Case Studies

Remote working amid Covid-19


ABSTRACT

The Covid-19 pandemic throughout the world, has acted as an opportunity for accelerating remote working as new normal for business continuity. The concept of remote working is no more a privilege, but a necessity to stay afloat in such difficult times.

Remote working/ Work-from-Home is a very new experience for Organizations of India and hence different perception of stakeholders in these organizations with respect to remote working is a matter of research, in order to device a mechanism that gel with the expectations of each and every stakeholders promoting employee wellbeing along with business continuity.

The present study examined the perception and extent of acceptance to remote working/ work-from-home concept, by the Line Managers of Indian Organizations supervising remote workers in Indian Organizations by thorough review of the previous literature published/ unpublished on the subject of “Remote Working”.

This paper provides a comprehensive list of pressing issues faced by the Line Mangers that must be considered while formulating and implementing remote working arrangements in Indian Organizations.

Keywords: Covid-19, Remote working, Perception, Acceptance, Line Mangers

INTRODUCTION

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our lives in ways many never had thought before. It has brought economic uncertainties and compelled business organizations across sectors to adapt to a “new normal.” Economists are comparing the lockdown with the Great Depression of 1930s and global financial crisis of 2008-09. The WTO estimates world trade to fall by 13% to 32% in 2020.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed our experiences as customers, employees, citizens, humans and our attitudes and behaviors.

Since years, the ‘Remote working’ was part and parcel of work culture of Information Technology giants in India, but owing to poor infrastructure, poor networks and connections, lack of awareness and training among employees in using information technology at work, lack of top management commitment towards investment into technologies and last but not the least employee resistance to change, working remotely, was never seemed an appropriate and accepted way of working in Indian Organizations.

In accordance with enforcement by Government of India and as coping strategy in the times of crises, leading Indian Organizations such as Facebook, Google, NTPC Limited, State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda have started adopting remote working amid Covid-19 outbreak as a strategic tool enabling sustainable business growth.

RATIONALE OF STUDY

Past literature have focused on remote working in IT Sector of India, advantages and disadvantages of remote working to individuals and organization, perception of employees who work remotely, flexible working and work life balance, emphasis on comparisons between virtual and non-virtual workers, but there is scarcity of research remote working in Indian Non-IT organizations and on managerial perceptions with respect to remote working that determines leader member exchange process having individual and organizational impacts.

 

Several Research Literature and Surveys of Consultancy Organizations such as Deloitte, Mercer, PWC, KPMG, Ernst &Young have studied impact of Covid-19 Outbreak on organization functioning, practical workforce strategies adopted by organizations in response to global pandemic and employee concerns about Covid-19 and remote working. But, there exists limited literature on manager’s perception and inhibitions associated with remote working, which is the ultimate deciding factor for the acceptance and satisfaction with remote working.

OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The objective of this review paper is to study Line Mangers perceptions on remote working experience amid Covid-19 crises and gauging extent of satisfaction with remote working among management cadre supervising virtual employees in Indian Organizations.

Many organizations have allowed their employees to work from home as immediate response to Covid-19 Crises, due to government pressures as well as in response to competition in terms of business continuity from other firms, without addressing the challenges and implications inherent to this type of intervention. Work-from-home

arrangements will likely expand beyond the tech world — and beyond the pandemic. Time has come for managers to look beyond hours clocked in and physical presence in office, instead with positive focus on getting the work done and keeping the employee morale high. A unique contribution of this study is that it has responses from managers working in different organizations and varied departments of those enterprises which are considered to be one of the significant contributors in generalizing the findings of this study for better adaptation to remote working arrangements in Indian Organizations.

LITERATURE REVIEW

A comprehensive search of the literature was conducted to develop and prepare this review paper. Peer-reviewed journals and articles, theses and dissertation studies, newspaper articles, books, were examined to study, search, and prepare the review of the existing literature. The literature review began with general computer searches on origin and implementation of telecommuting and other perception studies associated with work from home followed by thorough study of ProQuest Digital Dissertation and EBSCO host academic peer-reviewed articles, articles available in the Google Scholar and Research Gate Portals. Last, but not the least, compiling Covid 19 Related Surveys conducted by leading management consultancies like KPMG, Mercer, E&Y and PWC etc.

