in productivity during their nine-month experiment, Rupietta and Beckmann (2016) additionally assume an increase in intrinsic motivation and workload. ...
... Both Rupietta and Beckmann (2016) and Bloom et al. (2015) show that home office work leads to an increase in productivity of employees. While Bloom et al. (2015) recognize a 13 percent increase in productivity during their nine-month experiment, Rupietta and Beckmann (2016) additionally assume an increase in intrinsic motivation and workload. Home office employees thus work two and a half hours longer per week than people without a home office option (to a greater extent if they use their home office frequently) (Rupietta & Beckmann, 2016, p. 20). ...
... The increased workload can be attributed, among other things, to the need for more intensive coordination processes with colleagues, which is why a reduction in the communication effort on the part of internal corporate communication appears necessary (Sass, 2019, p. 71). Bloom et al. (2015) cite a quiet working atmosphere and fewer breaks as reasons for an increase in productivity in the home office. ...
Chapter
The emergence of social media has radically changed business communication in recent years. In the course of this, a new professional field has occurred: social media management. Despite the practical relevance of social media management for business communication, this occupational field has hardly been researched so far. Therefore, this study presents empirical findings on the tasks of social media managers, their organizational position and the challenges they face. Based on a quantitative survey (n = 143), it can be shown that in social media management the boundaries between the communication disciplines of Public Relations, Marketing Communications and Brand Communications are blurring.
... Popular research regarding the WFH topic mostly focuses on the influence of the concept on employee productivity (Bloom et al., 2015;Revenio et al., 2019;Thorstensson, 2020). While some research was already studying the effect of other variables influencing the WFH concept, it's still limited to the relevance of new variables in the pandemic era (Bower, 2020;Garg and Van, 2015). ...
... Most research has reported that WFH practice can significantly increase worker productivity (Bloom et al., 2015;Kazekami, 2020;Revenio et al., 2019;Ulloa-Bermudez, 2018). Popular research regarding WFH topic on 16,000-employee on Ctrip, NASDAQ-listed Chinese travel agency find home working led to a 13% performance increase (Bloom et al., 2015). ...
... Most research has reported that WFH practice can significantly increase worker productivity (Bloom et al., 2015;Kazekami, 2020;Revenio et al., 2019;Ulloa-Bermudez, 2018). Popular research regarding WFH topic on 16,000-employee on Ctrip, NASDAQ-listed Chinese travel agency find home working led to a 13% performance increase (Bloom et al., 2015). Similar research on Los Angeles county on productivity also finds similar outcomes (Ulloa-Bermudez, 2018). ...
Article
Recent COVID-19 Pandemic has forced many institutions to adopt work from home (WFH) practice whether they’re ready or not. Conditions affecting knowledge worker productivity while adopting new WFH practices become increasingly relevant as compa- nies adapt to the new normal era. This study investigates the direct impact of WFH on productivity and the mediating impact of WFH on productivity through work life balance (WLB) and job satisfaction in the banking industry located in the Greater Jakarta Area. As such, questionnaires were conducted with 234 respondents who have experience of the WFH program due to COVID-19 pandemic and working in the banking industry located in the Greater Jakarta Area. Findings revealed how job satisfaction is a mediating variable between WFH and Productivity, and WFH positively impacts overall productivity. However, contrary to our predictions, results also showed that WFH has a negative impact on WLB. Further research can extend the proposed model of this study by considering adding several variables which might affect productivity in WFH arrangements or implement the already proposed model to other industries.
... An important component of transitioning to WFH is the effect on the work and the workers [6], particularly related to performance, health, and well-being. Under ideal circumstances, several prior studies concluded that WFH is associated with at least similar productivity levels compared to typical office work [7] and supports are often made available to help workers who chose WFH. The pandemic induced WFH allows for a unique exploration of a wide variety of work, workplace, and worker factors that have not been previously examined under ideal circumstances. ...
... In addition to the demographic factors, WFH may create different challenges for workers with different occupational backgrounds. Prior studies have investigated the impact of WFH on productivity within specific groups of workers (e.g., workers of a Chinese travel agency [7], workers of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office [22]). However, there has not been a study that investigated effects of WFH on productivity across different occupational groups. ...
... Respondents identified if they had adjusted their work schedule due to working at home by selecting either or both: "I now schedule my work hours around others" or "I have adjusted my work hours (ear-lier/later, switched days of week, shorter/longer)." The presence (yes) or absence (no) of other individuals or pets in the home were indicated across the following categories: independent adult (other than respondents themselves), dependent adult (e.g., special needs, geriatric care), teenage child (13-18), school-age child (6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12), toddler (2)(3)(4)(5), infant (<2 years), pets (e.g., dogs, cats). Respondents indicated ways in which their home workspace was obtained selecting any responses that were true among the following choices: "I purchased new items for myself," "My employer purchased new items for me," "I brought items home from my office," and "I did not get anything new." ...
Article
Background: With the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations embraced Work From Home (WFH). An important component of transitioning to WFH is the effect on workers, particularly related to their productivity and work experience. Objectives: The objective of this study is to examine how worker-, workspace-, and work-related factors affected productivity and time spent at a workstation on a typical WFH day during the pandemic. Methods: An online questionnaire was designed and administered to collect the necessary information. Data from 988 respondents were included in the analyses. Results: Overall perception of productivity level among workers did not change relative to their in-office productivity before the pandemic. Female, older, and high-income workers were likely to report increased productivity. Productivity was positively influenced by better mental and physical health statuses, having a teenager, increased communication with coworkers and having a dedicated room for work. Number of hours spent at a workstation increased by approximately 1.5 hours during a typical WFH day. Longer hours were reported by individuals who had school age children, owned an office desk or an adjustable chair, and had adjusted their work hours. Conclusion: The findings highlight key factors for employers and employees to consider for improving the WFH experience.
... An extensive body of literature analyses telework and its outcomes. Some recognize its advantages, including reducing costs (Gregg, 2011), enabling employees to self-determine where and when to work (Morgan, 2004;Gajendran and Harrison, 2007;Pyöriä, 2011), improving morale (Wheatley, 2012), enhancing productivity (Bloom et al., 2015) and reducing commuting stress (Clark et al., 2020) amongst others. Generally, organizations that have experienced teleworking even before the pandemic claim both positive and negative effects in the exploitation of physical and human resources (Tagliaro, 2020). ...
... Takeaways from Covid-working: the good, the bad and the ugly With Covid-working the workers of the case company drastically changed their habits. While this abrupt switch might generate difficulties in adaptation, this working practice was generally appreciated by this company's workers and confirms the positive outcomes attributed to WFH from previous studies (Morgan, 2004;Gajendran and Harrison, 2007;Pyöriä, 2011;Bloom et al., 2015;Sarker et al., 2012;Baruch, 2000;Pearlson and Saunders, 2001). Three macro-takeaways can be extracted from the survey that lead to recommendations for real estate strategies: ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose This paper aims to explore the extent to which Covid-19 has challenged work habits and outcomes. The authors argue that after the lockdown period workers have been experiencing a new work mode called “Covid-working”. The aim is to provide a first interpretation of this phaenomenon and elaborate on future real estate strategies and workplace policies based on this experience. Design/methodology/approach Using survey data, this research analyses Covid-working in a large-sized company in Italy. The survey was answered by 90 employees and addresses three domains: locations of work; a comparison between work-from-home (WFH) and work from the office; and outcomes of Covid-working vs office-working. Findings With Covid-working, the workers of the case company drastically changed their traditional work from the office approach to pure WFH. While this abrupt switch might generate difficulties in adaptation, this working practice was generally appreciated by this company’s workers. Positive and negative outcomes of Covid-working confirm previous studies on remote working. Recommendations on multi-location of work, new value for the headquarters and diversity empowerment open up avenues for future real estate strategies. Originality/value Observations on Covid-working are still limited and mainly appear on grey literature, due to the newness of this phaenomenon. Empirical studies such as the proposed one can increase companies’ awareness of the positive and negative outcomes of this experience and support their future workplace strategies.
... A few randomized-controlled trials provide evidence that WFH can be more productive than working in the office, at least for some workers. For example, Bloom, Liang, Roberts and Ying (2015) randomly assigned employees at a large Chinese travel company to work from home. They find that the home-based teleworkers are more productive, have fewer unscheduled absences, and lower quit rates than their office counterparts. ...
... 4 In areas where office space is more expensive, employers have an additional incentive to encourage WFH with monetary incentives. On the other hand, employers who place a higher value on teamwork may encourage on-site presence with higher wages or promotions, leading to lower wage trajectories for teleworkers even with no differences in individual worker productivity (Rhee 2008;Bloom, Liang, Roberts and Ying 2015;Glass and Noonan 2016). ...
Preprint
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Remote work is rapidly increasing in the U.S. Using data on full-time wage and salary workers from the 2017–2018 American Time Use Survey Leave and Job Flexibilities Module, we estimate hourly wage differentials for teleworkers and compare how workers allocate their time over the day when they work from home rather than the office. We find some teleworkers earn a wage premium, but it varies by gender, parental status, and teleworking intensity. Men, but not women, who work most of the week from home earn a wage premium. Among occasional teleworkers, we find a wage premium for fathers and women without children. Using time diaries, we find teleworkers spend less time on commuting and grooming activities but more time on leisure activities and more time with family on work-at-home days than office days, and female teleworkers spend more time on household production activities. We do not find differences in workers' weekly hours by teleworker status, but male teleworkers on their work-from-home days work about [O fewer minutes on weekday workdays than on-site workers, suggesting teleworkers are spreading their hours over the week.
... The need to balance the time for professional activities with the one dedicated to the family is a relevant constraint factor for employees who face a large volume of activity, which can lead to a state of physical and mental exhaustion, a phenomenon known in the literature as "burnout" (Sardeshmukh, et al., 2012). However, the study conducted by Bloom et al. (2015) on the Chinese experiment, shows a positive correlation between employee satisfaction, due to the high degree of acceptance of the telework model and the performance of the organization. Adaptability, assessed in the study on the Chinese employees, depends on the lifestyle changes. ...
... Ability to switch to the teleworking system (CA) 4 Davis, 1989;Bagozzi, et al., 1992;Kuscu and Arslan, 2016. Organization performance (WP) 4 Davis, 1989;Bagozzi, et al., 1992;Bloom, et al., 2015. ...
... Another merit, as put by Barack Obama is that "attracting and retaining employees who are more productive and engaged through flexible workplace policies is not just good for business or for our economy-it's good for our families and our future" (The White House, 2010). In addition to improving work-life balance, working from home may reduce companies' rent costs and employee turnover and also benefit communities by lowering commuter congestion and emissions (Bloom, Liang, Roberts and Ying, 2014). ...
... Vega and Brennan (2000) found that autonomy has a negative impact on career prospects. Similarly, Bloom et al. (2014) found that workers working from home were less likely to be promoted than similar-performing peers working in the office, however, it significantly increased employees' productivity and job satisfaction. ...
... Vor-und Nachteile sowie Lösungskonzepte für die Wahl und Umsetzung mobiler, halbmobiler und stationärer Arbeitskonzepte liegen nicht vor. Die Fachliteratur fokussiert sich hauptsächlich auf die Unterscheidung und Charakterisierung verschiedener Arbeitsortformen (Bloom et al. 2015;Bouncken et al. 2021 Nutzung der Kompetenzen der Beschäftigten auch in Situationen, in denen diese aus privaten Gründen eigentlich nicht zur Verfügung stehen (Cascio 1999) Flexible Zeiteinteilung (Olson und Primps 1984) Reduzierung notwendiger Büroflächen Verkürzung des Arbeitsweg (Olson und Primps 1984) und Ermöglichung bestimmter Personengruppen (z. B. körperlich Beeinträchtigten) die Teilnahme am Arbeitsleben (Baruch 2000) Reputationsverbesserung und Möglichkeit talentierte, motivierte Beschäftigte zu halten (Hackl et al. 2017;Hofmann et al. 2019) Unabhängigkeit von Witterungsbedingungen (Olson und Primps 1984) Steigerung der Mitarbeitermotivation sowie der Arbeitseffektivität (Olson und Primps 1984) Förderung der Eigenverantwortung und Motivation (Olson und Primps 1984) Beseitigung der Ortsgebundenheit und Verbesserung des Matchings von Jobsuchenden und Arbeitgebern Erhöhung der Arbeitsproduktivität (Bloom et al. 2015) Wettbewerbsvorteile bei der Mitarbeiterakquisition Verbesserung der Work-Life-Balance (Kazekami 2020) Förderung der Vertrauenskultur Steigerung der Autonomie und Flexibilität (Allen 2015) Zugriff auf Fachkräfte aus dem ländlichen Raum (Ovaska et al. 2020) Nachteile ...
... Die Fachliteratur fokussiert sich hauptsächlich auf die Unterscheidung und Charakterisierung verschiedener Arbeitsortformen (Bloom et al. 2015;Bouncken et al. 2021 Nutzung der Kompetenzen der Beschäftigten auch in Situationen, in denen diese aus privaten Gründen eigentlich nicht zur Verfügung stehen (Cascio 1999) Flexible Zeiteinteilung (Olson und Primps 1984) Reduzierung notwendiger Büroflächen Verkürzung des Arbeitsweg (Olson und Primps 1984) und Ermöglichung bestimmter Personengruppen (z. B. körperlich Beeinträchtigten) die Teilnahme am Arbeitsleben (Baruch 2000) Reputationsverbesserung und Möglichkeit talentierte, motivierte Beschäftigte zu halten (Hackl et al. 2017;Hofmann et al. 2019) Unabhängigkeit von Witterungsbedingungen (Olson und Primps 1984) Steigerung der Mitarbeitermotivation sowie der Arbeitseffektivität (Olson und Primps 1984) Förderung der Eigenverantwortung und Motivation (Olson und Primps 1984) Beseitigung der Ortsgebundenheit und Verbesserung des Matchings von Jobsuchenden und Arbeitgebern Erhöhung der Arbeitsproduktivität (Bloom et al. 2015) Wettbewerbsvorteile bei der Mitarbeiterakquisition Verbesserung der Work-Life-Balance (Kazekami 2020) Förderung der Vertrauenskultur Steigerung der Autonomie und Flexibilität (Allen 2015) Zugriff auf Fachkräfte aus dem ländlichen Raum (Ovaska et al. 2020) Nachteile ...
Article
Hybride multilokale Arbeit beschreibt die Kombina­tion aus mobilem, halbmobilem und bürobasiertem Arbeiten, die zugleich eine orts- und zeitunabhängige Flexibilität der Arbeit ermöglicht, wie, wann und von wo Beschäftigte arbeiten möchten. Diese Studie führt den Begriff der hybriden multilokalen Arbeit ein, der Homeoffice, Unternehmen und Third Place verbindet. Es werden damit einhergehende wichtige Herausforderungen für kleine und mittlere Unternehmen erläutert sowie Gestaltungsempfehlungen auf drei verschiedenen Wirkungsebenen (funktionaler, kultureller und gestalterischer Ebene) gegeben. Hybrid multilocal work describes the combination of mobile, semi-mobile, and office-based working, which enables the location and time-independent flexibility to choose how, when, and from where employees want to work. This study introduces the concept of hybrid multilocal work, which combines home office, company, and third place. We explain important challenges for small and medium-sized enterprises and give design re­commendations on three different impact levels (functional, cultural, and design level).
... As stressed by a large strand of literature, during the last decades the expansion of occupations characterised by material tasks related to the creation, transformation and dissemination of information rather than physical outputs enabled the technical feasibility of telework across a wide spectrum of occupations (see Illegems et al., 2001;Taskim and Edwards, 2007;Bloom et al. 2015), although still not the majority in terms of employment. The outbreak of the Covid-19 global pandemic and the (forced) massive shift toward homeworking reinvigorates the production of new evidence on the potential distribution of this type of work arrangement from an occupational standpoint. ...
... This could be seen as a reflection and/or incorporation of the ideological stance provided by the mainstream economic approach to work relations. According to the efficiency wage theory, under asymmetric information, that is when the workers' effort cannot be measured/monitored, it is assumed that without supervision (then embodied in an "efficient" employment contract) workers tend to shirk (Bloom et al., 2015). Feldstead and co-authors (2003) investigate the extent to which new technological devices have been introduced to replicate visibility and direct control showing that this was the case mostly for more technologically sophisticated organisations, like telecommunication. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The global pandemic induced by the spread of the Covid-19 acted as an exogenous shock which forced organisations to adopt telework as a daily and common form of work along a relevant fraction of the occupational structure. Indeed, most of the growing contributions on telework focused on the estimation of employment which can work remotely, while less or any attention has been paid to the impact of the "new" work arrangement on the labour process. Our paper aims at filling this gap. Drawing from a real-time cross-professional, cross-organisational and cross-national qualitative survey, our research investigates two main and interrelated aspects. First, we show how organisations reacted to this shock in terms of autonomy and forms of control including standardisation and teamwork dimensions across different occupations and economic sectors. Second, we describe how and to which extent workers respond: adapting, resisting or appropriating the new organisation of work. More specifically, we study the effect on the above-mentioned dimensions across different occupations to highlight heterogeneity along the vertical division of labour. JEL classification: L23, M54, 033, J81.
... This exemplifies the live-work-play mentality that undergirds innovation district strategy. The benefit of alternative work arrangements provide individuals with a sense of autonomy, but more and more scholars are reporting negative consequences, such as elevated levels of stress and anger from always being 'on,' feelings of loneliness resulting from the loss of a work community, and family conflicts due to blurring boundaries between work and family life (Allen, Golden, & Shockley, 2015;Bloom, Liang, Roberts, & Ying, 2015;Caillier, 2011;Rockman & Pratt, 2015;Schieman & Young, 2010). ...
Thesis
Across the globe, economic developers and policymakers are building “innovation districts” –master planned developments with the aim of concentrating the actors, entities, inputs, and physical infrastructure considered essential to process and product innovation. Promoters have repeatedly hailed Barcelona’s “22@bcn” (est. 2000) and Boston’s “Seaport Innovation District” (est. 2010) for their success in attracting talent, increasing jobs, scaling startups, and transitioning regions into a high-tech economy. Built within the city and the urban-periphery alike, innovation districts point to a new spatial layout for capitalist production. This dissertation is an in-depth comparative case study of five innovation districts: Boston, Detroit, Park Center (North Carolina), St. Louis, and Dublin (Ireland). I engage a qualitative approach that includes on-site observations and semi-structured interviews with over 100 key supporters of innovation districts–from residents and workers to the university affiliates, developers, incubator owners, venture capitalists, non-profit managers, private executives, elected officials, and consultants driving growth decisions. In developing a more robust definition of innovation districts than the strategy mobilized by growth coalitions, I situate the emergence of innovation districts and their extractive logics along a historic trajectory of capitalist production from manufacturing material goods to new forms of immaterial production. Relying on content analysis of primary documents, maps, legal statues, and architectural renditions, I document how the planning process for each innovation district encloses public space and lived experience within that space, relinquishing it for private profit. Through detailed case studies I argue that economic developers and policymakers opportunistically used innovation district strategy to trigger real estate development after the 2008/2009 global financial crisis. The allure of the innovation district concept –that of an entrepreneurial haven for science and design breakthroughs and the acceleration of discoveries to the market—succeeded in selling the innovation district strategy for financial, political, and popular backing during a time period of complete construction standstill. However, in places with robust entrepreneurial ecosystems, supporters lost sight of the benefits of the innovation district as a support for startups and entrepreneurs in favor of more established companies seeking proximity to talent. Using census data, I trace the changing demographic makeup of each innovation district from its date of inception to its current state to demonstrate how innovation district strategy contributes to the splintering of resources. Lastly, I conclude the dissertation with a theoretical discussion gesturing how innovation districts might exacerbate issues of precarity for the entrepreneur who sits at the center of this experimentation and is increasingly interpellated by a state-led ideology that eagerly encourages self-provisioning.
... The weaknesses include a lack of consideration of homeworking's effect on career progression [32,52] and in turn well-being, but we gauged that it was too early for participants to reflect on this. We also omitted questions about senior management's supportiveness, as this overlaps with the information constraints and social support of colleagues (which will include elements of senior management) variables. ...
Article
Full-text available
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments encouraged or mandated homeworking wherever possible. This study examines the impact of this public health initiative on homeworkers’ well-being. It explores if the general factors such as job autonomy, demands, social support and work–nonwork conflict, which under normal circumstances are crucial for employees’ well-being, are outweighed by factors specific to homeworking and the pandemic as predictors of well-being. Using data from four-week diary studies conducted at two time periods in 2020 involving university employees in the UK, we assessed five factors that may be associated with their well-being: job characteristics, the work–home interface, home location, the enforced nature of the homeworking, and the pandemic context. Multi-level analysis confirms the relationship between four of the five factors and variability in within-person well-being, the exception being variables connected to the enforced homeworking. The results are very similar in both waves. A smaller set of variables explained between-person variability: psychological detachment, loneliness and job insecurity in both periods. Well-being was lower in the second than the first wave, as loneliness increased and the ability to detach from work declined. The findings highlight downsides of homeworking, will be relevant for employees’ and employers’ decisions about working arrangements post-pandemic, and contribute to the debate about the limits of employee well-being models centred on job characteristics.
... According to Litz& Scott (2011), a successful academic performance can be measured by the percentage of students that complete the school cycle and the extent to which an institution has achieved its short-and long-term goals. This contrasted the findings of Bloom (2015), who pointed out that the academic performance of students can be determined by the extent to which a student exhibits improvement in test scores and positive behavior during and after completing schools. The above findings agree with Akojee (2007) who asserted that school performance in South Africa is measured by transition rate, competency in students and overall performance in standard examinations. ...
Article
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Leadership plays an essential role in any education development and quality of students' academic performance. In many parts of the world, including the developed and developing countries, there is the recognition that schools require influential leaders and managers if they are to provide the best possible education for their students. This study explores the relationship between transformational leadership and academic performance of secondary school students in Kirinyaga County. Education plays a vital role in bringing enlightened transformation in society. Therefore, understanding how the administration can improve students' performance in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations in Kirinyaga County, is central to this study. The study examined teachers' idealized management practices as an essential indicator for a transformative leader on students' academic performance in KCSE. The study adopted an explanatory sequential mixed method research. This approach involved collecting quantitative data first, analyzing it and then developing qualitative interviews to follow the initial findings. The qualitative design focused on phenomenology, to understand how teachers' experienced idealized influence and how it affected their student's academic performance. In the quantitative phase, surveys were used to determine teachers' idealized Management practices (IMP) on Students Academic Performance (SAP). A random sampling of 48 teachers and 359 students were selected to participate in the survey from the total population of 484 teachers and 9,904 students. The researcher interviewed teachers to qualify their transformational leader knowledge on transformational leadership and experience in relation to their students' performance. Besides was a documentary analysis to obtain more information on students' academic performance. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics, analysis frequencies, means, standard deviations and percentages were calculated and presented in tables. Results revealed that IMP has a significant favorable influence on KCSE academic performance of 0.208 at alpha value 0.05 level of significance (2-tailed). Future research may focus on the impact of teachers and transformational leadership on school culture, among other areas of interest, to inform educational officers and other professionals working to support young people through effective transformational leadership around idealized management practices. Keywords: Idealized influence, practices, Academic performance, Transformational leadership
... In the CTrip experiment, about half the workers involved in the study wanted to return to the office, while the other half preferred to work from home. Given the diverse lives of workers, the research suggests letting employees try out work from home arrangements and then allowing them to opt-in if it works for them (Bloom, Liang, Roberts, & Ying, 2014 ...
Technical Report
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White Paper for the Region of Waterloo
... The reason most commonly offered for this is that it allows for a better work-life balance as less time is spent in traffic. Studies have shown that working from home increases productivity and job satisfaction while saving on costs and increasing sales (Bloom, Liang, Roberts & Ying, 2015). Benefits include time flexibility, location flexibility, transport cost savings, emissions savings, increased productivity and reduced traffic congestion. ...
Chapter
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Vehicle emissions contribute significantly to the greenhouse gas (GHG) content in the earth’s atmosphere, with transportation emissions constituting 24% of the global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (IEA, 2020), contributing to climate change. With the possibility to conduct most business activities by remote, thanks to developments in information communication technology (ICT), this paper considers the environmental impact of telecommuting. As a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Paris Agreement, South Africa has committed to climate change mitigation through its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC). In 2015 South Africa’s GHG emissions was reported as 460 Mt CO2e (McSweeney & Timperley, 2018). The current INDC target is to see GHG emissions peak and plateau at between 398 and 614 Mt CO2e over the period 2025 to 2030, following a trajectory of a 42% decrease in GHG emissions. Currently, South Africa is set to fall short of this target (WWF, 2018). Cities in South Africa are significant consumers of energy and conversely provide a key opportunity to reduce GHG emissions, especially in the transport sector (Wolpe & Reddy, 2015). The potential effect of vehicle emission reduction on achieving the INDC target is considered through a hypothetical case study of a large organisation with 2 600 employees commuting to work in the South African commuter context, specifically in the City of Tshwane, a major metropolitan area in Gauteng Province.
... The reason most commonly offered for this is that it allows for a better work-life balance as less time is spent in traffic. Studies have shown that working from home increases productivity and job satisfaction while saving on costs and increasing sales (Bloom, Liang, Roberts & Ying, 2015). Benefits include time flexibility, location flexibility, transport cost savings, emissions savings, increased productivity and reduced traffic congestion. ...
Chapter
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The high occupancy that typically occurs in South African clinics, and the accompanying risk of airborne infection, make ventilation and thermal comfort particularly important considerations in the design. Passive (natural) ventilation offers a low-cost, energy efficient alternative to mechanical ventilation to dilute air, decreasing the concentration of contaminated particles (Nice et al., 2015). However, the performance of natural ventilation is variable and its success is reliant on constant monitoring. Passive design takes advantage of local environmental and climatic conditions to provide lighting, thermal comfort and ventilation, with the principal aim of minimizing the energy consumption and subsequent carbon footprint of a building (New Zealand Ministry of Education, 2017).The following case study considers the efficacy of a hybrid (passive and mechanical) design strategy to achieve suitable indoor conditions for a healthcare facility. The Hillside Clinic, Beaufort West, was completed in 2017 by the Western Cape Government (WCG) Department of Transport and Public Works, for the WCG Department of Health (the end user). The design brief set out to achieve a suitable indoor environment for a healthcare facility, while challenging designers to consider green building principles, a zero-emission design, and affordability of construction and operation within the specific context. The appointed consultants responded with a number of passive design strategies, including, amongst others, the installation of rock-bed thermal stores and attention to the building envelope materials. These passive techniques were supplemented with mechanical ventilation systems to form a hybrid design. The authors conducted an independent study of the performance of the facility, a year after completion. Beaufort West is situated in a relatively extreme climate, currently classified as cold arid desert, with high diurnal and seasonal temperature differences. Assuming a 2 °C global warming, it is predicted that this area will become a hot arid climate. Furthermore, the area of South Africa resembling the current Beaufort West climatic conditions could increase by up to 16% (Engelbrecht and Engelbrecht, 2016). The Hillside Clinic thus provides a useful study precedent for the application of hybrid design principles applied in healthcare buildings in these arid climates in South Africa. While stating a preference for natural ventilation, the client’s brief recognised that conditioned, mechanically driven air is necessary to achieve the required ventilation rate in certain areas where 100% ducted fresh air supply is recommended.
... Research conducted prior to, and during, the pandemic has shown that home-working can increase productivity [45][46][47]. Increased productivity and cost-savings appear to be swaying some employers to maintain increased use of home-working. In September 2020, 74% of company directors surveyed in the UK reported they would be keeping increased home-working post-pandemic, and 53% stated their organisation intended to reduce their long-term use of workplaces [48]. ...
Article
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Workplace inflexibility contributes to the higher rates of job loss and unemployment experienced by disabled people. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries already had significant disability employment gaps. Based on evidence from previous recessions, the global recession resulting from the pandemic is likely to have a severer and longer-lasting impact on the employment of disabled workers compared with non-disabled workers. In the UK, there is already evidence that the disability employment gap has widened since the pandemic. On the other hand, the pandemic initiated increased access to home-working, a change in working arrangements that may prove beneficial to disabled workers employed in desk-based roles. Home-working can increase the accessibility of employment and support work retention for disabled workers, yet pre-pandemic many employers had withheld it. Studies of employees’ and employers’ experiences of home-working during the pandemic have indicated a desire to retain access to home-working in the future. A permanent cultural shift to increased access to home-working would help address the disability employment gap for desk-based workers. However, disabled workers are over-represented in jobs not conducive to home-working, and in sectors that have been hardest hit by business closures during the pandemic, so the position of many disabled workers is likely to remain precarious.
... Nicht jede/r verfügt über die Selbstmanagement-Kompetenzen, die er/sie benötigt, um sich adäquat anpassen zu können. In einer der wenigen, experimentellen Studie zum Arbeiten im Homeoffice in China(Bloom et al., 2015) konnte die Effizienz zwar gesteigert werden, jedoch klagten Beschäftigte zuweilen über Isolation und Entgrenzungserfahrungen. Trotz anfänglicher Begeisterung reduzierten 25 % der Studienteilnehmer*innen nach einem Jahr ihre Telearbeit wieder."Out of the box zu denken" bedeutet in diesem Zusammenhang, dass für die neuen Herausforderungen jeweils passende oder modifizierte Rahmenbedingungen, Unterstützungssysteme, Strukturen und Lösungen gefunden werden müssen. Das gilt für Feedback ebenso wie für angepasste Controlling-Instrumente, Vereinbarungen für die (Team) Zusammenarbeit, Fortbildung oder Besprechungsund Dokumentationsformate(Eckert, 2021a). ...
