An informed discussion on the impact of COVID-19 and 'enforced' remote working on employee engagement

Pass, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-5062-9793 and Ridgway, M. ORCID: 0000-0003-4426-6516, 2022. An informed discussion on the impact of COVID-19 and 'enforced' remote working on employee engagement. Human Resource Development International. ISSN 1367-8868

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COVID-19 has impacted the world at an unimaginable level. National lockdowns were ordered to reduce the virus' spread, resulting in enforced remote working for non-essential workers. Initially considered a short-term situation, working remotely remains the norm for many. While many organizations are keen for the workforce to return to the office, others consider the benefits of remote, or hybrid, working. With remote working becoming the 'new normal' it is vital to consider its impact on employee engagement and the role of HRD in ensuring employees and managers have the skills, knowledge and abilities to engage with the organization, teams and each other. The constant threat of future variants (and other economic and political pressures) means we must learn from our experiences and embed these lessons. We explore these unprecedented changes in employee engagement through an informed discussion by reviewing academic and practitioner literature. Consequently, we offer three propositions reflective of the pandemic and 'enforced' remote working. First, include employees in discussions about the organization’s future purpose, with a renewed focus on skills realigned to enhance resilience. Secondly, to offer customized practices that focus on flexibility and inclusivity. Finally, increase employees' autonomy to allow accountability for their engagement.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Human Resource Development International
Creators: Pass, S. and Ridgway, M.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 15 March 2022
ISSN: 1367-8868
Rights: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 17 Mar 2022 09:45
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2022 09:45

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