Working from home during COVID-19 pandemic: lessons learned and issues

Ettore Bolisani, Enrico Scarso, Christine Ipsen, Kathrin Kirchner, John Paulin Hansen

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Abstract

During the COVID pandemic, many companies, schools, and public organizations all around the world asked their employees to work from home i.e. to adopt what are called “smart working” modalities. This has and will presumably have a serious impact on both employees and employers, which still needs to be clarified and investigated: indeed, if smart working becomes a common working modality, this may have a significant impact on both organizations and employees. This paper reports the results of an online survey of “smart workers” in Italy during the COVID pandemic, when a great number of employees suddenly moved to working from home with no or little preparation. The study offers interesting indications about the involvement and usefulness perception of smart working by the sampled people and makes it possible to single out different categories of employees based on their attitude towards this modality. Also, it points out the potential impact on socialization among colleagues, and the consequent implications for knowledge sharing and knowledge management. From the collected responses, a fully positive or negative conclusion about working from home was not possible, nor a clear indication about the efficiency and effectiveness of this working modality. The analysis, instead, highlighted the presence of different but numerically similar groups of people, i.e. those who were not satisfied at all with the experience, those who were very satisfied, and those who were “undecided”. Furthermore, respondents underlined the importance and the difficulty to maintain working contacts and the intense use of communication systems made for this purpose. Lastly, collected opinions on positive and negative aspects of working from home provided some practical suggestions about how to successfully implement this solution.
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement & Marketing
Volume15
Issue numbers1
Pages (from-to)458-476
ISSN1842-0206
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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