COVID-19 OUTBREAK AND ITS IMPACT ON INDIAN ORGANIZATIONS

The Covid-19 is a global pandemic crisis which can be best prevented through frequent sanitization and social distancing. Covid-19 has proved to be the biggest force towards adoption of work from home practice in India despite the reluctance of the Indian Companies. Implementation of Work from Home due to lockdown was the first experience without comprehensive preparations. The Covid-19 corona virus proved to be an accelerator for one of the greatest workplace transformations of

lifetime for private and public sector organizations of India. The COVID-19 crisis forced the organizations to accelerate business with reduced costs and manpower.Covid-19 crises compelled organizations to review and change and be more open to new ways of working: in particular, in adopting remote working as a mode of employment.

REMOTE WORKING/WORK FROM HOME- POPULAR FINDINGS

Back in to the 1970s, nonstandard work arrangements such as part time and contract work as well as temporary employment have allowed workers to experience flexibility in their employment relations (Kalleberg, 2000). Current trends in work widely accept flexible work arrangements (FWA), such as flextime (e.g., trust-based working hours) and flexplace (e.g., home-office). The current developments in the area of working in times of Covid-19 crises have been grouped under the headers “working beyond working time”, “working beyond the internal workplace”, “working beyond detailed instructions” and “working beyond two-party relationships” (Risak 2017a: 20).

Advances in information technology, globally dispersed and diverse workforce, more women in the workplace, dual career families and the increased desire of employees to balance work and family are key factors that have amplified the popularity of flexible work arrangements. Thus, physical location of a working place is gradually losing its importance (Baltes, Briggs,Huff, Wright, & Neuman, 1999; Caillier, 2013b) leading organizations to innovate, that is, to develop and adopt new practices.

Flexible work arrangements or Flexi work is an Umbrella term under which flexibility in the location (flexplace) and in the timing of work (flextime) can be subsumed (Hill et al., 2001). Researchers highlighted three key elements associated with flexible work arrangements: technology, location and organization associated with remote working (see e.g., Beer, 1985; Di Martino and Wirth, 1990). Flexible Work arrangement are prevalent in various forms such as telecommuting (Nilles, 1994),

flexible work (McCloskey and Igbaria, 1998), virtual work (Handy, 1995) and Work from Home (Nilles, 1975). Telecommuting refers to Working from Home only instead of commuting to office premises (Golden, 2009). Teleworking refers to working away from the office which can be home or another location (e.g., client office, airport, coffee shop) for certain days of the week, spending the rest of the time in the office (Golden, 2009). The 21st century is characterized by new anytime, anywhere work culture (Van Horn & Storen, 2000). This is termed as “Remote working” or “Work from Home”. Remote working is considered as an alternative way to organize work away from the physical settings of Office. It is all about absence from the traditional office for a portion of the work week, while interacting through communication technology.

 

Research in the area of telecommuting started in the 1970s, when Jack Nilles coined the terms telecommuting and directed the first telework demonstration project with partial funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The introduction of pilot telework programs in and by the 1990s many states, governments and private sector organizations had executed WFH. The 1990s saw a proliferation of tele working, and more recent reports indicate that tele working has become one of the most prevalent bases of flexibility programs (World at Work, 2015), with the expectation that the practice will become even more commonplace in the near future (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM], 2014).

 

Work from Home is a conceptualized process where an employee can perform his assigned responsibilities from the comfort of the home. It provides the flexibility in working hours to the employee with ease to accomplish the assigned jobs of the employer in the comfort of his/her home accessible by using business technologies such as Virtual Private Network that provide the safest method to give employees access to the same network resources that they would have in the office, Electronic Document Management (e-DMS) that provides a repository of important documents and files in digital format making it easy to search and retrieve, Broadband Internet connections/ Wifi, Video-conferencing that provides online platform for conducting official meetings and presentations.

 

Flexible work arrangements can be seen as a paradox (ter Hoeven & van Zoonen, 2015). Telecommuting affects individual workers, organisations, and the community in various ways. The study (Khoury, 2009) found that working from home not only benefits employees by eliminating their daily commutes, it also increases productivity and leads to healthier lifestyles. A meta-analysis of 46 studies by Gajendran and Harrison (2007) demonstrated that working from home lowers work–family conflict and that the benefits increase for those who work from home more frequently. It was found that telework positively effects employees’ the work-life balance (Maruyama, Hopkinson, & James, 2009).At the same time, there is some risk of overlap between work and private or family life – that is, work–home interference – because of longer hours of work and the combination of paid work and other responsibilities, which may result in increased work–family conflict. Some studies shows that remote working not only reduces expenses on office infrastructure but also reduces Carbon footprints. Few researches suggests that almost 80% of telecommuters feel a greater commitment to their organizations (Telecommute Connecticut, 2002), whereas others highlight working remotely can adversely impact employee commitment and organizational identification due to feelings of detachment. According to a survey by SAP Concur, 69% of

