Date of Publication
Insider Action Research
Master of Business Administration
Human Resources Management
Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business
Management and Organization Department
Pia Redempta T. Manalastas
Defense Panel Chair
Maria Victoria P. Tibon
Defense Panel Member
Frances Jeanne L. Sarmiento
Chris C. Tamesis
With the shift to a temporary work-from-home arrangement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are concerns in managing the productivity and performance of employees due to the less structured nature of a virtual environment. To address this concern and improve the work-from-home experience, the researcher and her collaborators conducted a two-cycle action research to enhance workload management in the work-from-home (WFH) setup.
The action research is implemented in a Philippine university, where the main issue identified is the lack of regular monitoring and review of workload ever since the transition to WFH setup which led to seasonal yet overwhelming surges of urgent deliverables for some personnel and a perception of workload inequity among the staff. To address this issue, the team facilitated a workload review and dialogue with supervisors in the first cycle to help address individual workload difficulties and other concerns in the work-from-home setting, guided by the success factors of virtual work developed by Makarius & Larson (2017), which include structural factors, particularly managerial processes involving social structure (communication and interaction), evaluation structure (clarification of job and performance expectations), and technological structure (tools and ground rules for coordination and collaboration). The objectives were to improve workload manageability, perceptions of equity, and overall work-from-home experience. Lewin’s Change Management Model was used as a change management strategy.
Evaluation results show that the intervention was effective in addressing individual workload concerns and contributed to enhancing workload satisfaction, manageability, equity, and compatibility with personal life as well as productivity, mental health, morale, and overall work-from-home experience. In the second cycle, the focus was on addressing residual perceptions of workload inequity and facilitating interaction and communication to improve work dynamics, as a complement to the individual workload review and dialogue with supervisors. A regular online get-together with a flexible agenda was conducted which was effective in addressing communication and interaction among colleagues. Specifically, it contributed to information sharing and transparency, positive relationships, cooperation and collaboration, trust and open communication, solving work issues and concerns, cohesion and mutual support, performance and productivity, managing workload, work satisfaction and employee morale, mental and social well-being, and improving overall WFH experience.
Developing a more quantitative tool to assess individual workload and turnaround times is recommended to support the dialogue with supervisors, transparency and equity among colleagues, and a formal workload review for adjustment purposes, especially when there are substantial changes in the workload. As for the framework on success factors of virtual work, it is suggested that organizational culture be added as one of the elements under structural factors that will guide the changing expectations and behaviors in organizations that are transitioning to a WFH setup.
Tacuel, L. C. (2022). Enhancing workload management in a university's work-from-home arrangement. Retrieved from https://animorepository.dlsu.edu.ph/etdm_manorg/138
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