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Journal of Contemporary Management

On-line version ISSN 1815-7440


VAN HEERDEN, Rentia  and  NAICKER, Visvanathan. e-Work versus the legacy of the traditional tête-à-tête approach: A post-pandemic agenda of organisational opportunities and challenges. JCMAN [online]. 2023, vol.20, n.2, pp.145-166. ISSN 1815-7440.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: The rapid and unexpected onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed unparalleled challenges on health sectors globally. Traditional working arrangements changed radically when e-work was introduced as a mitigating factor to the spread of the disease. Managing e-staff staff was found challenging as the health public sector navigated the unchartered territory of supporting and managing remote administrative staff. There is limited evidence in previous studies where the impact of a pandemic created exposure to first-time e-management scenarios in the public health sector. The purpose of the study is to explore how e-work influenced staff morale and its influence on remote productivity and to provide insight into feasible working practices post-COVID-19 DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: The authors employed a hypothetico-deductive approach, using both qualitative and quantitative research methods to attain study objectives. Purposive and convenience sampling were used to select interview and survey participants RESULTS/FINDINGS: E-work did not negatively influence staff well-being, although working hours were found to be challenging in terms of balancing home and work life. Communication issues were found to have a considerable influence on management-staff relationships MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Facilitating improved communication will enable management to build on staff relationships and aid in combatting professional isolation. Revisiting existing working methodology will contribute to learning and enable an improved management understanding of the challenges coal face ranks encounter. Increased understanding of e-staff morale and the integration of work-life balance will be beneficial to making sound management decisions to facilitate a current and feasible post-COVID-19 e-work methodology JEL CLASSIFICATION: I31

Keywords : Communication; Covid-19; E-work; Hybrid; Isolation; Management; Productivity; Remote work; Virtual.

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