University of Twente Student Theses


Emergent practices of working from home for leadership

Smeenk, J.G. (2021) Emergent practices of working from home for leadership.

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Abstract:Since March 2020, when the coronavirus became pandemic, organizations around the globe were forced to switch to working from home (WFH) en masse. Much is known about the short-term challenges of WFH but the long-term effects are still unknown. As this situation has been going on for more than a year now, this study aims to investigate the experiences of homeworkers to identify how they cope with WFH. In particular, the focus is on the concepts of caring and perceived control (PC). These factors affect the experiences of homeworkers in terms of their functioning, health, and well-being. To investigate the experiences of homeworkers, semi-structured interviews were conducted via Jitsi Meet, an online video conferencing tool, to comply with social distancing regulations. The study took place from April until June 2021. The sample included 30 participants who were WFH in the Netherlands, were at least aged 18 years, WFH for at least two workdays per week, and had been WFH for at least three months before the interviews. The findings revealed that homeworkers experienced (1) higher job autonomy, (2) a lack of social support, (3) changes concerning their lifestyle, and (4) challenges with job resources. For leadership, this has several implications. Firstly, the higher perceived autonomy led to the expectation that employees should also be available outside of their regular working hours by other colleagues. Leadership should set specific rules to prevent the work-life interface from blurring even further. Secondly, they should provide homeworkers the possibility to have regular one-on-one meetings to discuss personal matters and online team activities. Thirdly, leadership should offer homeworkers a financial incentive to exercise and eat more healthily. Lastly, leadership should devise arrangements for homeworkers so that they have access to adequate job resources, such as flexible workspaces, compensations for using personal computers, and the internet.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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