the workforce in India believes their productivity has increased while working remotely. On the other end, various studies have suggested that professional isolation may leave remote employees feeling excluded in terms of office interactions (Golden et al., 2008; G. Vega & Brennan, 2000). For instance, various authors have argued that virtual working arrangements

can lead to constraints on social interactions between employees (Baker, Moon, & Ward, 2006; Golden et al., 2008).Past studies highlighted that teleworking might decrease organizational commitment and increased stress because the challenges involved in developing identification and commitment toward one’s organization are magnified when one is working remotely (Thatcher & Zhu, 2006; Wiesenfeld, Raghuram, & Garud, 1998.At the same time, employees in companies that offer dependent benefits and flexible working options reported lower absenteeism, higher morale, higher job satisfaction, higher employer loyalty and lower turnover rates

(Galinsky and Stein 1990; Thompson et al. 1999; Roehling, Roehling, and Moen 2001).

Despite the compelling reasons to consider remote working, such arrangements still lack support and utilization in the Indian Organizations in practice, the most frequently cited barriers to remote working in India include: 1) Rigid organization culture 2) employers not convinced of the economic benefits of this new way of contact less working- a lack of universal understanding or recognition by employers of the potential monetary advantage of remote working arrangement, most of the managers believe that the benefits of working remotely accrue to the workers but not the Company 3) the existence of a management style that associates physical presence with performance and is therefore not conducive to managing remote workers effectively (Van Horn & Storen, 2000).

Work from home concept was started by Software Companies like IBM, TCS, Infosys etc. as part of their employee wellbeing and work life balance practices. Technology giants in India have encouraged the majority of the staff to opt for work-from-home in the times of covid-19 crises. Jack Dorsey CEO, Twitter, announced that their employees can work from home permanently even after the Covid-19 pandemic ends. Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google told employees that the remote work policy will be extended till 2021. TCS, India's largest infotech and outsourcing company with around 450,000 employees, reported recently that it

would move 75% of its employees to work from home permanently by 2025. Clearly, for the IT sector, the transition to Work from Home is smoother than others, given the fact that training needed for remote working is already in place. In India, the proportion of remote workers is higher in services and among non-profit and non-governmental organizations, but below average in the Non-IT Sectors (National Studies for India by ILO, 2015).

The strong work ethics can be a hindrance when adopting new work policies in Indian Organization that do not correspond with traditional notions of an ideal worker.

Evidences suggest that employers consider subordinate’s absence from the workplace as lack of devotion to work (Williamsn et al., 2013; Kossek, Thompson, & Lautsch, 2015). The inferences and attributions supervisors make about telecommuters are often made spontaneously, without their intent or knowledge of doing so (Elsbach, Cable, & Sherman, 2010). For example, telecommuting tends to signal an employee's prioritization of personal and family concerns above work, regardless of the employee's actual motive for telecommuting which can be co-morbidities family reasons child care in absence of day cares etc.

Golden & Veiga, 2008 have illustrated in their research importance of high-quality superior subordinate relationship for those employees who telework frequently. Different values guiding managers in public and private sector organizations are one of the factors influencing managers acceptability to remote working. While managers in private sector organizations named values like profitability and innovativeness as most important, managers in public sector organizations put values like formal work procedures and accountability. Trend with respect to telecommuting shows many levels of management do not understand telecommuting principles (Ryan, 2002) , yet allow telecommuting within their organizations. Managers also face the increasing complexity of managing blended workgroups comprising virtual and non-virtual members, which creates challenges for coordinating and motivating these employees (Van Dyne et al., 2007).

Organizations trying to control their flexible working employees through traditional means (e.g., bureaucratic or outcome-based control) will face substantial difficulties (Ashford et al., 2007).The traditional ‘command and control’ style of management is not really possible with remote working, and many managers fear this loss of control. In fact, to reclaim their power the supervisors may increase direction and control of work procedures or even increase the surveillance of subordinates (National Study for India, 2019).The effective management of flexible working employees is a challenge for their supervisors because of the complexity of flexwork and other forms of virtual work regarding social and spatial separation and increased ambiguity of the work situation (Golden & Raghuram, 2010). Go, (2016) in his research has pointed out that Work from home creates a big gap in communication between superior and

the subordinates. Work from Home provides employees an opportunity to work as and when they want to start, but at the same time is a matter of concern for Managers to gage remote employee’s commitment to work and contribution to productivity.

