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Article

Working from Home—Who Is Happy? A Survey of Lithuania’s Employees during the COVID-19 Quarantine Period

1
Institute of Leadership and Strategic Management, Faculty of Public Governance, Mykolas Romeris University, LT-08303 Vilnius, Lithuania
2
Institute of Management, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, 917 01 Trnava, Slovakia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5332; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135332
Received: 10 June 2020 / Revised: 24 June 2020 / Accepted: 29 June 2020 / Published: 1 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategic Challenges in Sustainable Human Resources Management)

Abstract

:
The virtual way of working is becoming increasingly popular due to its potential for cost savings; it is also a way for an organization to be more agile and adapt to crises such as global pandemics. This innovative way of working brings new challenges to organizations that suddenly have to switch to telework. In fact, telework raises quite a few issues for employees, related to communication, collaboration, and the application of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). This study examined the evaluation of telework through a questionnaire by different conditional groups of 436 teleworkers in Lithuania. Through a correlation analysis between the study variables, the findings suggest that there are differences in the evaluation of factors affecting telework efficiency and qualities required from a remote worker, depending on gender, age, education, work experience, and experience of telework. The results are discussed in terms of the characteristics of the most satisfied and the most dissatisfied teleworkers.

1. Introduction

Telework reflects the volatile, unconventional work environment of the 21st century [1]. With the rapid transformation of widely applicable advanced ICT, many organizations currently offer opportunities for working across time, space, and organizational boundaries [2]. The possibility of teleworking in organizations attracts qualified employees who do not want to be tied to a specific work location and allows to reduce management costs [2,3]. In recent decades, the increase of organizational performance thanks to ICT is evident not only in the business sector, but also in the education, health, culture, arts, and entertainment industries [4]. The virtual way of working is becoming increasingly popular due to its potential for cost savings. It is also a way for an organization to be more agile and to cope with ever-accelerating market changes and various crises [5,6]. A relevant example of nowadays is the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has moved millions of workers around the world from offices to their homes for self-isolation purposes.
Research to date has shown that teleworking is gaining momentum in a lot of countries all over the world, with the number of teleworkers increasing every year and expected to double each year [7]. Unfortunately, in the case of Lithuania, this has so far been happening slowly.
Back in 2005, a study conducted by Merkevičius showed that companies in Lithuania lack the skills to effectively organize virtual work [8]. According to a study published by Raišienė [4] in 2013, only 9% of 560 surveyed employees had the opportunity to work remotely. The results of a research conducted by Nakrošienė and Butkevičienė [9] in 2016 showed that remote work arrangements do not tend to spread rapidly in Lithuania—the percentage of teleworkers remained almost unchanged between 2013 and 2015. Results from a survey conducted by Eurofound in 2017 showed that Lithuania has one of the lowest percentages (13%, EU average being 18%) of employees working remotely compared to other EU countries [2].
To change this situation, the possibility of working remotely was finally embedded in the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania. In some cases, organizations are even required, at the request of an employee, to provide their employees with the opportunity to work remotely for at least one-fifth of their working time: “the employer […] must meet the employee’s request to work remotely for at least one-fifth of the total working time rate” (“Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on telework 2020/No. 2017-10021”) [10]. The legal regulation emphasizes the importance and relevance of teleworking for employees.
The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has led to a massive relocation of the workplace to employees’ homes, with many companies around the world introducing mandatory teleworking [11]. A state-wide decision on telework was also adopted in Lithuania.
On 14 March 2020, quarantine due to the COVID-19 virus was announced in the Republic of Lithuania. During the quarantine, both public and private organizations faced an urgent need to digitize their activities: educational activities in universities, schools, and kindergartens were moved to the virtual space, e-commerce and mail delivery flourished in the market, and office workers also moved to virtual workspaces. After that, about 40% of workers in Lithuania started to work from home [12]. Thus, if the initiative of telework in Lithuania so far had come mostly from employees, during the quarantine, companies’ managements began to understand the advantages of telework in terms of resource management and business.
During the quarantine, a large number of items appeared in the press about the challenges of teleworking, ranging from business consultants’ advice on organizing work and collaboration [13,14] and recommendations from human resources consultants on maintaining employees’ productivity [15,16] to psychologists’ comments on work–life balance and wellbeing while working and living without leaving home [17,18]. However, the pandemic advice and recommendations shared by experts and consultants are based on the knowledge accumulated before the pandemic, and though the number of scientific studies on telework during the quarantine is increasing [13,14,15], the relevance of the issue is not declining. It is important to study telework and gather substantiated evidence independent of the country’s culture and/or laws governing labor relations in order to capture specific changes in employees’ attitudes towards telework, which may be important in addressing human resource management challenges. This raises the legitimate question of whether the experience of those who have joined the ranks of teleworkers, after having hitherto worked only in the workplace provided by the organization, is peculiar and has any specific features. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine differences in the assessment of telework, evaluated by a questionnaire, between different conditional groups of teleworkers. The study was conducted in Lithuania, a country with one of the lowest percentages of teleworkers, which suddenly had to largely switch to telework.
The article is divided into three parts. The first part provides an overview of the peculiarities of teleworking, the second one presents the research methodology, and the third part presents the results of the survey. The article concludes with the research findings, insights, and practical implications.

