The Transformation of Work in the COVID-19 Era

Authors

  • Anna Comacchio Ca' Foscari University of Venice

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.19245/25.05.pij.6.2.2

Keywords:

COVID, organisation design, work practices, digitalisation, time

Abstract

In March 2020, a massive experiment of work-from-home (WFH) started abruptly almost worldwide. In this article, I explore some the most important changes of the work practices linked to the work detachment from standard places, due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Notwithstanding the unprecedented nature of the shutdown experience, the changes experimented in this period might last beyond the end of the measures adopted to control the spread of the virus, due to the estimated long-term growth of remote working and the acceleration of virtuality and connectivity at work. The discussion draws on recent research on remote working and on the emerging research and theoretical debate on how COVID-19 is affecting organisation and work design, and it aims at highlighting some new directions in the evolution of work practices. Moreover, going beyond the emphasis placed on the success of the world-wide experiment of WFH backed by digital technologies, a special attention, in this analysis, is devoted to envisioning some risks associated to the transformation of work in the COVID era.

References

Brynjolfsson, E., Horton, J. J., Ozimek, A., Rock, D., Sharma, G., and TuYe, H.Y. (2020), “Covid-19 and remote work: An early look at us data”, NBER Working Paper No.27344.

Choroszewicz M., and Kay F. (2020), “The use of mobile technologies for work-to-family boundary permeability: The case of Finnish and Canadian male lawyers”, Human Relations, Vol. 73 (10): 1388–1414

Choudhury P., Foroughi C., and Larson, B. (2019), “Work from anywhere or co-locate? Autonomy versus learning effects at the United States Patent Office”, Working Paper 19-054 , Boston, MA: Harvard Business School.

Confindustria (2020), Seconda edizione dell’indagine sugli effetti della pandemia da covid-19 per le imprese italiane, Roma, Centro Studi Confindustria e dell’Area Affari Internazionali di Confindustria.

Davis K.G., Kotowski S.E., Daniel D., Gerding T., Naylor J., and Syck M. (2020), “The Home Office: Ergonomic Lessons From the ‘New Normal’”, Ergonomics in design, October: 4–10

Di Martino, V., and Wirth, L. (1990), “Telework: A new way of working and living”, International Labour Review, 129 (5): 529–554.

Eurofound (2020), “Living, working and COVID-19, COVID-19 series, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

Eurofound and the International Labour Office (2017), “Working anytime, anywhere: The effects on the world of work”, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, and the International Labour Office, Geneva.

Felstead, A. and Henseke, G. (2017), “Assessing the growth of remote working and its consequences for effort, well-being and work-life balance”, New Technology, Work and Employment, 32: 195-212. DOI: 10.1111/ntwe.12097.

Ford, R.C., Piccolo, R.F., and Ford, L.R. (2017), “Strategies for building effective virtual teams: Trust is key”, Business Horizons, 60 (1): 25-34.

Fosslien L., and Duffy, M.W. (2020), “How to Combat Zoom Fatigue”, Harvard Business Review, April.

Gallup (2020), “Gallup real future of work survey”, Online panel 10-13 April 2020.

Gartner (2020), “Gartner HR Survey Reveals 41% of Employees Likely to Work Remotely at Least Some of the Time Post Coronavirus Pandemic”, News Release, April 14.

Genin E., (2016), “Proposal for a Theoretical Framework for the Analysis of Time Porosity”, International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, Vol. 32 (3): 280-300.

George G., Lakhani, K.R, and Puranam, P. (2020), “What has changed? The Impact of Covid Pandemic on the Technology and Innovation Management Research Agenda”, Journal of Management Studies, 57 (8): 1754-1758.

Gerdeman D., (2020), “How the Coronavirus Is Already Rewriting the Future of Business”, Harvard Working Knowledge, March 16.

Giorgi S. (2017), “The Mind and Heart of Resonance: The Role of Cognition and Emotions in Frame Effectiveness”, Journal of Management Studies, 54 (5): 711–738.

Holt R., and Johnsen, R. (2019), “Time and Organization Studies”, Organization Studies, 40 (10): 1557-1572.

Jerbashian, V., and Vilalta-Bufi, M., (2020), “The Impact of ICT on Working from Home: Evidence from EU Countries”, GLO Discussion Paper, No. 719, Global Labor Organization (GLO), Essen.

