Identification of Key Psychosocial Safety Factors when Working Remotely: A Three-Step Research Methodology Proposal
Purpose: This article attempts to identify the factors influencing remote work and to investigate which of these factors are the most important from the perspective of employees' psychosocial safety. All research was set in the context of a crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The main aim of the study is to present the research methodology that considers the proprietary three-stage research procedure. Design/Methodology/Approach: The research presented in the article was conducted at a university in Poland. Research methods characteristic of the social sciences were used, including analytical methods and a diagnostic survey. As a research tool, questionnaire forms consisting of questions about the impact of remote work on the psychosocial safety of respondents were used. In addition, the research used the MICMAC program, with the help of which the relationships between selected factors were analyzed. Findings: The most important factors from the perspective of psychosocial safety of employees participating in the study are workload, organization of time between work and household chores, work outside of designated hours, time pressure, professional communication with colleagues, stress, technical supplies, and a sense of independence. The obtained results are only an example and illustrate the adopted research procedure. The research methodology presented in three steps is the achievement of the study. Practical Implications: The presented research results indicate on which aspects of the organization of professional tasks the analyzed organization should focus on to provide its employees with the highest possible level of psychosocial safety in remote work conditions. Purposeful and targeted activities in this area allow the organization to reduce the negative consequences of psychosocial occupational hazards (such as e.g., employee absenteeism), and the available research results show a positive impact of such activities on work efficiency and on shaping a positive and resilient organizational culture. Originality/Value: This research changes the commonly functioning approach to the perception of threats while working remotely only in terms of ergonomic, economic, and legal conditions. In the opinion of the authors, the methodology of identifying the key factors of psychosocial safety during remote work is universal and can be used in any organization and in any conditions, although it is especially dedicated to crisis situations that generate additional tension.