Teleworkers’ productivity in turbulent times - A comparative study of employees in Finland and China during the COVID-19 pandemic
Sammanfattning: The fast spread of the COVID-19 pandemic forced a sudden worldwide lockdown and an increased number of companies and organizations abruptly decided to let their employees telework due to requirements on social distancing. Maintaining employee productivity has become one of the most important factors to consider when adopting new corporate teleworking policies, which in turn has arguably increased the need for more substantial research in this field. Existing studies also lack a more comparative approach when analyzing teleworking influences on productivity, for instance between countries where the use of teleworking can be said to differ traditionally. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to investigate how teleworking has affected employee productivity in Finland compared with China, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. A qualitative and comparative method was applied through semi-structured interviews, with respondents from Finland and China. The empirical findings showed both similarities and differences regarding how teleworking influenced Finnish and Chinese employees productivity on the individual, group and organizational level. Further, some interesting findings of teleworking influencing work-family conflict were shown. The findings suggested that both managers and employees should pay attention to how teleworking influences employee productivity to maintain and even increase teleworkers’ productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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