The existence of different perceptions is expected to generate organizational and behavioral consequences (Birkinshaw et al. 2000). Thus, the recognition of different perspectives of multiple stakeholder’s (Managers, remote workers and traditional office goers) is an important and relevant concern for the success of any new implementation in high power distance culture prevailing in the Indian Organizations.

Given the rise in managers engaged in remote work, it is somewhat sur­prising that existing research on remote working has been restricted in its scope, mainly focused on the perspectives and outcomes of remote working to employees only, neglecting the perspective and outcome of remote working on managers, who supervise them on a day-to-day basis.

METHODOLOGY

This study is a review paper based on the previous researches related to factors associated with and consequences of remote working selected on the basis of the easy accessibility.

The purpose of study is to gain an understanding on line manager’s experience of supervising remote working and their interpretation of those experiences to gage overall satisfaction. Based on the items of various perceptions measurement scales developed from qualitative data in the previous studies, related to telecommuting, the four important subsections related to remote working namely Operational Issues, Organizational Issues, Technological Issues and Interpersonal Relationship Issues were impressed upon in the present study.

INTERPRETATION AND DISCUSSION

Considering Dummy Sample Size of 80 line managers following is the interpretation of findings obtained from thorough review of previous literature, highlighting the perception of managerial cadre with respect to remote working, the extent of acceptance of remote working and satisfaction from remote working, as far as managerial cadre is concerned.

OPERATIONAL ISSUES RELATED TO REMOTE WORKING

  1. Infrastructure, operational efficiency and Work Culture of Indian Organizations do not support remote working

 

Interpretation:As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that the highest nos. i.e; 60 out of 80 Managers agree that Infrastructure, operational efficiency and Work Culture of Indian Organizations do not support remote working. There needs lots of improvement in infrastructure, policies and practices before implementing remote working. Rest of the 20 disagree with regard to the above statement.
 

2. Overall Quality and Quantity of work suffers while working remotely


 

Interpretation:As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that 50 out of 80 Managers agree that Overall Quality and Quantity of work suffers while working remotely. Rest of the 30are either neutral in their response or disagree with regard to the above statement.

3. Remote working leads to loss in Control and Supervision on subordinates


 

Interpretation:As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that the highest nos i.e; 70 out of 80 Managers agree that exercising control and supervision on their subordinates is difficult while working remotely. Rest of the 10 are either neutral in their response or disagree with regard to the above statement.

4. Physical presence of employees promotes better formal and informal communication

 

Interpretation:As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that the highest nos. i.e; 55 out of 80 Managers believe that physical presence of employees promotes better formal and informal communication. Rest of the 25disagree with regard to the above statement.

5. Remote working has poor access to work related software’s and documents

Interpretation:As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that there exists mixed view on the above statement. 40 out of 80 Managers agree that poor access to work related software’s and documents while working remotely is one of the problems faced by them and their subordinates. Rest of the half disagree with regard to the above statement.

 

6. Remote working lead to confusion about goals and unclear expectations


 

Interpretation:As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that 50 out of 80 Managers agree that Overall Quality and Quantity of work suffers while working remotely. Rest of the 30 nosare either neutral in their response or disagree with regard to the above statement.

7. Remote working has led to ineffective work due to poor coordination with team members and other departments

 

Interpretation:As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that most of the i.e; 60 out of 80 Managers agree that Remote working has led to ineffective work due to poor coordination with team members and other departments. Rest of the 20 nos. are neutral in their response with regard to the above statement.

8. Face to face interactions are more fruitful in problem solving and decision making than virtual interaction with remote employees

 


 

Interpretation:As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that45 out of 80 Managers agree face to face interactions are better than virtual meetings for problem solving and decision making. Rest of the 35 disagree with regard to the above statement.

ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES RELATED TO REMOTE WORKING

9. Work from home can be short term solution for dealing with crises, but a failed policy for long term in Indian Organizations

Interpretation:As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear thatthe maximum of i.e; 65 out of 80 Managers agree on Work from Home a temporary solution to crises but a failed policy for long term in Indian Scenario. Rest of the 15 are either neutral in their response or disagree with regard to the above statement.

