What’s new in research?
Here we share interesting research related to remote work, future of work and digital organizing published by us and other researchers.
Employees’ perceptions of relational communication in full-time remote work in the public sector
Jämsen, R., Sivunen, A. & Blomqvist, K. (2022). Employees’ perceptions of relational communication in full-time remote work in the public sector. Computers in Human Behavior. Volume 132.
This study aimed to describe and understand the perceptions of relational communication among full-time remote workers, who shifted to remote work due to COVID-19. The data of this study was conducted from 1,091 Finnish public sector employees who answered to a survey with seven open-ended questions. Indications of different aspects and attitudes towards relational communication were identified from the responses. In addition, the connection between respondents’ background and their experiences of relational communication in remote work was examined.
The results showed that relational communication changed in many ways because of the shift to remote work. Respondents mentioned altogether 17 different aspects of relational communication when describing their experiences. Relational communication in remote work included, for example, the support expressed by the work community and supervisors, the sense of community and humor, but also the experience of conflicts and loneliness. Employees described that relational communication was important for their well-being at work.
Respondents could be divided into three groups based on how they perceived relational communication in remote work: to those for whom remote worked posed challenges to relational communication, to those for whom remote work created opportunities for it, and to those with ambivalent experiences of relational communication in remote work. Ambivalent experiences arouse, for example, from experiences that social support was felt to be received from colleagues more in remote work than before, but less from supervisors compared to before. Although the majority of respondents found relational communication to be more challenging in remote work, as many as 13% saw remote work as an opportunity to develop work relationships and informal communication.
The results of this study showed that individual characteristics, such as the age or gender of the employee, or the size of the organization do not explain a certain kind of experience regarding relational communication in remote work. It can be stated that the perceived possibilities for relational communication are related to the activities of individuals and organizations, not to background factors. In conclusion, relational communication is important for organizations, and can be developed in remote work as well as in shared physical premises. The findings of the study provide insights into how organizations can develop practices and culture that enables relational communication in remote conditions.
Managers’ challenges and opportunities in remote Working during the first wave of covid-19
Master’s thesis of Sofia Kekäle deals with the impacts of shifting to remote work because of the Covid-19 pandemic among SME managers.
Three research questions were asked:
- What kinds of challenges did managers face when shifting to remote working during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis?
- What did managers find rewarding when shifting to remote working?
- Which background variables affect the experienced challenges and opportunities?”
The data used consists of the responses of 209 managers working in SMEs located in Finland. The answers to two open-ended questions were analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings show that both challenges and opportunities in managers’ remote work are related to work-life interface, leadership practices, communication arrangements, and working conditions at homes. Some findings can be linked to the special features of the pandemic situation. For example, many workers had their families staying at home, which leads to a greater role conflict and even ambivalence in how they perceived the situation. The thesis can be found in
Work during the pandemic -Responses from governmental employees
This report’s main objective is to provide insights into how governmental employees have adjusted to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. We touch upon issues related to adjustment, perceived disruptions, work-life balance, productivity, and wellbeing. Furthermore, an important aim of this report is to provide insights into the demographics of these respondents.
Remote work in Finland during the Covid-19 pandemic
Finland has been applauded for how it has handled the COVID-19 pandemic, as it reports one of the lowest infection rates in Europe and its economy held up better than most others. Nonetheless, many employees have faced significant changes in when, where, and how work has been conducted throughout the pandemic. This report addresses the experiences of employees as they navigated through the crisis.
Etätyö Suomessa koronaviruspandemian aikaan
Suomi on saanut kiitosta toiminnastaan koronapandemian aikana. Suomessa on Euroopan alhaisimmat tartuntaluvut, ja sen talous on pärjännyt kriisissä muita maita paremmin. Monille työntekijöille poikkeusaika on kuitenkin tarkoittanut muutoksia siihen, missä, milloin ja miten työtä tehdään. Tämä raportti käsittelee työntekijöiden kokemuksia koronakriisin keskellä.
Fast Expert Teams vs. Corona
This report describes the Fast Expert Teams initiative of over 100 experts, outlines measures backed up by research and experience, presents the eight teams that make up the Fast Expert Teams network and includes links to reports on their work.
Fast Expert Teams vs. Korona