Work from Home (WFH), Employee Productivity and Wellbeing: Lessons from COVID-19 and Future Implications

Submission deadline: 7th January 2021

Guest editors

George Saridakis, Kent University

Email: [email protected]

Yannis Georgellis, Kent University

Vladlena Benson, Aston University

Stephen Garcia, University of California, Davis

Stewart Johnstone, Strathclyde Business School

Yanqing Lai, Manchester Metropolitan University

Overview of Special issue

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused businesses to implement a complete or partial “lockdown” to protect their employees and customers (e.g. PwC, 2020). Although most governments have gradually started relaxing this lockdown, social distancing measures remain a top priority within the policy agenda with respect to public and business concerns. To this end, information and communication technology (ICT) have been mobilised to help main economic activity at local and international levels during the pandemic by offering virtual interactions among employers, employees and customers as well as online services, sales and support (e.g. Richter, 2020).  

Homeworking or mobile working levels vary considerably in different national settings and are most common in countries such as Denmark (37%) and the Netherlands (33%), but are used more rarely in Greece (9%) and Italy (7%).  However, this is likely to change as digitalisation and automation become more prominent in the current government policy stimulus packages, and business investment plans for innovation. These measures are designed to shield themselves from a potential new wave of COVID-19 or similar pandemics that may occur in the future. Hence, there is an increasing effort to move from a traditional office-based work operations to work from home (WFH) arrangements together with computer based assisted technology, also referred to as telecommuting, telework or remote working (van der Lippe and Lippenyi, 2020).  These can potentially generate a boost to firms’ technological innovation, ICT capability infrastructure together with Research and Development (R&D),  enhanced employees’ technical skills and abilities, improved efficiency of public services and stimulation of new and smart job creation. However, the crucial question is whether it matters where employees work in terms of their productivity and wellbeing. 

Indicative list of anticipated themes

  • To gain a better understanding of the role of ICT and emergent technologies on employee’s job quality, wellbeing and productivity during lockdown.
  • To explore employees’ technology acceptance and adoption of innovation during crisis and their sustainability in organisations.
  • Virtual organisational emotional support and WFH engagement strategy.
  • Employee health and safety risks while there is WFH with computer technology.
  • Employees’ difficulties in adjusting to new technologies and WFH conditions.
  • Monitoring employees’ performance and progress remotely without compromising employee’s privacy.
  • Technological innovation to support and ease workers WFH tasks.   
  • Cross-country comparisons in firm technological strategies and employee attitudes as well as in outcomes.
  • New emergent cyber threats affecting employees and their mitigation during the pandemic.  
  • WFH and the future of work

Key dates

Submission window opens: 7th July 2020

Submission closing date: 7th January 2021

Submission details

View the author guidelines on the journal page. 
Please submit your manuscript via our review website