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

Article


Adisa, T., Ogbonnaya, C. and Adekoya, O. D. 2021. Remote working and employee engagement: A qualitative study of British workers during the pandemic. Information Technology and People. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-12-2020-0850
AuthorsAdisa, T., Ogbonnaya, C. and Adekoya, O. D.
Abstract

Purpose – Through the lens of Conservation of Resources (COR) theory, this study explores how remote working inhibits employee engagement. We offer a fresh perspective on the most salient work- and nonwork-related risk factors that make remote working particularly challenging in the context of Covid-19.

Design/methodology/approach – We use data from semi-structured interviews with thirty two employees working from home during the Covid-19 lockdown. Based on our interpretivist philosophical approach, we offer new insights on how employees can optimize work- and nonwork-related experiences when working remotely.

Findings – We show that the sudden transition from in-person to online modes of working during the pandemic brought about work intensification, online presenteeism, employment insecurity, and poor adaptation to new ways of working from home. These stress factors are capable of depleting vital social and personal resources, thereby impacting negatively on employee engagement levels.

Practical Implications – Employers, leaders, and human resource teams should be more thoughtful about the risks and challenges employees face when working from home. They must ensure employees are properly equipped with the relevant resources and support to perform their jobs more effectively.

Originality/value – While previous research has focused on the benefits of remote working, the current study explores how it might be detrimental for employee engagement during a pandemic. The study provides new evidence on the most salient risks and challenges faced by remote workers, and how the unique Covid-19 context has made them more produced.

Journal Information Technology and People
ISSN0959-3845
Year2021
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-12-2020-0850
Publication dates
Online30 Aug 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted18 Jun 2021
Deposited18 Jun 2021
Copyright holder© 2021 Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright informationThis author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact permissions@emerald.com.
Permalink -

https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/897w9

Download files


Accepted author manuscript
ITP-Accepted Version.pdf
License: CC BY-NC 4.0
File access level: Anyone

