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Date of Award
Despite an increase in employees working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, few organizations know how to implement remote work effectively. Moreover, the literature on telework has produced inconsistent findings with work-related outcomes. These inconsistencies are potentially explained by competing theories of telework and interactions between individual traits, organizational practices, and other telework characteristics. The pandemic presented a unique opportunity to assess the characteristics of employees who had no experience working remotely prior to the lockdown, thereby minimizing the self-selection biases associated with telework research. The goals of the study are as follows: 1) to assess the various factors contributing to favorable telework situations over the pandemic, and 2) to identify patterns of remote working characteristics that organizations can use to tailor policies and practices to particular subpopulations. A survey of 658 full-time employees who worked remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic indicated that individual preferences (such as boundary management preference and work centrality) were stronger correlates of remote work satisfaction than company perceptions. Additionally, work-family conflict was significantly associated with remote work satisfaction. Lastly, organizational perceptions tended to cluster together in a latent profile analysis more so than individual characteristics or remote work situational characteristics. The findings suggest that the key to remote work success may lie with individuals and how they manage boundaries working from home. The findings support the literature suggesting that work-to-family transitions are more likely to occur when boundaries are permeable (as in telework) and that those transitions are more disruptive to those who prefer segmentation. Organizations can make the most widespread impact on telework success by addressing family-supportive policies and cultural practices, but these interventions will not override a situation where individual preferences or expectations are misaligned with the telework arrangement.
Bramble, Reed James, "Optimal Telecommuting Contexts: Organizational And Individual Moderators Of Telecommuting Effectiveness" (2022). Wayne State University Dissertations. 3619.