10. The nature of job decides success of remote working; every job cannot be performed remotely


 

Interpretation: As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that 50 out of 80 Managers feel that every job cannot be performed remotely, the nature of job decides success of remote working in Indian Context. Rests of the 30 disagree with regard to the above statement.

11. Remote working brings in huge change in Work Culture of Indian Organizations

Interpretation:As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that the highest nos. i.e; 75 out of 80 Managers feel that Remote working brings in huge change in work culture of Indian Organizations. Rests of the 5 nos. disagree with regard to the above statement.

 

12. Benefits of remote working accrue to the Employees but not the Employer

Interpretation: As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that maximum nos. i.e; 65 out of 80 Managers feel that benefits of remote working accrue to the employees but not the employer in Indian Context. Rests of the 15 are either neutral in their response or disagree with regard to the above statement.

13. Remote working lead to delay in decision making and approvals

Interpretation: As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that 45 out of 80 Managers feel that remote working lead to delay in decision making and approvals. Rests of the 25 are either neutral in their response or disagree with regard to the above statement.


 

14. Employees misuse the facility of remote working for accomplishing their personal interests and daily household tasks than fulfilling organizational objectives

Interpretation: As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that highest nos i.e; 70 out of 80 Managers feel that employees misuse remote working for accomplishing their personal interests and daily household tasks than fulfilling organizational objectives. Rest of the 10 nos disagree with regard to the above statement.

TECHNOLOGICAL ISSUES RELATED TO REMOTE WORKING
 

15. Remote working without comprehensive preparations as experiment in times of Covid-19 crises, suffered technical glitches

Interpretation: As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that 55 out of 80 Managers agree that remote working suffered technical glitches due to lack of comprehensive preparation in implementing remote working as an experiment in the times of crises. Rest of the 25 are either neutral in their response or disagree with regard to the above statement.

16. Remote working poses threat to company confidential data and information security

Interpretation: As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear thatonly 25out of 80 Managers agree that remote working poses threat to company confidential data and information security. Most of the managers 50 out of 80are either neutral in their response or disagree with regard to the above statement.

INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIP ISSUES RELATED TO REMOTE WORKING

17. Remote working lead to Social isolation and reduces ability to work in Teams


 

Interpretation: As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that 45 out of 80 Managers agree that remote working lead to social isolation among employees. It reduces employee’s ability to work in teams. 25 nos out of 80 are either neutral in their response or disagree with regard to the above statement.

18. Remote working lead to employee’s disrespectful behavior towards their reporting managers

Interpretation:As from the above graphical presentation, it is clear that maximum nos i.e; 60 out of 80 Managers feel that employees exhibit disrespectful behavior towards their reporting managers while working remotely. Rests of the 20 out of 80 is either neutral in their response or disagree with regard to the above statement.

CONCLUSION

Research shows that even after the pandemic subsides, many employees will continue to work at home, and with no surprise some will permanently move to remote working models.“Work from Anywhere, Anytime” will be the new way of working in Indian Organizations.

The present study is the first of its kind to examine perceptions of managerial cadre especially the line managers who are directly involved in supervising remote employees, unlike other studies and surveys which were merely focused on

perception of employees with respect to remote working. This paper does not investigate the reasons for this difference in perception. As getting people to see things from a common perspective and to move in a unified direction is a critical challenge. The absence of shared understanding of work performed outside of the conventional working place creates difficulties in acceptance of remote working in public sector enterprises. This paper is base for identifying perception gap and analyzing them for developing amicable psychological contract between employer and employees as far as remote working if considered.

Telecommuting has been found to be a viable alternative work arrangement, offering benefits to both employers and employees. However, many companies are unaware of the costs and benefits of telecommuting. In fact, many managers are skeptical of the benefits, and are concerned about issues such as data security and supervision of remote workers. They tend to overlook the potential benefit arising from productivity gains.

With old mindset of stakeholders and rigid organization culture, majority of managers in Indian Organizations are reluctant in accepting change in way of working. Another factor that increases resistance to new way of working, is that managers do not appear to be able to measure productivity; nor are they sure how to reward good productivity and properly control poor productivity in the remote working environment.

This review paper identifies pressing concerns of line managers with respect to operational, organizational, technological and interpersonal issues faced at the time of remote working. The study concludes that managers interpret extensive remote workers motives as self-helping and a sign of low devotion to work. Managers believe that flexible workers are less committed to the organization than workers with rigid working hours and places. Most of the managers tend to use the ‘line of sight’ management style, whereby visibility signals dedication and effort. Managers find collaboration and coordination more difficult with employees reduced presence at work. Managers believe that flexible workers are less committed to the organization than workers with rigid working hours and places. Managers find

coordinating remote working costly and controlling remote workers problematic. Issues of trust, control, attitude and technology are regarded as the main obstacles constraining the implementation of remote working. Rather, managers believe that remote working would decrease productivity and job satisfaction.

