An Empirical Study of the Factors of Teleworking and the Moderating Effect of Work Colleague Support

An Empirical Study of the Factors of Teleworking and the Moderating Effect of Work Colleague Support

Youngkeun Choi
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJeC.296429
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The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationships between motivation factors and attitude towards teleworking and explore the moderating effect of work colleague support on that relationship. For this, the present study collected data from 343 IT professionals in South Korean through a survey method. In the results, first, employees who perceived more advantages accruing from teleworking to themselves have a more favorable attitude towards teleworking. And, employees who perceived more disadvantages accruing from teleworking to themselves will have a less favorable attitude towards teleworking. Second, negative relationship between disadvantages of teleworking and attitude towards teleworking is weaker for participants who get more work colleague support rather than less one. However, work colleague support was found to have no significance on the relationship between advantages of teleworking and attitude towards teleworking.
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1. Introduction

The emergence and development of digital technologies and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have brought about the advent and consolidation of remote working (Olson & Olson, 2000) and propelled the adoption of online remote work across many organizations (Daniels et al., 2001) and entrepreneurial activities (Nambisan, 2017). The confluence of two factors - digital technology development and the introduction of lockdown measures taken globally to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic - has dramatically accelerated the adoption and acceptance of digital platforms and technologies for remote working (Mariani & Castaldo, 2020).

Especially, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that swept rapidly across the globe in early 2020 conferred a new meaning to telework. As this acute respiratory disease transmits through physical contact (World Health Organization, 2020), many organizations have since discouraged or forbidden nonessential employees from physically reporting to work in order to observe social distancing for halting the virus spread (Guyot & Sawhill, 2020). This pushed the incidence of telework to an unprecedented tipping point. In the United States, 65% of the workforce were teleworking full-time in early May 2020 (Gallup, 2020), a multifold increase from the 11% who had access to partial telework pre-COVID-19 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019). All other regions, including Europe (Lomas, 2020) and Asia (Liang, 2020; Tay, 2020), saw record telework rates in the period too. This study argues that this form of mandatory telework is fundamentally distinct from the aforementioned partial telework offered as a flexible work arrangement. This is because employees now have little or no volition to decide whether and when to telework, and their ability to access to physical infrastructure, tools, and resources in their workplaces is also severely restricted under this work arrangement.

To complicate matters, the COVID-19 crisis has far-reaching impacts on diverse occupations, because effective responses to COVID-19 require joint and collective efforts across nations, governments, industries, and communities. The evolving and volatile nature of both the COVID-19 situation and the adaptive countermeasures creates new and unfamiliar problems that disrupt the original job scopes of many telework employees working in diverse fields. For examples, public sector employees have to now deal with pressing issues such as health care provision, abrupt and rapidly rising unemployment, and trade disruptions due to restrained international mobility (Evans, 2020). Educators have to conduct classes virtually (Lim-Lange, 2020). Hospitality staff need to devise creative ways to maintain revenue while observing social distancing guidelines and travel bans (Djeebet, 2020).

This study examined attitudes towards teleworking among information technology (IT) professionals in Korea. IT personnel represent a dynamic workforce in a new and high growth industry of the future. In fact, with the increasing use of IT by both developing and industrialized countries, IT personnel constitute an important component of the workforce that can aid companies and government in leveraging IT to improve efficiency and compete effectively in the global markets.

One of the major problems which plagued the IT industry is the high employee turnover rate among IT personnel. Employee turnover presents a wide range of problems for organizations. Frequent displacement of skilled IT personnel may lead to low morale among those who remained in the organization as well as escalating costs for organizations as new employees need to be recruited and trained.

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