Worker Perceptions on Working from Home during COVID-19 Pandemic Empirical Evidence from Bahrain
12 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2020
Date Written: July 5, 2020
Since the official declaration of the coronavirus/COVID-19 spread an international pandemic by the World Health Organization-WHO on the 11th of March 2020 (WHO,2020), the government of the Kingdom of Bahrain adopted the work-from-home option for numerous jobs and organizations in order to activate social distancing and race with time in combating the local spread of the virus. This situation presents a large-scale experiment, and a field of research opportunity to understand work-from-home from diverse perspectives.
Objective: The objective of this study is to survey worker perceptions on the work-from-home experience during the pandemic and explore its future as a permanent option for some jobs and special circumstances. 3 hypotheses are used; H1: Workers are highly satisfied with their experience in working from home, H2: Respondents find working from home an advantageous option, H3: Views on working from home will differ significantly by gender.
Methodology: Quantitative approach was used, devising a self-administered questionnaire including 24 multiple choice questions. Cronbach Alpha was calculated at 0.737 to test for internal consistency. 2 expert views on the questionnaire were sought for content validity. Google Forms Application was utilized to automate the questionnaire and distribute it through social media channels. A total of 219 responses were gathered and analyzed.
Results: H1 was accepted as 95% of the respondents who worked from home were satisfied, of which 71% being strongly satisfied. Interestingly, 86% of the respondents that are working from home noticed an improvement in their productivity. H2: was accepted using one-tail t-test at 0.05 error level. H3 was rejected using 2 tail t-test at 0.05 error level.
Originality and Limitation: This study provides historical empirical evidence gathered on a worldwide experiment of working from home during an international pandemic of a scale that appears every 100 years. It is the first study to provide empirical evidence of worker perceptions on the experience, given that the majority of concurrent research used pre-gathered labour data to estimate the number of jobs that can survive the pandemic using work-from-home option.
In contrast to past research findings raising concern with work-life balance, results show that 94% of the respondents agreed that work-from-home aids in balancing work and life responsibilities, suggesting that a status of work-life integration was experienced during the pandemic.
Considering the size of the phenomenon, the researchers suggest considering this study exploratory in nature. Future studies in Bahrain can survey the perceptions of policy makers, HR professionals, and line managers, and employing differing data collection tools such as in-depth-interviews and focus groups to create a multidimensional holistic view of the experience.
Keywords: pandemic ,coronavirus, COVID-19, working from home, HR policies, crisis management
JEL Classification: J18, J24, J58, M54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation