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Management, Work and Society Assignment


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The economic and social shock presented by the Covid-19 pandemic has changed people's and organisations' views of jobs and work and it had led to micro- and macro-changes in the world of work (Kniffin et al., 2021). The way people are living, organisations and industries and communities conduct themselves are affected by economic shocks. This impact is profound. Earlier economic disruptions seemed to affect a small number of employees, employment or sectors. However, the imposed lockdown all over the world to prevent the outbreak of the virus had affected severely the workplaces and have changed the workplace environment of organisations. With the imposed lockdown, over 3 billion people were forced to work from home, with exception of the most influential jobs, such as defence and health officials. Since then, most companies fear reopening their offices and reverting to their usual working methods as they realise the burden and risks of the virus (Kaushik & Guleria, 2020). Even a single employee who is infectious can cause disasters at the workplace that will only spell disasters for the whole business. Furthermore, the significance of remote work has been emphasized by COVID-19. However, it needs to be seen whether or not the pandemic is the tipping point to remote work. The following study illustrates the changing scenario of workplace due to the impending impact of the pandemic as well as the study highlights the range of issues that have occurred due to the normalised remote working amid the pandemic.

Impact of the corona virus in creating lasting workplace change

The pandemic COVID-19 has a massive impact on the existence and role of workplace technology. The organisations were forced in an unprecedented and pushed manner into a fast "big bang" implementation of technology and "tech-driven operations." In several every dimensions of the Corona Virus pandemic, like " temporal, behavioural, society and organisational" (Agerfalk, Conboy & Myers, 2020) IT is playing a "core role," and especially how organisations respond to "new norms." Furthermore, the role of online application that is vital to ensure continuity of business services has been intensified by social distances. Conversely, many of these initiatives are short-term and reactive, reflective strategies with little or no consideration and considered approaches to sustainability practices (Papagiannidis et al., 2020). The fact is, the pandemic is definitely not short-term, and these modern methods will now be part of the new normal. Practitioners and Researchers may aim at "Normalisation process theory" (NPT) as to how technology driven or technologically driven processes can be integrated into and routinized within an enterprise and its 'usual' settings. Normalization helps one to focus "the function of actors as part of such operations and thus systematically incorporate into matrices of the socially patterned, already existing practices and knowledge. Specifically, "Normalization Process Theory" (NPT) provides a derivative sociological theory on new technological adoption, embedding and incorporation, and operational advances that can explain normalisation in pandemics for new technology-led working conditions (Cuevas, 2020). NPT explores factors that encourage and prevent the regular integration in daily life of complex interventions, rendering it applicable to exploring ways of handling modern technical business practices.

NPT can clarify how systematic behavioural change is occurring, concentrating not only on implementing it, but also on the extent to which change is integrated in routine practise in the sense it is 'disappearing' from the point of view (i.e. it is normalised). Primarily, NPT is concerned with the social organisation of work (implementation). Therefore, NPT has a clear application to pandemics, through the preceding theoretical frameworks, to examine normalisation of emerging technology-based working conditions (Murphy et al., 2021). The core constructs of the NPT model for assessing tech-driven working practices includes Coherence, Cognitive Participation, Reflective monitoring and Collective action. Coherence describes the process of sense making performed by individuals and organisations to encourage or discourage routine practise embedding. This helps one, for example, to recognise and assess the influence of decisions on the concept and reorganization of a procedure to counter technology-driven change in pandemic working conditions. Differentiation, individual characteristics, communal specification, and internalisation can be explored in coherence. Cognitive Participation explores how the newly adopted approach is used by stakeholders (McEvoy et al., 2014). This enables to recognise and participate in technological changes in working processes in response to the pandemic in terms of technical and social responsibilities developed. One may examine initiation, legitimacy, enrolment, and activation within the cognitive participation.

Collective action emphasizes on the work people and teams need to change practise by introducing new strategies. This helps to analyze the organisational factors, specific practices, and instruments that are used, to adopt and maintain new practises that teams work toward the same vision of working conditions guided by technology. Interaction workability, skillset workability, relational integration, and contextual integration may be examined as part of collective action. Reflective monitoring illustrates the realisation and the reporting process enhancements that are inherent in informal and structured assessment of new technological working practises. It also offers new insights into the effect of Corona Virus as an outcome of new technically driven work methods on new organising systems, community processes, social norms, and conventions(Cuevas, 2020). One may discuss communal appraisal, systematisation, individual appraisal and remote work team reconfiguration in reflexive monitoring.

Figure 1: Model of Normalisation process Theory

(Source: Cuevas, 2020)

In order to consider their long-term influence, companies had to frequently respond to the new working conditions of COVID-19. Evaluating organisations' willingness to change their activities in a limited time frame by technology-driven activities thus becomes a priority for organisations in the transformation of their digital networks and employment methods. NPT could be used for better organisational change preparation (i.e., to support the achievement of change) or as an evaluation framework for the assessment of changing organisational environments, in order to make sure that all relevant considerations are planned.