Preprint
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Das Papier präsentiert die Ergebnisse einer Befragung in 5 Landebehörden NRWs (N=1.554). Über 85 Prozent der Befragten wünschen sich eine Ausweitung und die Flexibilisierung der Arbeit. Bei einem Großteil der Befragten ist die Akzeptanz gegenüber flexiblen Arbeitszeitmodellen gewachsen. Je umfangreicher die Erfahrungen mit mobilem Arbeiten/Telearbeit vor dem Lockdown (März 2020), desto stärker wird Mobile Arbeit im zukünftigen Normalbetrieb gewünscht. Das heißt, Erfahrung mach Geschmack auf mehr. Im Mittelpunkt stehen Gründe, wie die Reduzierung konkreter Belastungen (freie Zeitfenster) und die Vereinbarkeit von Privatleben und Beruf aber auch die Produktivitätssteigerung. Belastungen und die Auswirkungen auf Teamqualität durch mobiles Arbeiten werden von über 70 Prozent der Befragten für geringfügig gehalten. Die Fähigkeit Privates von Beruflichem abzugrenzen (Grenzkongruenz), das Bedürfnis nach sozialen Kontakten (Anschluss), aber auch das Alter der Befragten korrespondieren jedoch mit erhöhten Belastungswerten und eingeschränkter Teambindung - wenn auch auf einem hohen Akzeptanzniveau. Führung erweist sich als Schlüsselfaktor: Gelingt es Führungskräften auf Distanz zu führen (digitale Führungskompetenz), ist das Belastungsniveau kleiner, Teamleistungen und Teamunterstützung werden als tragfähiger eingeschätzt als bei defizitärer digitaler Führungskompetenz. Bestand in Behörden bereits vor der Pandemie eine flexible Handhabung von Arbeitszeitmodellen (Dienstvereinbarungen), führt dies zu positiven Effekten bei allen Belastungs- und Teamvariablen, sowie bei der Akzeptanz. Allerdings wünschen sich über 60 Prozent der Befragten Fort- und Weiterbildung sowie Unterstützungsangebote. Die Stichprobe bewertet mobiles Arbeiten euphorisch. Es wird jedoch dafür plädiert, Risiken, die sich für spezifische Zielgruppen oder bei Vorliegen spezifischer Bedürfnisse ergeben, ernst zu nehmen und diese frühzeitig strategisch zu berücksichtigen. Es ist zu beobachten, das zahlreiche Kommunen und Behörden aktuell ihre Dienstvereinbarungen überarbeiten. Die Ergebnisse der Studie können dazu beitragen, relevante Optionen in zukünftigen Dienstvereinbarungen zu verankern sowie flankierende Maßnahmen (Support, Personalentwicklung, Fortbildung) zu konzipieren und vorzuhalten.
... Любопытно, что, как показывают экспериментальные исследования, формат удаленной работы может оказаться экономически выгодным с точки зрения традиционных показателей бизнес-эффективности: выработка продукции на единицу времени, количество отработанных рабочих часов и т.п. (см.: [Bloom et al., 2015]). ...
Article
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Статья рассматривает классический вопрос социологии о соотношении «структуры и действия» (“structure/agency”) через призму образования в контексте проблем современного социально-экономического развития на глобальном и национальном уровнях. Фокус статьи – вопросы общей социологии. Ключевой тезис в том, что, с учетом кризисных тенденций социально-экономической динамики и в условиях существенного повышения темпов социальных и технологических изменений, возникает феномен «деструктурации», который приводит к тому, что объективные возможности «действия» по изменению «структуры» возрастают. Более того, эффективное использование этих возможностей становится необходимым условием трансформаций в экономике и обществе. Поэтому особую актуальность в теоретических дискуссиях и практической повестке приобретают вопросы содержания, эффектов и механизмов такого типа действия, которое предлагается называть «трансформирующей агентностью» (transformative agency) или «активной самостоятельностью». В поиске ответа на эти вопросы полезны некоторые разработки смежных дисциплин (включая экономику) и идеи российских социологов.
... Un tema molto discusso nell'ambito dei dibattiti sui rischi da lavoro agile è la sensazione di solitudine provata dai lavoratori a causa della distanza dai colleghi. Questo, ha portato molti lavoratoti a prediligere il lavoro in sede a discapito della flessibilità di cui sarebbe invece sinonimo il lavoro da casa (Bloom et al. 2014;Orhan et al. 2014). Non lavorando in sede si perde infatti l'interazione con i colleghi, e, spesso, con essa, lo scambio di informazioni, conoscenze e valori che contribuiscono allo sviluppo dell'identità professionale e delle relazioni di fiducia negli ambienti di lavoro (Albano et al. 2019). ...
Article
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La diffusione del Covid-19 è stata accompagnata da misure di contenimento che hanno imposto un ripensamento dell’organizzazione del lavoro. A partire dal lockdown nazionale della primavera del 2020 il lavoro da casa è diventato una realtà diffusa in tutto il Paese, generando in molti casi una sovrapposizione, e non una conciliazione, tra tempi di vita e di lavoro. L’alienazione dalle reti formali e informali dettata dal distanziamento fisico, è andata spesso di pari passo con l’emergere di una nuova forma di alienazione lavorativa, in particolare femminile, per effetto della deregolamentazione del cosiddetto lavoro agile e dell’influenza sul comportamento degli stereotipi di genere. L’Osservatorio sui Mutamenti Sociali in Atto Covid-19 del gruppo di ricerca Mutamenti Sociali, Valutazione e Metodi (MUSA) del CNR-Irpps ha condotto due indagini nazionali a partire da marzo 2020 che hanno analizzato le tendenze comportamentali innescate o amplificate dalla diffusione del coronavirus, tra le quali l’influenza del luogo di lavoro sul benessere individuale, rintracciando una correlazione tra lavoro agile e alcune emozioni primarie negative che sono state scosse in conseguenza dell’evento pandemico e per effetto dello spazio lavorativo. Questo fenomeno è stato riscontrato in particolare tra le donne che hanno dovuto lavorare in modalità agile e, contestualmente, farsi carico degli oneri di cura e assistenza familiare.
... Other research topics have focused on various implications concerning remote work and remote workers like managing the limits of remote work in the aspects of work-family and family-work balance. These are based on the integration of work and free time and alternatively based on the preservation of a clear boundary between them [20,21], balancing professional and personal life and general job satisfaction [22], impact of remote work on working efficiency and wellbeing [23], and ultimately the greater satisfaction of remote employees than stationary employees in a call center [24]. ...
Article
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The first lockdown due to COVID-19 in the year 2020 created a particular scenario that forced a change to telework among diverse professions and social groups. This article presents the results of research carried out among samples of Polish, Lithuanian and Spanish remote workers concerning working conditions in organizations and at home, and the potential impact of some professional hazards from home-based telework. On the contrary to earlier published papers on pandemic-induced telework that focused on how the limitations at home of first-time remote workers impacted on their well-being and work–family balance, our research contributes to a more recent endeavor that focuses the analysis on the work design perspective. The results of the survey indicate that employees felt more stressed and in conflict at their remote workstations when they had to telework during the lockdown, and that this negative output was significantly related to the deterioration of some working dimensions like space, quality and design but not to the perception of professional hazards from home-based telework. According to our research, the forced situation seemed not to be a favorable factor for implementing changes in light of the insufficient technical and organizational preparation of employers as well as the employees’ mental preparation. It should be necessary to update sequentially the results of the epidemic-induced telework and conduct research for various stages of the pandemic and the subsequent economic recovery. This could help popularize remote work as one of the tools of the labor market in the future and as a tool for treating labor resources as an element of sustainable development.
... Several studies have explored the challenges and opportunities that WFH presents, despite the fact that many of these studies present contradictory results; for instance, some studies have found an increase in work productivity [7] and others a decrease [8] or a heterogeneous effect [9]. Taking into account the rapid improvement of digital technology, team communication platforms (i.e., Zoom, Google Meet) and the special conditions of social distancing and "lockdowns", we examined the recent studies as well as whether and how the pandemic has provided a new challenge for WFH. ...
Article
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The ongoing ‘refugee crisis’ of the past years has led to the migration of refugee researchers (RRs) to European countries. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RRs often had to work from home and/or to continue their social, cultural and economic integration process under new conditions. An online survey carried out to explore the impact of the pandemic on the refugee researchers showed that RRs found it difficult to adapt their everyday working life to the ‘home’ setting. The majority have had neither a suitable work environment at home nor the appropriate technology. Although they stated that they are rather pleased with the measures taken by the public authorities, they expressed concern about their vulnerability due to their precarious contracts and the bureaucratic asylum procedures, as the pandemic has had a negative impact on these major issues. The majority of RRs working in academia seem not to have been affected at all as far as their income is concerned, while the majority of those employed in other sectors became unemployed during the pandemic (58%). Recommendations are provided to the public authorities and policy makers to assist RRs to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic on their life.
... In recent decades, some employers have promoted virtual offices and working from home as a way to improve organizational performance by providing flexibility to employees (Zhang, 2016;Bloom, Liang, Roberts, & Ying, 2015). However, WFH does not necessarily constitute the panacea its promoters intend as concerns arise when workers find it difficult to balance work and family responsibilities and to deal with growing stress (Dockery & Bawa, 2014). ...
Thesis
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In this thesis, we tackle two social disruptions: recent refugee waves in Germany and the COVID-19 pandemic. We focus on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) as a key means of alleviating these disruptions and promoting social inclusion. As social disruptions typically lead to frustration and fragmentation, it is essential to ensure the social inclusion of individuals and societies during such times. In the context of the social inclusion of refugees, we focus on the Syrian refugees who arrived in Germany as of 2015, as they form a large and coherent refugee community. In particular, we address the role of ICTs in refugees’ social inclusion and investigate how different ICTs (especially smartphones and social networks) can foster refugees’ integration and social inclusion. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we focus on the widespread unconventional working model of work from home (WFH). Our research here centers on the main constructs of WFH and the key differences in WFH experiences based on personal characteristics such as gender and parental status. We reveal novel insights through four well-established research methods: literature review, mixed methods, qualitative method, and quantitative method. The results of our research have been published in the form of eight articles in major information systems venues and journals. Key results from the refugee research stream include the following: Smartphones represent a central component of refugee ICT use; refugees view ICT as a source of information and power; the social connectedness of refugees is strongly correlated with their Internet use; refugees are not relying solely on traditional methods to learn the German language or pursue further education; the ability to use smartphones anytime and anywhere gives refugees an empowering feeling of global connectedness; and ICTs empower refugees on three levels (community participation, sense of control, and self-efficacy). Key insights from the COVID-19 WFH stream include: Gender and the presence of children under the age of 18 affect workers’ control over their time, technology usefulness, and WFH conflicts, while not affecting their WFH attitudes; and both personal and technology-related factors affect an individual’s attitude toward WFH and their productivity. Further insights are being gathered at the time of submitting this thesis. This thesis contributes to the discussion within the information systems community regarding how to use different ICT solutions to promote the social inclusion of refugees in their new communities and foster an inclusive society. It also adds to the growing body of research on COVID-19, in particular on the sudden workplace transformation to WFH. The insights gathered in this thesis reveal theoretical implications and future opportunities for research in the field of information systems, practical implications for relevant stakeholders, and social implications related to the refugee crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic that must be addressed.
