SUSU Scientists Analyse Work Process in Coronavirus Pandemic

Distant work will not become a memory after the ending of Coronavirus Pandemic. Scientists from South Ural State University (SUSU) have found out that even traditional countries such as Japan adopt a new working process and now work on building a team culture. The results were published in the International Journal of Entrepreneurship.

In spring 2020, Coronavirus Pandemic has started, and almost all world companies have been reluctant to accept distant working. One and a half years later specialists can draw conclusions about the effectiveness of teleworking. Research group led by SUSU professor Mirjana Radović-Marković noticed that there are no negative changes in the work process according to World Bank Data and research literature.

As many as 77% of people feel more productive when working from home compared to working in an office premises outside. They have a flexible schedule and a comfortable workplace wherever they want. However, at first employees have faced distrust by their employers, especially in the East countries.

Prior to COVID-19, many employers were reluctant to accept distant working because of the challenges they expected in terms of work organization and employee performance control. Namely, they lacked trust in employees. However, the new reality created by the emergence of the pandemic has influenced the gradual change of such deeply grounded ideas that have been cultivated collectively over generations,” tells Mirjana Radović-Marković, professor of entrepreneurship, School of Economics and Management, SUSU.

In Japan, for instance, about 88% of large corporations have adopted remote work and are expecting to continue it after the pandemic. In Western countries such as Serbia or other Western Balkan, people look to personal achievements, innovations, autonomy and individual heroes, therefore a large part of employees accepted remote working relatively well. Scientists consider working from home as a future trend.

Work from home is rapidly gaining momentum, there are many other reasons why working from home is a future trend. The increase in real estate prices makes it impossible even for large corporations to open offices in multiple locations. Providing work from home avoids such investments. Accordingly, this trend is expected to continue when the pandemic passes. This is confirmed by statistics from European countries and developing economies,” continues Mirjana Radović-Marković.

Many employers expected challenges in terms of work organization and employee performance control. Nowaday, high-performance teams maintain regular morning and evening video calls, which keeps them in constant communication. Further, remote work has imposed a clear division of roles, increasing team productivity. Accordingly, most people can be trusted to work in a disciplined and responsible manner remotely.

Scientists say that the results or research can be used to increase the resilience of companies on the one hand, and on the other hand, to help countries reform education and match the skills of employees to the needs of teleworking.

Further research is related to changes in the management and leadership styles initiated by the pandemic.

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