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Remote work for all: Implications of motivation and job recovery for work-related health and performance in the context of home office (REMOTE)

Research project As a measure to limit the corona pandemic, remote working arrangements have drastically changed the work life as we know it. We will study the consequences.

In particular, REMOTE will focus on three highly relevant topics: a) Work characteristics, b) Management and c) Job recovery. In addition, REMOTE aims to get a better understanding of how these phenomena are experienced by subpopulations of workers, in particular employees with caregiving responsibilities for children.

Head of project

Anja Hagen Olafsen
Professor, University of South-Eastern Norway
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2021-11-01 2025-02-28

Funding

The Research Council of Norway (NFR)

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Psychology

Research area

Psychology

Project description

Organizations now plan for long-term use of remote work, and both employers and employees navigate a complex and evolving landscape.

Understanding how this new way of organizing work affects employees, in relation to both their performance and work-related well-being, is essential to enable remote work that is sustainable and productive for organizations and society as a whole.

REMOTE aims to increase understanding of the opportunities and challenges for employees in remote working arrangements, to secure employees’ occupational health and continuing work performance over time.

In particular, REMOTE will focus on three highly relevant topics:

  • Work characteristics – What characterizes the workday at the home office? How are employees ensured adequate work resources and manageable challenges/obstacles to foster healthy and sustained motivation in this context?
  • Management – How is management perceived from the home office? How can managers facilitate employee motivation from a distance?
  • Job recovery – What are the consequences of the new dynamic between work and home? What implications do the home-office have for the ability to recover from work?

In addition, REMOTE aims to get a better understanding of how these phenomena are experienced by subpopulations of workers, in particular employees with caregiving responsibilities for children.

Lack of knowledge about the effect of home office

The new situation with more extensive use of home offices has led to a debate about the effect on the performance of employees, and just as importantly the health effects.

We believe that a way to understanding lies in looking at the underlying psychological processes associated with motivation.

In fact, we know quite a bit about what motivates employees at work. We also know a lot about the role that motivation plays in how well we perform at work, and what kind of health effects the work can have.

Both are closely related to the kind of work situation we are in, and the kind of management we work under.

Despite this, there is little in the existing literature on how these factors affect our motivation when we work from home.

To explore these relations, REMOTE will be undertaken based on rigorous methodological approaches that enables the examination of both long-term and short-term effects.

By coupling the perspectives on important factors in work characteristics and management with job recovery strategies, REMOTE will provide increased insight in conditions of the workplace needed to ensure and facilitate healthy and productive remote work.