COVID-19 Pandemic and Workplace Adjustments/ Decentralization: A Focus on Teleworking in the New Normal

Michael Sunday AGBA, A.M. Ogaboh AGBA, Daniel Chi Jr CHUKWURAH

Abstract


Purpose: the paper is an attempt to examine the effect of COVID-19 on workplace adjustments/decentralization. In doing this, teleworking in the new normal was taken as a major focus. Our interest is to find out the nature of workplace adjustments/decentralization that the COVID-19 has brought in the workplace by focusing on teleworking/telecommuting in the new normal. Design/ methodology/ approach: the paper adopts a descriptive research design and content analysis. The data of the paper are in qualitative and quantitative form and were sourced from secondary sources like textbooks, journals articles, and government reports and online published materials. In gathering the data used in articulating the ideas of the paper, their reliability and validity were enhanced by ensuring that the sources were reputable outlets and the data gathered reflect the variables of interest as contained in the topic of the paper. Findings: Findings of the study revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about compelling adjustments in the workplace. Work processes and practices are increasingly decentralised and adjusted with greater number of workers working from home (WFH). The global workplace is also witnessing a decongesting trend with a few staff in most organizations directed to work from office while others are to work from home. Hours put in by employees of financial institutions have been reduced to 6 hours as against 9-10 hours per day. Furthermore, sectors like the health and caregiving are under pressure for greater recruitment of hands to meet up with the pressure on the sector. Originality/contributions: the study is original by the emphasis on workplace adjustments occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of such specific workplace adjustments is the emerging attention that teleworking and telecommuting has attracted in the public and private sector in the emerging new normal. The argument of the paper is that the COVID-19 pandemic is a global health crisis that has impacted negatively on organizational life and functions necessitating adjustments in the workplace for organisational, workers and societal benefits. As a way of managing the workplace crisis generated by the COVID-19, technological advancement by way of teleworking/ telecommuting offers the window for escape. The study has both theoretical and policy relevance in the new normal.


Keywords


COVID-19 pandemic; workplace adjustments; workplace; teleworking; new normal;

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