D.B.A. Baker College (Michigan), 2019.
Specialization: Business administration; Management
Teleworker isolation: Possible effects of workplace relationships and support
125 pages. UMI #: 13813301
Citation, Abstract & Full text in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database
The increase in telework has led to a large number of individuals working from home, where there is a lack of daily face-to-face interactions with coworkers. This lack of face-to-face communication creates a problem because there is a potential for perceived isolation. The purpose of the study was to explore the perceptions of isolation among teleworkers and to develop an understanding of potential causes of social isolation. The theoretical framework is based on Homans’s social exchange theory in the context of workplace relationships and how these relationships relate to social isolation. The research questions address why teleworkers experience isolation and the impact of coworker communication, the support received from peers and supervisors, and the teleworkers connection to the organization on perceptions of social isolation. Research was conducted through one-on-one interviews with 12 full-time employees of a small Midwest consulting company who telework on a regular and recurring basis. Results showed that while lack of face-to-face interaction is a contributor to social isolation, there are several mitigating factors such as working near a window, the use of background noise, frequent communication, strong relationships with coworkers, and a high level of trust between supervisor and teleworker. Also identified were potential ways to further mitigate social isolation in teleworkers.