Employees' Perception of the Difficulties of Work at Home from the Perspective of their Experience on Remote Working
Purpose: The research objective was to check whether there is a correlation between feelings about difficulties in Work from Home (WFH) and having previous experience in remote working. Methodology: During the research the literature review and a questionnaire study were conducted. The CAWI method was applied in April 2021, i.e., a year after the first case of COVID-19 in Poland, and five months after the introduction of the obligatory WFH in public institutions. The study covered 1284 employees of various positions and branches. The Pearson chi square test of independence and the U-Mann-Whitney test were applied. Findings: The research results show that there is a correlation between feelings about the difficulties and WFH benefits and the experience of remote working before the pandemic. The hypothesis that in the group with no experience in remote working more people feel difficulties related to WFH than among those with experience, was only confirmed as to the problem of lowering the living comfort. Other difficulties, for which a statistically significant correlation with experience was found, were mentioned less often by people without experience than by those who worked remotely before the pandemic. As for the benefits, it was found that their strength was higher for those with no experience than those who had previously worked remotely. The exception was the benefit of low level of supervisor control, which was felt more strongly by employees with experience. Practical Implications: Assuming that with the time of remote working the benefits decrease, and the number of difficulties increases, managers should develop an appropriate motivation system and support for WFH employees. This will be beneficial not only during a pandemic, but also in the future, as remote working is likely to remain in a hybrid form in some organizations, or it will be implemented along with the development of Economy 4.0. Originality Value: The research focused not only on the difficulties (and benefits) experienced by employees providing WFH, but also on the relation between their feelings and experience in remote working before the pandemic outbreak. The correlations should become an inspiration for further research, mainly of a dynamic nature.