Theoretical Background

The definition of telework includes geographical dispersion and employees’ dependence on technology when communicating with each other [19]. In other words, a virtual organization is “a collection of geographically distributed, functionally and/or culturally diverse entities that are linked by electronic forms of communication […] and use technology media to communicate and coordinate the fulfilment of a defined objective or task” [20]. One of the increasingly offered forms of virtual work arrangements is telework, which helps workers to balance work and personal life, allows to reduce real estate costs, and is one of the tools used by organizations to attract and retain highly qualified professionals [19].
Practitioners’ interest in telework has been fueled by its flexibility and the resulting benefits for business and employees. The possibility to attract and hire qualified employees living anywhere in the world, extend the organization’s working hours to 24 h a day regardless of time zones, and thus more effectively implement its strategic goals and increase international competitiveness are just some of the reasons why virtual organizations are gaining popularity [1,21].
Telework has advantages not only for the organization itself but also for its employees: organizations’ flexibility as regards employee’s working time and place of work is very useful, as it helps to motivate the members of the organization, enables organizations to better meet the needs of employees by helping them to balance work and private life, maintain health and productivity, flexibly plan working hours, experience less stress related to communication, work without being constantly controlled by managers, and save time travelling to and from the workplace [9,19,22].
On the other hand, research has shown that teleworkers face challenges such as the need for socialization, blurred boundaries between leisure and work, lack of boundaries between work and personal life [9], and difficulties in maintaining effective communication and cooperation with co-workers and managers [23,24].
Generally, it can be noted that in the last decade, the scientific literature has been dominated by three main research topics regarding telework in organizations, i.e., (i) efficiency of virtual groups and teams [1,5,6,24,25,26,27,28,29,30], (ii) virtual or e-leadership [7,18,22,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38], and (iii) telework features [4,8,9,16,39,40,41]. However, almost all studies, in the context of the challenges of teleworking, emphasize the aspects of communication, mutual trust, and leadership [24,30,42,43,44,45].
The authors of these researches discuss not only formal communication and organization of the communication process but also less visible aspects of communication. Daim et al. [24] and Barhite [29] emphasize the importance of communication quality for employees’ psychoemotional well-being. Their research suggests that lack of nonverbal communication and lack of communication quality in general can in some cases lead to anxiety, confusion, and miscommunication among employees. This finding is also confirmed by research conducted in Lithuania. According to Raišienė and Jonušauskas [19], intensive work with ICT significantly increases the technostress experienced by employees, the consequences of which are related to the deterioration of the subjective quality of life.
Another major challenge in telework is related to building trust [24,44]. The level of trust in virtual teams is, as a rule, lower than among live-communicating colleagues [23]. Lack of trust can become an obstacle to the effective execution of virtual work, therefore in virtual teams, who face uncertainty and have incomplete knowledge of all team members, trust is much more important than in traditional ones [21].
Finally, telework requires strong leadership [22], as it is managers who are responsible for the formation of feedback culture, introducing communication rules, efficient information exchange, motivating employees for active and continuous communication, and for the attitudes, feelings, thinking, behaviors, and activities of groups and/or organizations [32]. According to Wilson, leadership in the digital age in general means “leadership in any institution or sector embedded in the broader transitions toward a more knowledge-intensive society” while using ICT [46].
Researchers agree that being a leader when work is organized virtually is generally more difficult than leading traditional teams [35], especially due to the fact that in the virtual world, teleworkers tend to act as leaders themselves, because the digital platform, by fostering mutual collaboration, removes some of the organizational powers and privileges of the leaders and thus enables and encourages employees to take the lead. Thus, the power dynamics between leaders and employees change due to remote interaction [47], and the practice of shared leadership spreads [35,48]. Shared leadership can be a key mechanism to reduce loss of motivation and coordination and maintain team effectiveness when working remotely [35]. One of the disadvantages of this form of leadership, according to Nordbäck and Espinosa, may be that the process of shared leadership requires additional attention to its coordination, i.e., the leaders and employees themselves must seek coordination so that the whole structure of shared leadership functions as a cohesive whole [48]. Wildman and Griffith [49] propose to address this shortcoming by forming a certain leadership structure, which should allow shared leadership to emerge naturally and leave only secondary leadership functions, such as supervision of performance and adaptation, to the formal leader. Other authors equate leadership in teleworking with collective leadership, which results in community members’ ability to effectively collaborate and produce results together [42,43].
Based on the theoretical overview of the advantages, disadvantages, and challenges of telework presented above, a research questionnaire was prepared and subjected to teleworkers who worked remotely during the quarantine; its features and results are presented below.

