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Mindsets about remote work predict employee well-being in home office: Evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic

Are there certain kinds of people who are better at remote work than others? In a study conducted by the University of Zurich, zhaw & atwork the objective was to find out how employees faired with the sudden forced working from home environment at the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Marco Meister

Are there certain kinds of people who are better at remote work than others?

In a study conducted by the University of Zurich, the zhaw & atwork the objective was to find out how employees faired with the sudden forced working from home environment at the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic. It explores how people who believe that there are employees who are simply good at working from home, or not, struggled with the switch from the office to working at home. The idea stems from research that shows when people believe that a personal quality can be changed or developed (a growth mindset), they are more motivated and perform better than those who think that personal qualities are not changeable (a fixed mindset).

The study involved 113 employees in Switzerland working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. They were asked to report their positive and negative emotions over the course of three weeks, as well as how productive they felt. Employees who had fixed mindsets about working remotely (that it’s a skill you either have or don’t) experienced more negative emotions during remote work. The negative emotions they experienced had a detrimental impact on their productivity.

As the future of many industries shifts to working remotely, it is important for organizations to understand their employees. What can help them succeed and be productive while working from home? This study concludes that employees’ mindsets play a key role and fostering growth mindsets, e.g. about remote work, can help employees and organizations thrive.

Explore the findings and download the study:

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