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Learning from the working from home experiment during COVID-19: Employees motivation to continue working from home

Wilson, HK, Tucker, MP and Dale, G (2024) Learning from the working from home experiment during COVID-19: Employees motivation to continue working from home. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance. ISSN 2051-6614

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Purpose: this research investigates the challenges and benefits of working from home and the needs that organisation’s should understand when adopting working from home practices.

Design/methodology/approach: self-determination theory was used to understand the drivers of motivation when working from home, to provide a deep understanding of how organisations may support employees working from home. A cross-sectional qualitative survey design was used to collect data from 511 office workers during May and June of 2020.

Findings: employees’ needs for competence were thwarted by a lack of direction and focus, unsuitable work environment, work extensification, and negative work culture. Employees’ experiences and needs for relatedness were more diverse, identifying that they enjoyed spending more time with family and having a greater connection to the outdoors, but felt more isolated and suffered from a lack of interaction. Employees' experiences of autonomy whilst working from home were also mixed, having less autonomy from blurred boundaries between home and work, as well as childcare responsibilities. Conversely, there was more freedom to be able to concentrate on physical health.

Originality: swathes of research were conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, but overwhelmingly focused on quantitative methods. A qualitative survey design enabled participants to answer meaningful open-ended questions, better suited to explain the complexity of their experiences, which allowed for understanding and richness not gained through previous studies.

Practical implications: employee’s needs for competence should be prioritised. Organisations must be conscious of this and provide the support that enables direction and focus when working at home.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Divisions: Liverpool Business School
Publisher: Emerald
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2023 16:42
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2024 16:15
DOI or ID number: 10.1108/JOEPP-05-2023-0184
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22113
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