  • 517
    total views
  • 259
    total downloads
  • 97
    views this month
  • 189
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Enactors or reactors? Work-life border management for women in law in Nigeria
Beauregard, T. A. and Adisa, T. A. 2021. Enactors or reactors? Work-life border management for women in law in Nigeria. Community, Work and Family. https://doi.org/10.1080/13668803.2021.1968796
Gender Apartheid: The Challenges of Breaking into ‘Man’s World’
Adisa, T. A., Gbadamosi, G. and Adekoya, O. D. 2021. Gender Apartheid: The Challenges of Breaking into ‘Man’s World’. Gender, Work and Organization. https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12736
Introduction
Gbadamosi, G. and Adisa, T. 2021. Introduction. in: Adisa, T. A. and Gbadamosi, G. (ed.) Work-Life Interface: Non-Western Perspectives Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 3-23
The Myth and the Reality of Work-Life Balance in Nigeria
Adisa, T. A., Gbadamosi, G. and Adekoya, O. D. 2021. The Myth and the Reality of Work-Life Balance in Nigeria. in: Adisa, T. A. and Gbadamosi, G. (ed.) Work-Life Interface: Non-Western Perspectives Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 127-153
Work-Life Border Control Model: A Re-think of Border Theory
Adisa, T. A. and Gbadamosi, G. 2021. Work-Life Border Control Model: A Re-think of Border Theory. in: Adisa, T. A. and Gbadamosi, G. (ed.) Work-Life Interface: Non-Western Perspectives Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 25-53
Beyond The Call of Duty: Realities of Work-Life Balance in the United Arab Emirates Education Sector
Adekoya, O., Ajonbadi, H. A., Okorie, G. I. and Jimoh, I. O. 2021. Beyond The Call of Duty: Realities of Work-Life Balance in the United Arab Emirates Education Sector. International Journal of Business and Society. 22 (1), pp. 131-145. https://doi.org/10.33736/ijbs.3166.2021
Stigma Hurts: Exploring Employer and Employee Perceptions of Tattoos and Body Piercings in Nigeria
Adisa, T., Adekoya, O. and Sani, K. 2021. Stigma Hurts: Exploring Employer and Employee Perceptions of Tattoos and Body Piercings in Nigeria. Career Development International. 26 (2), pp. 217-237. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-09-2020-0239
Modern-Day Slavery? The Work-Life Conflict of Domestic Workers in Nigeria
Adisa, T. A., Adekoya, O. D. and Okoya, O. 2021. Modern-Day Slavery? The Work-Life Conflict of Domestic Workers in Nigeria. Gender In Management: an International Journal. 36 (4), pp. 519-535. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-02-2020-0054
Freedom and Flexibility: The Work-Family Balance of Single Female Entrepreneurs in Nigeria
Adisa, T. A., Mordi, C. and Akanji, B. 2021. Freedom and Flexibility: The Work-Family Balance of Single Female Entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Employee Relations. 43 (5), pp. 1232-1249. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-07-2020-0332
The Work-Family Balance of British Working Women During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Adisa, T., Aiyenitaju, O. and Adekoya, D. 2021. The Work-Family Balance of British Working Women During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Journal of Work-Applied Management. p. In Press. https://doi.org/10.1108/JWAM-07-2020-0036
Social Dominance, Hyper-Masculinity and Career Barriers In Nigeria
Adisa, T., Mordi, C., Simpson, R. and Iwowo, V. 2020. Social Dominance, Hyper-Masculinity and Career Barriers In Nigeria. Gender, Work and Organization. 28 (1), pp. 175-194. https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12537
A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Link Between Professional Culture and Organisational Culture
Adisa, T., Oruh, E. and Akanji, B. 2020. A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Link Between Professional Culture and Organisational Culture. Employee Relations. 42 (3), pp. 698-716. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-08-2019-0344
Time Biases: Exploring the Work-Life Balance of Single Nigeria Managers and Professionals
Babatunde, A., Mordi, C., Simpson, R., Adisa, T. and Oruh, E. 2020. Time Biases: Exploring the Work-Life Balance of Single Nigeria Managers and Professionals. Journal of Managerial Psychology. 35 (2), pp. 57-70. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-12-2018-0537
Mind Your Attitude: The Impact of Patriarchy on Women’s Workplace Behaviour
Adisa, T., Cooke, F. L. and Iwowo, V. 2019. Mind Your Attitude: The Impact of Patriarchy on Women’s Workplace Behaviour. Career Development International. 25 (2), pp. 146-164. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-07-2019-0183
The Influence of Organisational Culture on Leadership Style in Higher Education Institutions
Akanji, B., Mordi, C., Ituma, A., Adisa, T. and Ajonbadi, H. 2019. The Influence of Organisational Culture on Leadership Style in Higher Education Institutions. Personnel Review. 49 (3), pp. 709-732. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-08-2018-0280
Understanding the Trajectory of the Academic Progress of International Student In the UK
Adisa, T. A., Baderin, M., Gbadamosi, G. and Mordi, C. 2019. Understanding the Trajectory of the Academic Progress of International Student In the UK. Education and Training. 61 (9), pp. 1100-1122. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-08-2018-0177
Patriarchal Hegemony: Investigating the Impact of Patriarchy on Women’s Work-Life Balance
Adisa, T., Abdulraheem, I. and Isiaka, S. B. 2019. Patriarchal Hegemony: Investigating the Impact of Patriarchy on Women’s Work-Life Balance. Gender In Management: an International Journal. 34 (1), pp. 19-33. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-07-2018-0095
In Search of Perfect Boundaries? Entrepreneurs’ Work-Life Balance
Adisa, T., Gbadamosi, A., Mordi, T. and Mordi, C. 2019. In Search of Perfect Boundaries? Entrepreneurs’ Work-Life Balance. Personnel Review. 48 (6), pp. 1634-1651. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-06-2018-0197
Managing Diversity in Nigeria: Competing Logics of Workplace Diversity
Adeleye, Ifedapo, Fawehinmi, Abayomi, Adisa, T., Utam, Kingsley and Ikechukwu-Ifudu, Vivian 2019. Managing Diversity in Nigeria: Competing Logics of Workplace Diversity. in: Georgiadou, Andri, Gonzalez-Perez, Maria Alejandra and Olivas-Lujan, Miguel R. (ed.) Diversity within Diversity Management: Country-Based Perspectives Emerald Publishing Limited.
Regional Crises and Corruption: The Eclipse of the Quality of Working Life in Nigeria
Adisa, T. and Gbadamosi, G. 2018. Regional Crises and Corruption: The Eclipse of the Quality of Working Life in Nigeria. Employee Relations. 41 (3), pp. 571-591. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-02-2018-0043