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The New Normal, But What Will Happen Next? : A shadowing study into sustaining eudaimonic well-being at work in post-crisis working from home

Hessels, Rian (2021) The New Normal, But What Will Happen Next? : A shadowing study into sustaining eudaimonic well-being at work in post-crisis working from home.

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Abstract:The world currently faces a rapid change since the appearance of Covid-19 virus. It is established that many organizations adapt to the measures to battle the virus, one of these measures is enforced working from home. This study investigates the perceptions of happiness of employees in the knowledge intensive sector, who work from home by choice and enforced. Specifically, we aim to understand the effects of the enforced working from home and to develop a futureproof work(place) model to enable organisations to take care of eudaimonic well-being and work-life balance of their employees, during crisis times. In this context, eudaimonic well-being is defined as meaningful work: delightful harmony between personality traits job design and related factors, perceived leadership organizational culture at work. Based upon the literature we developed a research framework that guided our empirical investigation. We adopted an explorative qualitative research that was based on the shadowing technique. We have shadowed three participants during the crisis-enforced home working, for the period of 13 days. During the shadowing process we made notes about what we observed, and we initiated conversations with the participants to dig deeper in their perceptions and to confirm our analyzations. We shadowed for a total of 73 hours and the shadow notes all together contained a total of 16.212 words. This allowed to nuance the initial research framework and to discover factors to keep work meaningful during enforced home work, among them: teambuilding and supervision and incorporation of a clear border between work and home. We saw that working from home – forced and by choice – decreases commuting time, which is beneficial for the work-life balance. Furthermore, the findings also suggest the importance of being able to go to the office occasionally to be among colleagues to hold important meetings and to become inspired. Our findings also suggest that working from home increases productivity, in case when employees are able to work from home by choice. Based on our findings we suggest a hybrid workplace model: enable employees to work from home by choice and use the office as a meeting place to become inspired and to stay engaged. We argue that this model has the ability to boost both on the business outcomes and the employees’ life e.g., improved business outcomes due to enhanced work-life balance and work becomes more meaningful.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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