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Participants and Procedure

To explore how employees evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of telework, as well as to identify the qualities they require for telework, Lithuanian remote workers were approached to participate in the study. In total, 436 remote workers took part in the study. The sample comprised 32.6% (N = 142) of men and 67.4% (N = 294) of women (Table 1). It should be noted that the employment rate of women in Lithuanian municipalities varies from 41.1% to 87%. Accordingly, the employment rate for men ranges from 51.4% to 86.3% [50]. In Lithuania, the majority of public sector employees and the absolute majority of teachers (university professors and school teachers) are women; therefore, after public administration institutions, universities, colleges, and schools switched to telework, a large number of female employees started working virtually. Meanwhile, the proportion of men working from home was lower than that of women. Hence, the sample of our study reflects the employees’ situation during the quarantine.
In terms of age distribution, we had 5 generational cohorts: 3% (N = 13) of Baby Boomers, 17% (N = 74) of Generation X, 16% (N = 70) of Xennials [50], and 64% (N = 249) of Millennials. Regarding education, 21.6% (N = 94) of the respondents had secondary education, 38.3% (N = 167) held a bachelor’s degree, 34.2% (N = 149) had a master’s degree, and 6% (N = 26) had a doctor’s degree. In terms of activity fields, the vast majority of the participants worked in the field of services and intellectual outputs (N = 198), 7.6% (N = 33) worked in the field of production and trade, 23.6% (N = 103) worked in the field of management and administration, and 11.7% (N = 51) worked in the field of health, education, and social services. Data collection took place from 30 March to 15 April 2020. Data were collected via a web-based survey which took approximately 15 min on average to complete. The data collected were stored in data files and later downloaded into SPSS statistical software for analysis. All participants were informed about the purpose of the study. Participation was voluntary, and the respondents were assured of the confidentiality of their responses.

2.2. Instruments

The study was conducted using a questionnaire which was based on 3 scales to evaluate motivational factors of telework, factors negatively affecting telework efficiency, and required qualities for telework. Participants were also asked to provide information about their telework experience such as length and frequency of telecommuting.
The scale to evaluate motivational factors of telework consisted of 9 items (e.g., “Possibility to balance work and personal life”, “Possibility to independently organize work”). It aimed to measure the benefits of telecommuting. All items were positively worded and rated using a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (Not important at all) to 5 (Absolutely essential). Higher scores indicated a greater importance of the motivational factors. The reliability coefficient Cronbach α of the scale was 0.791.
The scale to evaluate factors negatively affecting telework efficiency consisted of 29 items (e.g., “Lack of face-to-face interaction with the manager”, “Distractions when teleworking by other household members”). The scale aimed to measure the disadvantages of telecommuting. All items were negatively worded and rated using a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (Not important at all) to 5 (Absolutely essential). Higher scores represented a higher level of negative evaluation of the factors negatively affecting telework efficiency. The reliability coefficient Cronbach α of the scale was 0.946.
Required qualities for telework were measured with a 7-item scale (e.g., “Ability to engage and maintain commitment to the organization”, “Personal leadership”). All items were positively worded and rated using a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (Not important at all) to 5 (Absolutely essential). Higher scores represented a higher importance of a required quality for telework. The reliability coefficient Cronbach α of the scale was 0.798.

