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vol.47 issue1Counselling preparedness and responsiveness of industrial psychologists in the face of COVID-19A Rasch analysis of the fear of coronavirus-19 scale in South Africa author indexsubject indexarticles search
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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 2071-0763
Print version ISSN 0258-5200


DE KLERK, Jeremias J.; JOUBERT, Mandi  and  MOSCA, Hendrikjan F.. Is working from home the new workplace panacea? Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic for the future world of work. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2021, vol.47, n.1, pp.1-14. ISSN 2071-0763.

ORIENTATION: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of employees to work from home as governments implemented lockdownsRESEARCH PURPOSE: This study examined the impact of working exclusively from home on employee engagement and experience, and determined beneficial and distracting factorsMOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Remote working trends have risen steeply since the onset of COVID-19 and are unlikely to taper off soon. Organisations need to understand the impact of remote work when reconsidering working arrangementsRESEARCH APPROACH/DESIGN AND METHOD: A dual-approach qualitative design was followed. The sample comprised 25 employees (N = 25) who were forced to work exclusively from home during COVID-19. Data were collected through semi-structured interviewsMAIN FINDINGS: Working from home for protracted periods rendered paradoxical outcomes. Employees could work effectively with improved employee engagement and experience, but there were challenges rendering adverse effects. The experienced benefits of working from home created expectations that this practice would continue in future, along with some office workPRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Organisations need to continue, though not exclusively, with work-from-home arrangements. The ideal ratio of remote work to office work was seen as two to three days per week. However, support and cultural practices would have to be put in placeCONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The COVID-19 lockdown provided a unique environment to study remote work. For the first time, employees and organisations were placed in a situation where they could experience working from home in a stark and compulsory form, devoid of idealistic fantasies or romanticism

Keywords : remote work; work from home; flexible work arrangements; employee engagement; employee experience; COVID-19; lockdown.

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