... This may have a negative effect on employee performance management and triggered greater work-related fatigue. Bloom (2015) determined from their study that the work-at-home employees were more joyful and less inclined to stop yet additionally more performing when contrasted with the employees who came into the workplace. WFH limits a discontinuation between conventional office-based employees and remote employees, which develops negative atmospheres (Collins et al., 2016). ...
... However, these analyses, like much of the previous research on remote work, virtual teams and telecommuting, are non-causal 31 and are therefore unable to separate the effects of remote work from the effects of pandemic-related confounding factors, such as reduced focus due to COVID-19-related stress or increased caregiving responsibilities while sheltering in place. Although previous research on the causal effects of remote work does exist, this work has mainly studied employees who volunteer to work remotely, and has focused on settings such as call centres and patent offices 38,39 where, relative to the majority of information work, tasks are more easily codifiable and are less likely to depend on collaboration or the transfer of complex knowledge. ...
Article
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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused a rapid shift to full-time remote work for many information workers. Viewing this shift as a natural experiment in which some workers were already working remotely before the pandemic enables us to separate the effects of firm-wide remote work from other pandemic-related confounding factors. Here, we use rich data on the emails, calendars, instant messages, video/audio calls and workweek hours of 61,182 US Microsoft employees over the first six months of 2020 to estimate the causal effects of firm-wide remote work on collaboration and communication. Our results show that firm-wide remote work caused the collaboration network of workers to become more static and siloed, with fewer bridges between disparate parts. Furthermore, there was a decrease in synchronous communication and an increase in asynchronous communication. Together, these effects may make it harder for employees to acquire and share new information across the network.
... Mobile payment can fast the economic system across the world. It was forecasted in 2019 that 1 billion people will use a mobile payment app worldwide in 2020 and it will grow to 1.31 billion people worldwide using mobile payments apps over 6-month period by 2023 (Bloom et al., 2013). The forecasted mobile payment market size will be USD 3081 billion by 2024. ...
Article
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Mobile payment services are spreading in Bangladesh like a spider net with the development of information and communication technology (ICT) and ubiquitous internet access. The present study was conducted to explore the influencing factors of e-commerce transaction through mobile payment services and to investigate the customer experiences with the services where sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction were identified. Data were collected from 240 users of mobile payment services through field survey during March to April in 2020 by purposive sampling method from Mymensingh and Sylhet Districts. The main satisfaction sources those emerged from the content analysis were, in descending order of incidents: convenience, problem solving, offer and discount, security and trust, and efficacy. On the other hand, complexity and network failure were the main reasons of customer dissatisfaction with mobile payment services. The findings of the multiple linear regression models revealed that age, education, monthly income and residential area had statistically significant effect on monthly e-commerce transaction over mobile payment services. Young people were more prone to use mobile payment services than older. People with higher education transacted less money over mobile payment services. Higher income earner transacted more money over mobile payment services. People live in urban area used the services frequently and transacted more money. The service providers should increase their availability and more advertisements are required to be placed at every possible means of medium in order to aware people about mobile payment services. Building trust among the users and feel them secured are also crying need to develop this sector at a faster way in near future.
... The need for the implementation requiring workers to work from home (WFH) and provision of the required technology that facilitate remote working from home as a way of limiting the spread of Covid-19 cannot be over emphasized [48]. There is also the need for effective contact tracing and for citizens who have had contact with infected persons to self -isolate at home for length of time justifiable by empirical evidence usually 10 -14 days. ...
Article
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SARS-COV-2 the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 pandemic first discovered in Wuhan China was declared a pandemic by the WHO March the 11th 2020. The pandemic has been associated with a number of challenges affecting a significant number of people globally, particularly children and young people living in sub-Saharan Africa. The Covid-19 pandemic and the associated lock-downs, physical distancing, self-isolation and quarantine had a devasting effect on the wellbeing of children and young people. The challenges that these children and young people have had to face were innumerable; isolation from friends; compelled to stay longer with adults rather than with their peers (parents and guardians who most times do not seem to understand the peculiar needs of these children and who will often shout and moan over every challenging behaviour products of boredom and monotony), learning from home, sedentary lifestyle with less physical activity, worries that they, their family members or friends might get sick and die from the pandemic and worries that their parents may lose their jobs and may not be able to fend for them. It is critical for government of West Africa states to proactively harness information and data from schools, colleges, public, social health services and parents to enable them better understand the effect the Covid-19 pandemic has had on children and young people across the region to enable them offer the required support and interventions for this and future pandemics to ensure that recovery is maintained. There is need to develop a family-centred approach in caring for an infected family member to limit the spread of the disease to other family members including children and young people. There is also the need for labour market interventions aimed at providing protection and benefits for the unemployed, disabled and other vulnerable members of society. There is an urgent need for government of West African countries Mental health services particularly for children and young people across the to optimize the mental health serviced offered to children and young people. It is critical that government across the region put measures in place to ensure that children and young people continue to receive the mental health and wellbeing support that they deserve even in the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 and future pandemics. There is an urgent need for government across the region to provide palliatives to help low-income individuals. Relaxation of the lockdown restrictions should be an opportunity for government across West Africa to create more opportunities for children and young people to engage in physical activity to improve on their physical, mental, psychological health and wellbeing.
... This is further complicated by the increasing use of remote working devices and modalities, which can undoubtedly have a positive impact on speeding up processes and improving performance, even if they pose a potential challenge to workers' wellbeing. For example, previous research has shown a relationship between remote work and technostress [33,34], work-life balance [35] and burnout [36], but also a positive relationship with performance [37]. ...
Article
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The ongoing epidemiological crisis has suddenly steered us towards a new futuristic work scenario in which most service sector employees work remotely, which could be a permanent reality for most service sector employees. This paper focuses on the strategic role that leadership could play in the radical change process that is taking place in work environments. Particular attention was paid to the role of ‘middle managers’ who perform an important function as a link between the strategic vision of top management and the workforce. In addition, special attention was paid to gender differences in work-life dynamics, which are particularly relevant in countries with traditional cultural identities. As this is a conceptual contribution, the most recent studies on this specific role of middle managers have been taken into account and embedded in the current scenario. Therefore, the main contribution in terms of originality was that the current review aimed to leverage such a legacy of knowledge and create a system of evidence-based practical implications for effectively supporting change in organizational culture through the identification of the most appropriate middle management leadership models for remote working that could prevent and/or limit any psychosocial risks (e.g., workaholism and technostress) and longer-term outcomes such as sustainable work-life interface.
... The finding of the regression analysis of the study presents that the factors of work from home has a significant positive impact on job satisfaction (52%) and this clearly explains, when factors of work from home increases, job satisfaction will also increases. This supports the findings of Bloom, Liang, Roberts and Ying (2015), (2015), which states that job satisfaction to increase by work from home. Further, another study demonstrates that work from home significantly and positively affected job satisfaction with a p-value of 0.001 < 0.05 and critical ratio of 4.026 > 1.96 (Susilo, 2020). ...
Article
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COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible for the current workforce to interact with stakeholders, and this is to mitigate the viral spread for a significant proportion of the workforce. The pandemic situation in the country led both employers and employees to look for alternative work arrangements. According to various research findings, the empirical knowledge gap was identified regarding the work from home and job satisfaction of women employees in Sri Lanka. To fill this empirical knowledge gap, this study was conducted with two research objectives to determine the level of WFH and job satisfaction and explore the impact of WFH factors on the job satisfaction of women employees who WFH in Sri Lanka. Primary data were collected from 120 women employees working from home for the companies located in the Colombo area, Sri Lanka using structured questionnaires. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis. Based on the findings of this study, the level of the WFH factors and job satisfaction was high. Multiple regression analysis revealed that among all WFH factors, seven of them including time planning skills, reduce the time for communication with co-workers, possibility to WFH in case of sickness, supervisor’s trust and support, possibility to save expenses, possibility to take care of family members and suitability of working place at home has a significant impact on the job satisfaction of women employees and the possibility to access the organization documents at home has no significant impact on the job satisfaction of women employees. The findings of this study identify a significant positive effect of WFH on the job satisfaction of women employees. Moreover, the results of this study guide to exercise effective strategies to direct employees for the usage of modern technology to access documents online. Keywords: Work from Home, Job satisfaction, COVID-19.
Conference Paper
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During the COVID19 pandemic, companies faced great difficulties in adapting their business processes and employees. In addition to the ability of employees to work remotely, the lack of software to support the ongoing implementation of existing processes also played a major role. Despite all this, during the pandemic, companies have already managed to reorganize their activities. The new form of employment-home-office / remote work-brought with its new forms of application in software and tools. This article examines the changes in software requirements during the COVID19 pandemic, the functionality of the tools needed by HR managers, the limitations of current software, and the impact of this experience on the post-pandemic period as a result of a survey of human resources professionals in Azerbaijan. It is undeniable that the experience gained by employees during the pandemic will play an important role in the post-pandemic period. During the pandemic period, the assignment of tasks to employees, the application of methods and tools used to monitor the implementation of tasks during the pandemic period was of great importance. Ensuring the observation and monitoring of the remote work process during the pandemic has also revealed very complex ethical dilemmas. This article aims to compare the current situation in Azerbaijan with relevant approaches in other countries.
Article
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Purpose This study aims to test the relationship between work from home (WFH) and employee productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study also examines the moderating role of gender in the relationship between WFH and employee productivity. Design/methodology/approach A sample of 250 respondents from hospitality, banking and information technology was taken from the National Capital Region and Punjab State of India. The hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling and multi-group moderation analysis. Findings The findings provide support for the negative relationship between WFH and employee productivity. This study also provides empirical evidence that gender moderates the relationship between WFH and employee productivity. Originality/value This study is the first of its kind to test the relationship between WFH and employee productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study contributes to the organizational behavior literature by providing empirical support to the organizational adaptation theory.
Article
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.
Article
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Lockdowns imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19 massively disrupted the daily routines of many worldwide, but studies to date have been mostly confined to observations within a limited number of countries, based on subjective reports and surveys from specific time periods during the pandemic. We investigated associations between lockdown stringency and objective sleep and resting-heart rate measures in ~ 113,000 users of a consumer sleep tracker across 20 countries from Jan to Jul 2020, compared to an equivalent period in 2019. With stricter lockdown measures, midsleep times were universally delayed, particularly on weekdays, while midsleep variability and resting heart rate declined. These shifts (midsleep: + 0.09 to + 0.58 h; midsleep variability: − 0.12 to − 0.26 h; resting heart rate: − 0.35 to − 2.08 bpm) correlated with the severity of lockdown across different countries (all P s < 0.001) and highlight the graded influence of stringency lockdowns on human physiology.
