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Work-from-home is here to stay: Call for flexibility in post-pandemic work policies
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1744-3118
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2669-0778
Telenor, NOR.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1350-7030
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2023 (English)In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 195, article id 111552Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In early 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic forced employees in tech companies worldwide to abruptly transition from working in offices to working from their homes. During two years of predominantly working from home, employees and managers alike formed expectations about what post-pandemic working life should look like. Many companies are experimenting with new work policies that balance employee- and manager expectations regarding where, when and how work should be done in the future. In this article, we gather experiences of the new trend of remote working based on the synthesis of 22 company-internal surveys of employee preferences for WFH, and 26 post-pandemic work policies from 17 companies and their sites, covering 12 countries in total. Our results are threefold. First, through the new work policies, all companies formally give employees more flexibility regarding working time and location. Second, there is a great variation in how much flexibility the companies are willing to yield to the employees. The paper details the different formulations that companies adopted to document the extent of permitted WFH, exceptions, relocation permits and the authorisation procedures. Third, we document a change in the psychological contract between employees and managers, where the option of working from home is converted from an exclusive perk that managers could choose to give to the few, to a core privilege that all employees feel they are entitled to. Finally, there are indications that as the companies learn and solicit feedback regarding the efficiency of the chosen strategies, we will see further developments and changes in the work policies concerning how much flexibility to work whenever and from wherever they grant. Through these findings, the paper contributes to a growing literature about the new trends emerging from the pandemic in tech companies and spells out practical implications onwards. © 2022 The Author(s)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2023. Vol. 195, article id 111552
Keywords [en]
Human resource management, Managers, Authorization procedure, Hybrid workplace, Post-pandemic, Psychological contracts, Remote work, Remote working, Work from anywhere, Work from home, Working life, Working time, Surveys, Survey
National Category
Work Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-24019DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2022.111552ISI: 000906907300004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85142142102OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-24019DiVA, id: diva2:1715470
Part of project
SCALEWISE- Support for continuous growth in large-scale distributed software development, Knowledge FoundationSHADE- A value-oriented strategy for managing the degradation of software assets, Knowledge FoundationSERT- Software Engineering ReThought, Knowledge Foundation
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, 20190087Knowledge Foundation, 20180010Knowledge Foundation, 20170176The Research Council of Norway, 309344The Research Council of Norway, 321477
Note

open access

Available from: 2022-12-02 Created: 2022-12-02 Last updated: 2023-02-02Bibliographically approved

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fulltext(1887 kB)449 downloads
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Šmite, DarjaMoe, Nils BredeGonzalez-Huerta, JavierMendez, Daniel

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