2.3. Data Analysis

The Spearman’s rank-order correlation was used to measure the relationships between the study variables. Furthermore, Dunn-Bonferroni post hoc method following a significant Kruskal-Wallis test was used in order to look for differences in the evaluation of factors affecting telework efficiency and qualities required for telework by different groups defined by generation, education, fields of activity, employment duration, as well as the length and frequency of telecommuting.

3. Results

Firstly, a correlation analysis between the study variables was performed. As can be seen in Table 2, the evaluation of telework advantages and disadvantages, as well as the evaluation of the required qualities for remote worker differed between males and females. Women tended to value more the possibility to better keep up with their selected wellness program when telecommuting (r = 0.125, p < 0.01). In regard to the factors negatively affecting telework efficiency, men were found to express a more negative attitude toward these factors: distractions by other household members when teleworking (r = −0.095, p < 0.05), doubts regarding manager’s evaluation (r = −0.103, p < 0.05), career restrictions due to limited possibilities to demonstrate exceptional skills or extraordinary work results (r = −0.098, p < 0.05), information overload (r = −0.137, p < 0.01), time-consuming asynchronous communication (r = −0.111, p < 0.05), tensions due to the distribution of attention between work tasks and intense communication (r = −0.173, p < 0.01), and difficulties in identifying the start and the end of several simultaneously implemented tasks (r = −0.138, p < 0.05). Furthermore, the correlation analysis revealed that women attached more importance to the ability to work independently (r = 0.096, p < 0.05), good time-management (r = 0.188, p < 0.01) and communication skills (r = 0.170, p < 0.01), ability to engage and maintain their commitment to the organization (r = 0.149, p < 0.01), and a strong personal responsibility for one’s work (r = 0.106, p < 0.05) as the qualities required for telecommuting.
Next, we examined the association between respondents’ age and study variables. Spearman’s correlation indicated negative relationships between the respondents’ generation and the evaluation of factors negatively influencing the efficiency of telework (Table 2), suggesting that the older generations tended to put more emphasis on the disadvantages of telecommuting. In addition, the younger generations tended to assign more importance to the qualities required for teleworking such as ability to work independently (r = 0.096, p < 0.5), good time-management (r = 0.188, p < 0.01) and communication skills (r = 0.170, p < 0.01), ability to engage and maintain commitment to the organization (r = 0.149, p < 0.01), and a strong personal responsibility for one’s work (r = 0.106, p < 0.05). In order to further examine how different generations evaluated factors influencing telework efficiency, a Dunn-Bonferroni post hoc method following a significant Kruskal-Wallis test was applied (Table 3). The test showed that, compared to millennials, baby boomers felt more the lack of face-to-face interaction (p = 0.013) and more often had the impression that other people finished their tasks and enjoyed life at home while they continued working all the time (p = 0.015). In comparison to Xennials and millennials, baby boomers more often felt a lack of feedback (p = 0.027; p = 0.046) and team spirit (r = 0.029; p = 0.017), as well as experienced increased challenges related to self-organization and work accomplishment (p = 0.022; p = 0.001), blurred boundaries between work and personal life (p = 0.032; p = 0.008), extended decision-making time (p = 0.021; p = 0.45), self-motivation (p = 0.07; p = 0.037), complicated access to work-related information (p = 0.014; p = 0.019), and increased constrains on the possibilities to build mutual trust (p = 0.029; p = 0.019). Furthermore, baby boomers, as compared to all the other generations, more often experienced information overloads (p < 0.05) and increased time-consuming asynchronous communication (p < 0.05) when telecommuting. The test results also revealed that, in comparison to millennials, Generation X felt more the lack of feedback (p = 0.031), of face-to-face interaction with colleagues (p = 0.015), and of an inspirational work atmosphere (p = 0.011). Moreover, Generation X more often experienced, compared to millennials, increased career restrictions (p = 0.028), self-motivation-related challenges (p = 0.01), impression that other people finished their tasks and enjoyed life at home while they continued working all the time (p = 0.018), blurred boundaries between work and personal life (p = 0.001), doubts regarding manager’s evaluation (p = 0.011), constraints on the possibilities to build mutual trust (p = 0.021), as well as challenges related to self-organization and work accomplishment (p = 0.032). Finally, we found several significant differences in the evaluation of telecommuting efficiency between Generation X and Xennials. Compared to Xennials, generation X felt more, concerned that important information evaded them (p = 0.023) and experienced more challenges related to self-organization and work accomplishment (p = 0.039) as well as more constraints on the possibilities to build mutual trust (p = 0.039).