Managers play a pivotal role in shaping the work experiences and outcomes of subordinates and any impact to the exchange relationship with the manager can have significant adverse consequences. The positive outlook towards remote working among the managerial cadre of Indian Organizations may provide an opportunity to rethink existing processes to boost efficiency and accelerate their digital transformations. To make this a permanent mainstream practice in Non-T Indian Organizations, companies, employers should look into possible impact on employee performance and pinch areas that must be addressed to make work from home policy sustainable in the long term.

This study contributes to the debate over whether new modes of supervision is desirable in the context of remote working/ work from home in Indian work culture, particularly in blended workgroups comprising of various age cohorts and genders working together and most importantly between Office goers and remote employees.

Careful introspection of differences in the expectations and experiences of employees and their managers helps in better acceptance and satisfaction with remote working in Indian work environment. There is the need for remote working to be increasingly promoted as a type of business working model in every Indian organization be it private or public that attracts top talent, reduces both commuting time and costs, and office space and associated costs but also ensures business continuity in times of change and crises. The time has come to take remote working beyond continuity of operations, framing it as a strategy for improving work–life balance, attracting and retaining talent, and measuring employee performance by results rather than presence.

This research paper provides a comprehensive list of various pressing issues faced by the middle managers while working remotely. Also, provides aspects to be considered prior to formulating and implementing remote working arrangements in Indian organizations, which includes:

  • Evaluation of an individual's ability, skills and suitability for remote working.

  • The cost benefit analysis of the new way of working, before actually, implementing the same, from the angle of all stakeholders involved in the process.

  • In depth study of impact of remote working on the dynamics of the organization in order to mitigate resentment that may arise among different stakeholders and to foster an organizational culture that measures employee performance based on results rather than appearances.

  • It is necessary to streamline the desirable code of conduct for misconduct, indiscipline behavior, breach of trust while implementing remote working, as an organization wide policy.

  • It is also important to equip line managers and their subordinates with appropriate skills such as awareness about latest Information Technology and its usage, before implementing remote working.

  • Practicing a general culture of trust, honesty and autonomy. And, openly discussing risks, challenges and failures in the adaptation of new ways of working openly.

Remote work is here to stay and will bring new challenges and opportunities. Organizations around the world are experimenting with novel management practices to manage the transition to a more distributed workforce. Work from Home can potentially be the next big shift in Indian work culture. This review

paper indicates that understanding the needs and perception of employees and managers provides employer and the HR professionals with an opportunity to create a supportive and controlled work environment for remote working.

LIMITATIONS AND FUTURE SCOPE OF RESEARCH

Similar study can be performed using cross sectional exploratory research by gathering data through survey interviews and focus groups with employees, line managers, human resource professionals and top managers and analyzing the data for better understanding of difference in opinions and better generalization of results.

Our sample is limited to covering solely professionals with managerial powers and responsibilities—future research can explore the differences in responses among different groups of people in terms of demographics. For example, comparisons can be made between employees from private and public sector employees, between male and female line managers etc.

Future research can explore the dynamics of the relationship between work-from-home and productivity. Thereby, understanding and devising a performance metrics for measuring productivity while working remotely.

REFERENCES

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  • Josh Bersin & Waggl. (April 2020). The COVID-19 Pulse of HR survey by Culture X Available online at https://joshbersin.com/2020/04/covid-19-the-pulse-of-hr-what-is-hr-doing

  • Kugelmass, J. (1995). Telecommuting: A Manager’s Guide to Flexible Work Arrangements. New York: Lexington Books

  • Mc Nerney, D.J. (1995). Telecommuting: An idea whose time has come by, HR Focus, 1995 https://hbr.org/2020/07/remote-managers-are-having-trust-issues

  • Nilles, JM. (1994).Making Telecommuting Happen: A Guide for Telemanagers and Telecommuters. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

  • Noronha, E. and D’Cruz, P. (IIM Ahmedabad) (2015), remote working and its effects in India (unpublished ILO report).

  • World at Work. (2015). Trends in workplace flexibility. Retrieved from http://www.worldatwork. org/waw/adimLink?id=79

     

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