ProductivityRemote WorkPeople Analytics
University of Johannesburg
Orientation: Remote work recently gained traction globally due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, however, not all companies promptly adapted to this. Research purpose: The study investigated the perceived influence of working remotely on employee productivity and performance management in South Africa. Motivation for the study: The ambivalent trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-term accompanying impacts have rendered research topics around the subject pertinent. Research approach, design, and method: A quantitative research approach was employed, and the sample population included remote workers within three South African provinces, between the ages of 18 and 65. The sampling method employed was purposive sampling with a complementary snowball sampling approach. Main findings: The results revealed that respondents preferred working remotely, as this was more convenient and cost efficient for them. However, respondents indicated that remote working caused them to work in isolation and longer hours than in the office to prove their productivity to their line managers and employers, thus impeding their social life. Practical/managerial implications: HR professionals should develop different policies aligned with remote work and restructure business operations in a way that aligns work responsibilities with the online working environment, as respondents felt their organisation’s current performance management and HR Policies were not suited for working remotely. Contribution/value-add: The study offers insights that could assist South African organisations to adopt more effective remote work structures and policies, especially those who will continue with remote work even after the pandemic.
Musawenkosi D. SaurombeSimone S. RaynersKedibone A. MokgobuKeketso Manka