As it was actually named, Telecommuting was first introduced in the early 1980s, but with technological development in the middle of the years was increasingly widespread. However, in the last decade, the concept was literally booming with high-speed internet and smart personal computers. Companies were able to identify specific benefits quickly. The administrative expense of running comprehensive office areas could be reduced (Li, Ghosh & Nachmias, 2020). With remote staff also a larger pool of talent was reopened for employers, who could hire trained employees from all around the world in place of those from their own towns and cities. Therefore the number of remote employees, supported by employers, has increased over the last decade by 400 percent.

The outbreak of the pandemic had however caused re-emergence of the concept. The dramatic changes in the culture of work have changed workers' overall health and well-being. The pandemic's outbreak has seriously impacted organisations' working environments as a consequence of lockdowns worldwide. Many organisations have taken proactive measures to safeguard their workers' health and safety and eliminate the spread of the virus. The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 also triggered the psychological issue of front desk employees, as a result of lockdowns across the globe; many front desk workers lost their jobs (Kniffin et al., 2021). Distractions and the lack of a work-life balance are the key problems that workers face when working in the home mostly during pandemic. Thus, distraction at work from domestic work usually decreases workers' willingness to work, creativity and determination that in turn reduces their productivity. The main problem consists of internet interruptions as every employee doesn't have adequate internet access when operating from home. As a result of this, tasks are submitted late, conferences and meetings are interrupted, which in turn impact organisational performance overall.

The legislation was originally established in the blue-collar style of work and refers to white-collar workers technically. According to the latest official teleworker rules, workers are required to take hours paid when they leave home temporarily. The development of the modern COVID 19 work style would not only gradually free white collar workers from time and place constraints, it should also move the conventional unspoken style into more precise, contract-based employment in accordance with a lifetime commitment. COVID-19 has persuaded business leaders to do three things concurrently: to re-establish the job, recognize and harness progress they made during the recession, and to introduce a different direction (Kaushik & Guleria, 2020). Choosing to focus on returning to work alone is not a workable option as companies would not be able to capitalise on all they have learned and experienced in recent months. COVID-19 reminded people of their motivation in linking their working contributions with a greater goal and task on the highest levels. The pandemic introduced more stress into working days, causing a burnout and fatigue and at the same time exposing the burden many employees face when it comes to balance professional and personal demand, because they are unable to differentiate personal responsibilities and tasks, such as being a caregiver or parent from work (Shaw et al., 2020). Many employees are affected by COVID-19 burnout that makes well-being a prime priority in the return-to-work approach to any company. COVID-19 has already shown that while technology can increase and supplement labour, what is needed by humans is not substituted. The health crisis has made people more aware that people and technology are collectively stronger than any other. The strength of integrated human-machine teams during the crisis was drawn from telemedicine, education, development, and even the food supply.

The COVID-19 illustrates ethical concerns related to jobs, that many may have previously regarded as ivory-tower issues, with each day a focus on the effect on working lives of organisational decisions (Shaw et al., 2020). These ethical consequences encompass many employee groups, but were especially evident from the experience of alternative employees, many of whom faced lower demand and connected financial concerns or higher demand and related safety concerns. Many organisations will recognize 2020 as a digital transformation year. It is essential for companies now to create a digital internal and external processes as quickly as possible. For the implementation of new digital technologies in the workplace, employee collaboration tools and technological solutions are at the peak of the list. These solutions are essential in order to keep workers connected and informed of vital changes and updates from local authorities and now more than it has ever been.

One of the important ways that human resources managers have rendered their team's work during the pandemic effective involves providing them with tools for maintaining efficiency and maintaining a link. This involves message or chat applications, such as Slack and Microsoft teams, project management tracking applications such as Airtable and Asana and video conference applications such as Google Hangouts or Zoom (Bao et al., 2020). This new innovation has been generated by teams that allow managers and employees to remain all on one page regardless of where they work; either they work at home or at the supermarket. Managers should also be more responsive than usual to monitor and other problems, which may emerge in unknown circumstances, in a fully remote work environment. Leaders also should encourage self-sustainability among workers who mentally adapt to remote work, new world pressure and the burden of COVID-19 constant updates. The pandemic, its disruptions and the forced move from home to work have allowed a multi-polar power structure to emerge, moving from leaders and expert bosses to new practitioners who are more tailored to digital working environments. Secondly, the visibility of allocation, procedures, and status alerts provided by digital planning tools enhances employee responsibility for tasks in the workplace, thus challenging the above-mentioned trust deficit.


To conclude, it can be said the outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19 have altered the working process and remote working have been adopted by organisations to stop the spread of the virus. The adoption of remote working by organisations have changed the working environment but employees not having internet accessibility faces severe challenges concerning the working from home. It is further apparent that the challenging realities of the effect of COVID-19 on the economy and the livelihood of the people have fundamentally changed organisations and their workers. For instance, remote work became an unavoidable part of changing work and the development and implementation of new work models had to be made quickly. The implementation of remote working is anticipated to be continued in the future years as it saves cost and service tax for organisations.


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