Article
Purpose This paper has three aims: Firstly, it puts the pandemic-induced surge in homeworking into context by charting trends in homeworking in the UK since the early 1980s. Secondly, it examines what effect the growth in homeworking during the pandemic has had on employees' self-reported levels of productivity. Thirdly, it assesses whether the spike in homeworking is a flash in the pan or a permanent feature of the post-pandemic world. Design/methodology/approach The paper uses cross-sectional and longitudinal data taken from three nationally representative surveys of workers: (1) the Labour Force Survey (LFS), an official government survey carried out between 1981 and 2019; (2) a special module of the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN), also an official government survey, which has been run every week since the pandemic began in March 2020; and (3) the Understanding Society Covid-19 Study, an online survey of the same people interviewed on six occasions during 2020. Findings The recent surge in homeworking in the UK during the pandemic has been dramatic. Before 2020, it had taken almost 40 years for homeworking to grow by three percentage points, but its prevalence grew eight-fold virtually overnight as people were instructed to work at home if they can because of the pandemic. Despite theories and predictions to the contrary, employees reported that their productivity was not adversely affected. Seven out of ten employees said that they were able to get as much done while working at home in June 2020 as they were able to do six months earlier. By September 2020, this proportion had risen to 85%. However, around one in six homeworkers reported that their productivity had fallen. Research limitations/implications While there are solid theoretical reasons for the paper's findings, these data do not allow us to test all of the mechanisms involved. In addition, our outcome measure relies on employees' self-reports of how their hourly productivity changed when working at home and is not based on a direct measure of changes to output per hour. However, surveys of employers also suggest that, on average, productivity has not been reduced by the pandemic-induced surge in homeworking. Social implications This paper argues that a higher level of homeworking is here to stay. Nine out of ten employees who worked at home during the pandemic said that they would like to continue working at home when they did not have to. Furthermore, those keenest to continue working at home were the most productive, hence providing a business case for a sustained increase in the prevalence of homeworking after the pandemic has passed. Nevertheless, the experience of homeworking varies with those with higher domestic commitments reporting significantly lower levels of productivity. Originality/value There is an urgent need to investigate what effect enforced, as opposed to voluntary, homeworking has had on employee productivity. In addition, in order to decide whether continued homeworking should be encouraged or discouraged, policymakers and employers need to know what effect continuing with these arrangements is likely to have on employee productivity. This paper answers these questions using robust survey data collected in the UK throughout 2020, complemented by evidence taken from a variety of employer surveys.
Thesis
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The global COVID-19 pandemic, declared in March 2020, has upended our lives and societies, causing major disruption to our traditional workplace models and ushering in new work practices that are bound to have profound implications for the future of work. In addition, the COVID-19 crisis has disproportionately affected the mental well-being and employment prospects of vulnerable groups, including young people, and disrupted their education and training programs. This study aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the impact of the pandemic on millennials and Generation Z, as well as identify the emerging trends and key issues that will shape the future of work in a post COVID-19 Europe. This research draws upon the survey responses from a sample of almost 400 individuals belonging to both millennials and generation Z, obtained using a quota sampling technique. This study showed that about three-fourths of young adults believe that the pandemic can serve as a catalyst for positive change in workplace culture and play a key role in forging a new social contract fit for the 21st century. Furthermore, the results of the survey emphasize the urgency to promote lifelong learning opportunities, reform current education systems and standards, coupled with a critical need to advance an ambitious reskilling and upskilling agenda. Millennials and Generation Z, according to the survey, consider digital skills, adaptability and emotional intelligence as the top three skills they will need to harness the opportunities brought about by the fourth industrial revolution and adapt to the upcoming automation wave. Finally, this paper suggests that remote working and flexible working arrangements are here to stay and will likely become the new normal as the pandemic subsides. According to the survey, 8 out of 10 young people in Europe would like to have greater flexibility and control over their working hours and work location, thus giving rise to new technology-driven hybrid and distributed work models.
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A research study into the causes of emotional fragility, and what it takes to maintain emotional resilience.
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The global pandemic has reshaped the use of working space dramatically, mainly due to the implementation of the working from home policy and indoor social distancing requirements. This calls for the rethinking of the current office design approaches and the proposal of specific design strategies to provide a safer and healthier environment for employees to return to their offices. Also, the demand for enhancing office design to accommodate special and rare events like the pandemic is identified. More resilient and flexible office designs are needed for the post- pandemic era. This study aims to provide an insight into the human movement in the open-plan office setting by simulating the movement using agent-based modelling. Normal scenario and special scenarios with social distancing standards and reduced office capacity are simulated. The simulated scenarios contribute to the development of the new adaptive office design approaches for a safe office resume.
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Japan-and examines teleworking within and across these eight countries. We seek to answer the following questions: (1) Which demographic and socioeconomic groups are more likely to telework? (2) Is there any association between telework and other work-related experiences such as life satisfaction and perceived productivity at work? Across countries, we observe that teleworking was higher in countries that imposed strict lockdowns, such as China, and lower in countries that had soft lockdowns, such as Japan. Within each country, there are notable differences in teleworking between low-and high-income persons, and between those employed in small versus large firms. We also find that people who used telework before COVID-19 report higher life satisfaction compared to those who started using telework for the first time after the COVID-19 outbreak.
Chapter
This paper deals with the changes in internal corporate communication caused by home office. The research focuses on the maintenance of social inclusion, internal relationship structures and communication between employees in the regular work and home office model. The implementation took place in the form of qualitative interviews with employees of an Austrian technology company. The results show a reduced need for social inclusion (=social isolation), a deterioration of interdepartmental relationships as well as a reduction in (interpersonal) communication in the course of home office work. In internal corporate communication, therefore, targeted measures for a functioning home office are necessary.
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There is much evidence that good management practice is an important factor that positively affects firms' productivity around the world. However, little evidence on effect of management practices on Vietnamese firms has been drawn. This paper provides results of such a study. The quality of management activities is found to be poor and be positively related to the turnovers of firms, the ages of firms, the numbers of employees, investment capital, and human capital. Also, management practice scores change significantly according to the influencing factors including level of competition, degree of decentralization, types of ownership, types of customer firms are serving, advancement of export market, and types of product firms are selling.
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Currently, all countries in the world are shocked by a global pandemic called Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19). This virus attack has had a huge impact on humans in the world and has changed many important aspects of life such as health, economy, politics, and also security. We have seen how COVID-19 has become a major threat to all organizations in the world, which has led to changes in work methods and also human interaction within the organization. The working method shifting in question is a change in the organization in giving tasks and responsibilities to its employees by “prohibiting” its employees to work in the office and gather in a room. This prohibition is not intended to destroy the performance of the organization but rather aims to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which until now continues to add the number of its victims globally. The concept of Work from Home (WFH) has been the subject of discussion and global study theme by researchers in the past 10 years, but this global phenomenon begins to emerge at the coming of the COVID-19 attack and becomes an alternative strategy for many organizations. However, in Brunei, this Working from Home (WFH) initiative or arrangement has not been widely implemented yet and become a work culture in the organization, although there are still a few organizations that have given the flexible arrangement of work for their employees. WFH, which is a phenomenon today in Brunei, is not a work culture found in many organizations, especially government organizations that are very bound by direct supervision, discipline, and also public services. In reality, WFH is not fully understood by the employees, they feel a lot of dilemma conditions such as the mindset that the home is where they rest while work is generally done in the office. This dilemma condition sometimes creates conflicts within the family even though WFH creates flexibility of time and place. Therefore, this paper tries to excavate and compare the different WFH arrangements that have been executed by three higher education institutions in Brunei following the de-escalation plans that have been widely disseminated by the government during the active spread of COVID-19. The findings suggest that different institutions have different ways of interpreting and implementing the WFH arrangements. This paper concludes with preliminary suggestions on managerial perspectives and implementation of flexible working arrangements like WFH and further research to be done in tackling the perceptual attitudes of employees undergoing the WFH initiative.
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The analysis presented in this paper evaluates the impact of both short-term and long-term stay home living on the energy consumption of Saudi residential building stock. The analysis combines monitored data obtained for a sample of housing units as well as the results from a validated Saudi residential building stock model. In particular, a bottom-up building stock modeling analysis approach is used to estimate the energy impact of the 2020 stay home order imposed due to COVID-19 in most of Saudi Arabia’s regions between March15 and June 15, 2020. Moreover, the potential influences of long-term stay home patterns on the cost-benefits of energy retrofit programs are investigated targeting Saudi existing housing stocks. The analysis results indicate that when normalized to weather, the 2020 lockdown has resulted in a 16% increase in electricity consumption compared to the 2019 level specific to the entire Saudi housing stock. Most of this increase is associated with the higher energy end-use of lighting, appliances, and air conditioning associated with increased occupancy levels during daytime hours. For a transition to long-term stay home living, the results of the analysis show that the energy consumption of the Saudi housing stock is estimated to increase by 13.5% compared to the current occupancy pattern. Moreover, the analysis indicates that the cost-benefits for energy efficiency retrofits are enhanced with long-term stay home living.
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An attempt has been made to evaluate the extent of pollution of ground water in and around Paraipatti Pond located in Dindigul to Palani bypass Road at Dindigul district. Ground water analysis at nine different sites at four directions reveals that the water quality parameters are higher than the permitted level. As per CPHEEO standard specifically high turbidity, high TDS and higher Electrical conductivity values indicate that the water cannot be used for domestic purpose. The adjoining groundwater sources are mostly affected and the water becomes very salty with very high TDS. Hence the polluted water is suggested to water treatment using Reverse Osmosis System.
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Employee wellbeing is vital for their job satisfaction and motivation to achieve the long-term goals of their employers. Organisations provide flexible work arrangements (FWAs) as one of the strategies for attending to employee wellbeing. Despite the motivating role of FWAs, their links with firm level innovation are rarely considered. This study examines the relationships between FWAs and innovation. It also investigates how the competitive environment in which firms operate moderates the FWA-innovation relationship. Drawing upon a rich longitudinal data of 1513 Australian SMEs, our findings suggest that provision of flexitime and flexi-leave encourage innovation as they provide the mental space and diversity needed for knowledge creation, sharing and exploitation. Moreover, high market competition has limited effect on the positive associations between flexitime and flexi-leave, as FWAs, and innovation but attenuates the relationship between job-sharing and innovation. Our findings imply that SME managers should prioritize the provisions of flexitime and flexi-leave to their employees as these FWAs have pronounced effects on firm-level innovation.
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The covid-19 epidemic hit the world like a ton of bricks, claiming human lives and damaging businesses while also creating mental disease and poverty, leading to a rise in violence and conflict in society. The objective of the study is to recommend HR practices that government agencies, employee welfare associations, and other organizations may use in the unorganized migrant labour sector. Data were obtained for the investigation from various sources, including research papers, newspapers, and periodicals. Government and non-government organizations should plan ahead of time to incorporate Human Resource Management practices for all employees in the unorganized sectors, not only migratory workers. Improved attempts to link migrant workers and a re-evaluation of the strict report criteria for getting to crisis-relief measures are two instances of suitable operations. Human Resource Management methods are a never-ending process, and plans should be reviewed and changed on a regular basis based on the changes.
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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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This paper analyzes a marked change in the evolution of the U.S. wage structure over the past fifteen years: divergent trends in upper-tail (90/50) and lower-tail (50/10) wage inequality. We document that wage inequality in the top half of distribution has displayed an unchecked and rather smooth secular rise for the last 25 years (since 1980). Wage inequality in the bottom half of the distribution also grew rapidly from 1979 to 1987, but it has ceased growing (and for some measures actually narrowed) since the late 1980s. Furthermore we find that occupational employment growth shifted from monotonically increasing in wages (education) in the 1980s to a pattern of more rapid growth in jobs at the top and bottom relative to the middles of the wage (education) distribution in the 1990s. We characterize these patterns as the %u201Cpolarization%u201D of the U.S. labor market, with employment polarizing into high-wage and low-wage jobs at the expense of middle-wage work. We show how a model of computerization in which computers most strongly complement the non-routine (abstract) cognitive tasks of high-wage jobs, directly substitute for the routine tasks found in many traditional middle-wage jobs, and may have little direct impact on non-routine manual tasks in relatively low-wage jobs can help explain the observed polarization of the U.S. labor market.Institutional subscribers to the NBER working paper series, and residents of developing countries may download this paper without additional charge at www.nber.org.
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We use an innovative survey tool to collect management practice data from 732 medium-sized firms in the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. These measures of managerial practice are strongly associated with firm-level productivity, profitability, Tobin's Q, and survival rates. Management practices also display significant cross-country differences, with U.S. firms on average better managed than European firms, and significant within-country differences, with a long tail of extremely badly managed firms. We find that poor management practices are more prevalent when product market competition is weak and/or when family-owned firms pass management control down to the eldest sons (primogeniture).
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This national benchmarking report of the U.S. telecommunications services industry traces the tumultuous changes in management and workforce practices and performance in the sector over the last 5 years. This is a follow-up report to our 1998 study. At that time, when the industry was booming, we conducted a national survey of establishments in the industry. In 2003, we returned to do a second national survey of the industry, this time in a sector that was recovering from one of the worst recessions in its history.
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We present evidence from a firm level experiment in which we engineered an exogenous change in managerial compensation from fixed wages to performance pay based on the average productivity of lower-tier workers. Theory suggests that managerial incentives affect both the mean and dispersion of workers’ productivity through two channels. First, managers respond to incentives by targeting their efforts towards more able workers, implying that both the mean and the dispersion increase. Second, managers select out the least able workers, implying that the mean increases but the dispersion may decrease. In our field experiment we find that the introduction of managerial performance pay raises both the mean and dispersion of worker productivity. Analysis of individual level productivity data shows that managers target their effort towards high ability workers, and the least able workers are less likely to be selected into employment. These results highlight the interplay between the provision of managerial incentives and earnings inequality among lower-tier workers.
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We examine the effects of urban form and public transit supply on the commute mode choices and annual vehicle miles traveled (VMTs) of households living in 114 urban areas in 1990. The probability of driving to work is lower the higher are population centrality and rail miles supplied and the lower is road density. Population centrality, jobs-housing balance, city shape, and road density have a significant effect on annual household VMTs. Although individual elasticities are small absolute values (≤0.10), moving sample households from a city with the characteristics of Atlanta to a city with the characteristics of Boston reduces annual VMTs by 25%. Copyright (c) 2005 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Because minorities typically fare poorly on standardized tests, job testing is thought to pose an equality-efficiency trade-off: testing improves selection but reduces minority hiring. We develop a conceptual framework to assess when this trade-off is likely to apply and evaluate the evidence for such a trade-off using hiring and productivity data from a national retail firm whose 1,363 stores switched from informal to test-based worker screening over the course of one year. We document that testing yielded more productive hires at this firm—raising mean and median tenure by 10% or more. Consistent with prior research, minorities performed worse on the test. Yet, testing had no measurable impact on minority hiring, and productivity gains were uniformly large among minority and nonminority hires. These results suggest that job testing raised the precision of screening without introducing additional negative information about minority applicants, most plausibly because both the job test and the informal screen that preceded it were unbiased.
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Economic models of incentives in employment relationships are based on a specific theory of motivation. Employees are 'rational cheaters,' who anticipate the consequences of their actions and shirk when the perceived marginal benefit exceeds the marginal cost. Managers respond to this decision calculus by implementing monitoring and incentive pay practices that lessen the attraction of shirking. This 'rational cheater model' is not the only model of opportunistic behavior, and indeed is viewed skeptically by human resource practitioners and by many non-economists who study employment relationships. We investigate the 'rational cheater model' using data from a double-blind field experiment that allows us to observe the effect of experimentally-induced variations in monitoring on employee opportunism. The experiment is unique in that it occurs in the context of an ongoing employment relationship, i.e., with the firm's employees producing output as usual under the supervision of their front-line managers. The results indicate that a significant fraction of employees behave roughly in ccordance with the 'rational cheater model.' We also find, however, that a substantial proportion of employees do not respond to manipulations in the monitoring rate. This heterogeneity is related to employee assessments about their general treatment by the emp loyer.
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In this paper, we exploit establishment-level data to examine the relationship between microeconomic productivity dynamics and aggregate productivity growth. After synthesizing the evidence from recent studies, we conduct our own analysis using establishment-level data for U.S. manufacturing establishments as well for selected service industries. The use of longitudinal micro data on service sector establishments is one of the novel features of our analysis. Our main findings are summarized as follows: (i) the contribution of reallocation of outputs and inputs from less productive to more productive establishments plays a significant role in accounting for aggregate productivity growth; (ii) for the selected service industries considered, the contribution of net entry (more productive entering establishments displacing less productive exiting establishments) is dominant; (iii) the contribution of net entry to aggregate productivity growth is disproportionate and is increasing in the horizon over which the changes are measured since longer horizon yields greater differentials from selection and learning effects; (iv) the contribution of reallocation to aggregate productivity growth varies over time (e.g. is cyclically sensitive) and industries and is somewhat sensitive to subtle differences in measurement and decomposition methodologies.
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We analyze the consequences of control on motivation in an experimental principalagent game, where the principal can control the agent by implementing a minimum performance requirement before the agent chooses a productive activity. Our results show that control entails hidden costs since most agents reduce their performance as a response to the principal?s controlling decision. Overall, the effect of control on the principal?s payoff is nonmonotonic. When asked for their emotional perception of control, most agents who react negatively say that they perceive the controlling decision as a signal of distrust and a limitation of their choice autonomy. (JEL D82, Z13)
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Economic models of incentives in employment relationships are based on a specific theory of motivation: employees are "rational cheaters," who anticipate the consequences of their actions and shirk when the marginal benefits exceed costs. We investigate the "rational cheater model" by observing how experimentally induced variation in monitoring of telephone call center employees influences opportunism. A significant fraction of employees behave as the "rational cheater model" predicts. A substantial proportion of employees, however, do not respond to manipulations in the monitoring rate. This heterogeneity is related to variation in employee assessments of their general treatment by the employer. (JEL D2, J2, L2, L8, M12)
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The theories of supermodular optimization and games provide a framework for the analysis of systems marked by complementarity. We summarize the principal results of these theories and indicate their usefulness by applying them to study the shift to ‘modern manufacturing’. We also use them to analyze the characteristic features of the Lincoln Electric Company's strategy and structure.
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Much of the theory in personnel economics relates to effects of monetary incentives on output, but the theory was untested because appropriate data were unavailable. A new data set for the Safelite Glass Corporation tests the predictions that average productivity will rise, the firm will attract a more able workforce, and variance in output across individuals at the firm will rise when it shifts to piece rates. In Safelite, productivity effects amount to a 44-percent increase in output per worker. This firm apparently had selected a suboptimal compensation system, as profits also increased with the change.
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Over the last decade the World Management Survey (WMS) has collected firm-level management practices data across multiple sectors and countries. We developed the survey to try to explain the large and persistent total factor productivity (TFP) differences across firms and countries. This review paper discusses what has been learned empirically and theoretically from the WMS and other recent work on management practices. Our preliminary results suggest that about a quarter of cross-country and within-country TFP gaps can be accounted for by management practices. Management seems to matter both qualitatively and quantitatively for performance at the level of the firm and the nation. Competition, governance, human capital, and informational frictions help account for the variation in management. We make some suggestions for both policy and future research.
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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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In an effort to cut costs and improve worker morale, corporations are increasingly turning to telecommuting. Conflicting reports exist though on the effects that working outside the office has on productivity which directly affects a company's bottom line. This study explores these controversies using an experimental approach. Creative and dull individual tasks were used to mimic two extreme work climates. Results of this study indicate that the telecommuting environmental effects may have positive implications on productivity of creative tasks but negative implications on productivity of dull tasks.
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Ctrip is a $437 million Chinese on-line travel services company with a scientific, data driven approach to management. The case explores Ctrip's founding and early growth, its expansion into multiple market segments including hotel reservations, air ticketing, leisure travel, and corporate travel, and the sources of its competitive advantage. The firm's culture, organization and call center operations are described in detail, as are its decision-making and business processes. At the end of the case, executives are considering whether Ctrip should actively pursue either the budget or luxury travel segments, which would mean shifting attention from the company's core customer base of Frequent Independent Travelers.Learning Objective: The case has three main purposes. First, it helps students understand some of the distinctive challenges of the Chinese marketplace and how those challenges can be overcome. Ctrip was founded in 1999 at a time when the Chinese travel industry was fragmented; the key players were either state-owned enterprises or small, local travel agencies. Ctrip grew quickly by consolidating the business, broadening geographical coverage, and offering superior service. Second, the case includes a detailed description of the company's scientific approach to management, which help students better understand its elements and key components: data-driven decision making, experimentation, process analysis, and a non-hierarchical, learning oriented culture. Third, the case presents students with a dilemma faced by many growing companies - deciding if and when to expand into new market segments that are likely to require different capabilities because they appeal to a different customer base (in this case, either budget or luxury travelers rather than Ctrip's traditional Frequent Independent Travelers).