Kniffin, K.M., Narayanan, J., Anseel, F., Antonakis, J., Ashford, S.P., Bakker, A.B., Bamberger, P., Bapuji, H., Bhave, D.P., Choi, V.K., Creary, S.J., Demerouti, E., Flynn, F.J., Gelfand, M.J., Greer, L.L., Johns, G., Kesebir, S., Klein, P.G., Lee, S.Y., Ozcelik, H., Petriglieri, J.L., Rothbard, N.P., Rudolph, C.W., Shaw, J.D., Sirola, N., Wanberg, C.R., Whillans, A., Wilmot, M.P., and Vugt, M.V. (2021), “COVID-19 and the Workplace: Implications, Issues, and Insights for Future Research and Action”, American Psychologist, 76 (1): 63–77. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000716.

Krackhardt, D., and Hanson J.R. (1993), “The informal network: the company”, Harvard Business Review, July-August: 104–111.

Kretchmer, H. (2020), “Why 'video call fatigue' might be making you tired during lockdown - and how to beat it”, World Economic Forum, May 6.

Lazazzara A., Tims M., de Gennaro D. (2020), “The Process of Reinventing a Job: A Meta–synthesis of Qualitative Job Crafting Research”, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 116 (B), 1–18.

Lilian, S.C. (2014), “Virtual teams: Opportunities and Challenges for E-leaders”, Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 110: 1251-1261.

Morley, S., Cormican, K., and Folan, P. (2015), “An analysis of Virtual Team Characteristics: A Model for Virtual Project Managers”, Journal of technology management & innovation, 10 (1): 188–203.

Quan-Haase, A., and Wellman, B. (2006), “Hyperconnected Net Work: Computer-Mediated Community in a High-Tech Organization.” in C. Heckscher and P. Adler (eds), The Firm as a Collaborative Community: Reconstructing Trust in the Knowledge Economy, 281–333, New York: Oxford University Press.

Raveendran M., Silvestri L., Gulati R. (2020), “The Role of Interdependence in the Microfoundations of Organization Design: Task, Goal, and Knowledge Interdependence”, Academy of Management Annals, 14 (2): 828–868.

Rinaldini M. (2016), ”Tempo e organizzazione” in M. Neri and M. Rinaldini (a cura di), Tempo e giustizia nell'analisi organizzativa, Roma: Carrocci Editore.

Sklar J. (2020), “‘Zoom fatigue’ is taxing the brain. Here's why that happens”, National Geographics, April 24.

Sneader K., and Singhal S. (2021), “The next normal arrives: Trends that will define 2021—and beyond”, McKinsey.com, January.

Spataro J. (2020), “2 years of digital transformation in 2 months”, Microsoft.com, April 30.

Unsworth K., (2020), “Human Relations virtual special issue: Virtual Working”, Human Relations, vol. 73 (7): 1036–1040.

Vayre E., Vonthron A.M. (2019), “Identifying Work-Related Internet’s Uses at Work and Outside Usual Workplaces and Hours and Their Relationships with Work–Home Interface, Work Engagement, and Problematic Internet Behavior”, Frontiers in Psychology 10: 1–15.

Vermaa S., Gustafsson A. (2020), “Investigating the emerging COVID-19 research trends in the field of business and management: A bibliometric analysis approach”, Journal of Business Research, 118: 253–261.

Wajcman, J. (2015), Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press

Wang B., Liu Y., and Parker S.K. (2020), “How does the Use of Information Communication Technology Affect Individuals? A Work Design Perspective”, Academy of Management Annals, 14 (2): 695-725.

Weise K. (2020), “Ahead of the Pack, How Microsoft Told Workers to Stay Home”, New York Times, March 15.

Wrzesniewski, A., and Dutton, J.E. (2001), “Crafting a Job: Revisioning Employees as Active Crafters of their Work”, The Academy of Management Review, 26 (2): 179–201.

Zerubavel E. (1981), Hidden Rhythms. Schedules and Calendars in Social Life, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Downloads

Published

2021-05-24

How to Cite

Comacchio, A. (2021). The Transformation of Work in the COVID-19 Era . PuntOorg International Journal, 6(2), 87–98. https://doi.org/10.19245/25.05.pij.6.2.2