Social Support in the Workplace between Teleworkers, Office‐Based Colleagues and Supervisors

15 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2016

See all articles by Alison Collins

Alison Collins

Lancaster University

Donald Hislop

Loughborough University - School of Business and Economics

Susan Cartwright

University of Manchester Business School

Date Written: July 2016

Abstract

This paper draws upon the findings of qualitative interviews carried out with teleworkers, their office‐based colleagues and supervisory staff of a teleworking initiative introduced by a UK public sector local authority to explore workplace social support relationships. Our study found differences between office‐based and permanent teleworking staff in terms of social support. For teleworkers relationships at work are complex, with social support networks being established prior to working at home. By working from home, teleworkers were able to develop greater social support relationships with some colleagues, predominantly other teleworkers, while at the same time allowing them to distance themselves from negative work relationships. Overall, a social disconnection developed between teleworkers and office‐based staff. In contrast social support was more important for office‐based workers, who valued co‐worker relationships with other office‐based staff.

Keywords: telework, social support relationships, flexible working, peer support, homeworking, supervisors, managers, office workers

Suggested Citation

Collins, Alison and Hislop, Donald and Cartwright, Susan, Social Support in the Workplace between Teleworkers, Office‐Based Colleagues and Supervisors (July 2016). New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 31, Issue 2, pp. 161-175, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2808786 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12065

Alison Collins (Contact Author)

Lancaster University ( email )

Lancaster LA1 4YX
United Kingdom

Donald Hislop

Loughborough University - School of Business and Economics ( email )

Epinal Way
Leics LE11 3TU
Leicestershire
United Kingdom

Susan Cartwright

University of Manchester Business School ( email )

Booth Street West
Manchester M15 6PB
United Kingdom

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