We also tested the relationships between respondents’ education and all study variables. As can be seen in Table 1, respondents holding a lower level of education valued more the possibility to better keep up with the selected wellness program when telecommuting (r = 0.131, p < 0.01). Moreover, it appeared that a higher level of education was related to an increased lack of face-to-face interaction with the manager (r = 0.109, p < 0.05), the lack of team spirit (r = 0.099, p < 0.05), concerns about missing important information (r = 0.190, p < 0.05), and doubts regarding manager’s evaluation (r = 0.104, p < 0.05). It was also found that the respondents holding a higher level of education tended to value more the qualities required when telecommuting: ability to work independently (r = 0.162, p < 0.01), good time-management (r = 0.175, p < 0.01) and communication skills (r = 0.117, p < 0.05), digital literacy, personal leadership (r = 0.100, r < 0.05), and a strong personal responsibility for one’s work (r = 0.222, p < 0.01). Next, Kruskal-Wallis (Table 4) and Dunn-Bonferroni post hoc tests were performed in order to check differences related to education groups when evaluating the efficiency of telecommuting. The tests results revealed that respondents having secondary school education valued less the possibility to independently organize work as compared to those holding bachelor (p = 0.000), master (p = 0.000), and doctor (p = 0.002) degrees. Furthermore, they attached less importance, as compared to all the other education groups, to the ability to work independently (p < 0.01), good time-management skills (p < 0.05), digital literacy (p < 0.05), and strong personal responsibility (p < 0.01) as necessary qualities for remote workers. Moreover, respondents having secondary school education felt less the lack of an inspirational work atmosphere, compared to those holding bachelor (p = 0.021) and master degrees (p = 0.016), and they were less concerned that they could miss important information compared to the respondents holding a master degree (p = 0.26). Finally, they valued less the ability to engage and maintain their commitment to the organization as compared to the respondents having a bachelor degree (p = 0.01) and they gave less importance to personal leadership and to good communication skills as required qualities for remote workers compared to the respondents having bachelor (p < 0.05) and master degrees (p < 0.01).
Next, we examined whether there were differences in the evaluation of telework efficiency depending on the fields of activity of the respondents. The results of Kruskal-Wallis (Table 5) and Dunn-Bonferroni post hoc tests revealed that respondents working in the management and administration field assigned more importance to good management skills (p = 0.005), personal leadership (p = 0.002), and a strong personal responsibility for one’s work (p = 0.002) as the qualities required to remote worker, compared to those working in the field of services and intellectual outputs. Furthermore, it appeared that respondents working in the field of services and intellectual outputs felt more difficulties in identifying start and end of several simultaneously implemented tasks in comparison to those working in the management and administration field (p = 0.015).
We also examined how the employment duration of the respondents was associated with their evaluation of telecommuting (Table 2). We found that the employment duration was negatively associated with the evaluation of the possibility to choose the workplace (r = −0.131, p < 0.01) and positively related with the possibility to limit unnecessary interaction (r = 0.119, p < 0.05) when telecommuting. Furthermore, it was also found that respondents having longer employment duration tended to emphasize the following disadvantages of telecommuting: lack of face-to-face interaction with colleagues (r = 0.134, p < 0.01) and manager (r = 0.208, p < 0.01), lack of feedback (r = 0.094, p < 0.05), blurred boundaries between work and personal life (r = 0.144, p < 0.01), lack of an inspirational work atmosphere (r = 0.159, p < 0.01), challenges related to self-organization and following of work routine (r = 0.123, p < 0.05), impression that other people finished their tasks and enjoy life at home while they continued to work all the time (r = 0.231, p < 0.05), feeling concerned that important information evaded them (r = 0.119. p < 0.05), doubts regarding manager’s evaluation (r = 0.162, p < 0.01), career restrictions (r = 0.189, p < 0.01), and self-motivation-related challenges (r = 0.185, p < 0.01). Furthermore, respondents who had a longer employment experience tended to attach more importance to digital literacy (r = 0.173, p < 0.01) and strong personal