A Study of Remote Workers and Their Differences from Non-Remote Workers

A Study of Remote Workers and Their Differences from Non-Remote Workers

D. Sandy Staples (Queen’s University, Canada)
Copyright: © 2001 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/joeuc.2001040101
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Abstract

Information technology (IT) is enabling the creation of virtual organizations and remote work practices. As this practice of working remotely grows, so does the importance of making these remote end-users of technology effective members of organizations. This study tested a number of relationships that were suggested in the literature as being relevant in a remote work environment. Interpersonal trust of the employee in their manager was found to be strongly associated with higher self-perceptions of performance, higher job satisfaction and lower job stress. There was weak support for the impact of physical connectivity (i.e., the availability of IT) on job satisfaction, supporting the enabling role of IT. These findings were similar for both remote employees (i.e., those that worked in a different building than their managers) and non-remote employees. However, more frequent communications between the manager and employee was associated with higher levels of interpersonal trust only with the remote workers. Cognition-based trust was also found to be more important than affect-based trust in a remote work environment, suggesting that managers of remote employees should focus on activities that demonstrate competence, responsibility and professionalism.

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