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This is a study of factors responsible for the wide cross-sectional differences in the past and current rates of use of hybrid seed corn in the United States. Logistic growth functions are fitted to the data by states and crop reporting districts, reducing differences among areas to differences in estimates of the three parameters of the logistic: origins, slopes, and ceilings. The lag in the development of adaptable hybrids for particular areas and the lag in the entry of seed producers into these areas (differences in origins) are explained on the basis of varying profitability of entry, "profitability" being a function of market density, and innovation and marketing cost. Differences in the long-run equilibrium use of hybrid corn (ceilings) and in the rates of approach to that equilibrium (slopes) are explained, at least in part, by differences in the profitability of the shift from open pollinated to hybrid varieties in different parts of the country. The results are summarized and the conclusion is drawn that the process of innovation, the process of adapting and distributing a particular invention to different markets and the rate at which it is accepted by entrepreneurs are amenable to economic analysis.
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In recent studies of the structure of affect, positive and negative affect have consistently emerged as two dominant and relatively independent dimensions. A number of mood scales have been created to measure these factors; however, many existing measures are inadequate, showing low reliability or poor convergent or discriminant validity. To fill the need for reliable and valid Positive Affect and Negative Affect scales that are also brief and easy to administer, we developed two 10-item mood scales that comprise the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). The scales are shown to be highly internally consistent, largely uncorrelated, and stable at appropriate levels over a 2-month time period. Normative data and factorial and external evidence of convergent and discriminant validity for the scales are also presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)
Chapter
Many critics of free-market liberalism argue that higher product-market competition and the "Anglo-Saxon" management practices it stimulates increases productivity only at the expense of employees' work-life balance (WLB). The empirical basis of these claims is unclear. To address this issue we use an innovative survey tool to collect the first international data on management practices and work-life balance practices, surveying 732 medium sized manufacturing firms in the US, France, Germany and the UK. We find that WLB outcomes are significantly associated with better management, so that well run firms are both more productive and better for their employees. After controlling for management practices, however, we find no additional relationship between WLB and productivity. WLB practices are also not reduced by tougher competition, suggesting no deleterious effect of competition on employees' working environment. Finally, looking at multinationals we find that US subsidiaries in Europe adopt the superior management practices of their US parent firms but the local WLB practices of their European competitors.
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A long-standing question is whether differences in management practices across firms can explain differences in productivity, especially in developing countries where these spreads appear particularly large. To investigate this, we ran a management field experiment on large Indian textile firms. We provided free consulting on management practices to randomly chosen treatment plants and compared their performance to a set of control plants. We find that adopting these management practices raised productivity by 17% in the first year through improved quality and efficiency and reduced inventory, and within three years led to the opening of more production plants. Why had the firms not adopted these profitable practices previously? Our results suggest that informational barriers were the primary factor explaining this lack of adoption. Also, because reallocation across firms appeared to be constrained by limits on managerial time, competition had not forced badly managed firms to exit. JEL Codes: L2, M2, O14, O32, O33.
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This study documents the rapid growth in home-based wage and salary employment and the sharp decline in the home-based wage penalty in the United States between 1980 and 2000. These twin patterns, observed for both men and women in most occupation groups, suggest that employer costs of providing home-based work arrangements have decreased. Consistent with information technology (IT) advances being an important source of these falling costs, I find that occupation-gender cells that had larger increases in on-the-job IT use also experienced larger increases in the home-based employment share and larger declines in the home-based wage penalty.
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Three experiments examine what is widely reported to be one of the most common forms of interference in open-plan office environments—the effect of background noise. Experiment 1 investigates whether office noise (with or without speech) is disruptive to two office-related tasks: memory for prose and mental arithmetic. The results show that whereas office noise with speech disrupts performance on both tasks, office noise without speech disrupts performance on the mental arithmetic task only. Experiment 2 investigates the memory for prose task more closely by varying the duration and the meaning of the background noise. Experiment 3 examines whether the meaning of speech is important to the disruption of a mental arithmetic task. The results show that both speech and office noise can disrupt performance on memory for prose and mental arithmetic tasks, and the effect is independent of the meaning of the irrelevant speech. These results are presented and interpreted in light of current research and theories regarding the effect of background noise.
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[Excerpt] American society has changed dramatically over the past half century. Women have entered the labor force in growing numbers and families have increasingly relied on more than one earner to make ends meet. And yet, children still need to be taken to the doctor and elderly parents still need care. Moreover, more adults older than 25 are attending school. Because these changes have caused many workers to face conflicts between their work and their personal lives, they also inspire a need and desire for more flexibility in the workplace. Flexible workplace arrangements can be in terms of when one works, where one works, or how much one works (including time off after childbirth or other life events). They include a variety of arrangements such as job sharing, phased retirement of older workers, and telecommuting, that allow workers to continue making productive contributions to the workforce while also attending to family and other responsibilities. This report presents an economic perspective on flexible workplace policies and practices. The first section reports some of the changes in the U.S. workforce that have increased the need for flexibility in the workplace. • Women comprise nearly one-half of the labor force; in nearly one-half of households all adults are working. • In 2008, approximately 43.5 million Americans served as unpaid caregivers to a family member over the age of 50. Nearly one-fifth of employed people were caregivers who provided care to a person over age 50. • The increasing demand for analytical and interactive skills—those largely obtained through post-secondary education—means it is all the more important and common for individuals to pursue additional education while also working. The second section examines the current state of flexible work arrangements and reports that many employers have adapted to the changing realities of American workers. • Overall, over one-half of employers report allowing at least some workers to periodically change their starting and quitting times. However, less than one-third of full-time workers report having flexible work hours, and only 39 percent of part-time workers do. This discrepancy between the employer and employee reports may be due to differences in data collection or because more employers would be willing to accommodate the needs of individual workers but these workers are not aware of it. • Less-skilled workers have less workplace flexibility in terms of the scheduling of when they work than do more highly-skilled workers. • Flexibility in where to work is less common: only about 15 percent of workers report working from home at least once per week. • Finally, most employers offer at least some workers the ability to return to work gradually after a major life event such as the birth or adoption of a child, although job sharing appears less widespread. The report concludes with a discussion of the economic benefits of workplace flexibility arrangements. • Almost one-third of firms cite costs or limited funds as obstacles to implementing workplace flexibility arrangements. However, the benefits of adopting such management practices can outweigh the costs by reducing absenteeism, lowering turnover, improving the health of workers, and increasing productivity. • The costs and benefits of adopting flexible arrangements differ across industries and employers of different sizes. • Because many employers may not have accurate information about the costs and benefits of workplace flexibility practices and because some of the benefits may extend beyond the individual employer and its workers, wider adoption of such policies and practices may well have benefits to more firms and workers, and for the U.S. economy as a whole. • A factor hindering a deeper understanding of the benefits and costs of flexibility is a lack of data on the prevalence of workplace flexibility arrangements, and more research is needed on the mechanisms through which flexibility influences workers’ job satisfaction and firm profits to help policy makers and managers alike.
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We present evidence on whether workers have social preferences by comparing workers' productivity under relative incentives, where individual effort imposes a negative externality on others, with their productivity under piece rates, where it does not. We find that the productivity of the average worker is at least 50 percent higher under piece rates than under relative incentives. We show that this is due to workers partially internalizing the negative externality their effort imposes on others under relative incentives, especially when working alongside their friends. Under piece rates, the relationship among workers does not affect productivity. Further analysis reveals that workers internalize the externality only when they can monitor others and be monitored. This rules out pure altruism as the underlying motive of workers' behavior.
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We study subjects who were asked to fill letters into envelopes with a remuneration independent of output. In the "pair" treatment, two subjects worked at the same time in the same room, and peer effects were possible. In the "single" treatment, subjects worked alone, and peer effects were ruled out. We find evidence of peer effects in the pair treatment because the standard deviations of output are smaller within pairs than between pairs. Moreover, average output is higher in the pair treatment: thus, peer effects raise productivity. Finally, low-productivity workers are the most sensitive to the behavior of peers.
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We use an innovative survey tool to collect management practice data from 732 medium-sized firms in the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. These measures of managerial practice are strongly associated with firm-level productivity, profitability, Tobin's Q, and survival rates. Management practices also display significant cross-country differences, with U.S. firms on average better managed than European firms, and significant within-country differences, with a long tail of extremely badly managed firms. We find that poor management practices are more prevalent when product market competition is weak and/or when family-owned firms pass management control down to the eldest sons (primogeniture). (c) 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..
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We document several empirical regularities regarding the evolution of urban structure in the largest U.S. metropolitan areas over the period 1980-90. These regularities relate to changes in resident population, employment, occupations, as well as the number and size of establishments in different sections of the metropolitan area. We then propose a theory of urban structure that emphasizes the location and internal structure decisions of firms. In particular, firms can decide to locate their headquarters and operation plants in different regions of the city. Given that cities experienced positive population growth throughout the 1980s, we show that firm fragmentation produces the diverse set of facts documented in the article. Copyright © (2009) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.
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This paper empirically assesses the wage effects of the Job Corps program, one of the largest federally funded job training programs in the U.S. Even with the aid of a randomized experiment, the impact of a training program on wages is difficult to study because of sample selection, a pervasive problem in applied microeconometric research. Wage rates are only observed for those who are employed, and employment status itself may be affected by the training program. This paper develops an intuitive trimming procedure for bounding average treatment effects in the presence of sample selection. In contrast to existing methods, the procedure requires neither exclusion restrictions nor a bounded support for the outcome of interest. Identification results, estimators, and their asymptotic distribution are presented. The bounds suggest that the program raised wages, consistent with the notion that the Job Corps raises earnings by increasing human capital, rather than solely through encouraging work. The estimator is generally applicable to typical treatment evaluation problems in which there is nonrandom sample selection/attrition.
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