responsibility for one’s work (r = 0.122, p < 0.01) as qualities required for remote workers. In order to further examine how employment duration affected the evaluation of telecommuting, the Dunn-Bonferroni post hoc method following a significant Kruskal-Wallis test was applied (Table 6). Compared to employees working 11–20 years, respondents whose employment duration was less than one year attached less importance to the ability to engage and maintain commitment to the organization (p = 0.047), digital literacy (p = 0.014), as well as strong personal responsibility for one’s work (p = 0.005) as the qualities required for telecommuting. Moreover, this group (working less than one year) attached less importance to good communication skills as compared to all the other groups (p < 0.05) and to digital literacy (p = 0.003) as compared to the group working for more than 20 years. Furthermore, this group felt less the lack of face-to-face interaction with colleagues (p = 0.027), self-motivation-related challenges (p = 0.018), and blurred boundaries between work and personal life (p = 0.005) when telecommuting, compared to the group working for more than 20 years. This group was also found to assign less importance to good time-management skills (p = 0.01) when telecommuting in comparison to the group with an employment duration of 1–3 years. The test also showed that respondents whose employment duration was 4–10 years encountered less difficulties in identifying start and end of several simultaneously implemented tasks (p = 0.014), had less doubts regarding manager’s evaluation (p = 0.043), and experienced less blurred boundaries between work and personal life (p = 0.07) compared to those having more than 20 years of working experience. In addition, this group (4–10 years of employment) experienced less career restrictions due to limited possibilities to demonstrate exceptional skills or extraordinary work results (p = 0.043), as well as less doubts regarding manager’s evaluation (p = 0.025), as compared to the group with 11–20 years of employment. Finally, the test results also revealed that respondents who had been working for 1–3 years felt less constraints on the possibilities to build mutual trust (p < 0.01) and had less the impression that other people finished their tasks and enjoyed life at home while they continue working all the time (p < 0.05), compared to those who had been working more than 11 years.
We also examined whether there were differences in the evaluation of telecommuting between respondents who had telework experience before the lockdown and those who did not. A correlation analysis (Table 2) revealed that respondents who had telework experience before the lockdown valued more the advantages of telework: possibility to choose worktime (r = −0.096, p < 0.05), independently organize work (r = −0.126, p < 0.01), work individually (r = −0.133, p < 0.01), balance work and personal life (r = −0.175, p < 0.01), limit unnecessary interactions (r = −0.103, p < 0.05), and save time on commuting (r = −0.146, p < 0.01). On the other hand, respondents who did not have telecommuting experience before the lockdown tended to experience a more negative telework impact linked to lack of face-to-face interaction with the manager (r = −0.101, p < 0.05), complicated access to work-related information (r = −0.168, p < 0.01), lack of feedback (r = −0.112, p < 0.05), distractions when teleworking by other household members (r = −0.122, p < 0.05), working overtime due to the manager’s inability to estimate workload (r = −0.121, p < 0.05), lack of an inspirational work atmosphere (r = −0.113, p < 0.05), feeling concerned that important information evaded them (r = −0.141, p < 0.01), doubts regarding manager’s evaluation (r = −0.104, p < 0.05), extended decision-making time (r = −0.100, p < 0.05), and time-consuming asynchronous communication (r = −0.100, p < 0.05). Finally, we found several differences in the evaluation of the required qualities for remote workers. Respondents who had telework experience before the lockdown assigned more importance to the ability to work independently (r = −0.102, p < 0.05), good time-management skills (r = −0.123, p < 0.05), and personal leadership (r = −0.123, p < 0.05) as important qualities when telecommuting, while those who did not have telework experience before the lockdown tended to value more the ability to engage and maintain their commitment to the organization (r = 0.114, p < 0.05) and a strong personal responsibility for one’s work (r = 0.132, p < 0.01).
Next, we also tested the relationships between the length of the telecommuting experience and the study variables (Table 7). It appeared that a longer telecommuting experience was related to a higher evaluation of these telecommuting benefits: possibility to choose workplace (r = 0.124, p < 0.01) and work time (r = 0.163, p < 0.01), to independently organize work (r = 0.183, p < 0.01), to work individually (r = 0.143, p < 0.01), to balance work and personal life (r = 0.204, p < 0.01), and time saved on commuting (r = 0.122, p < 0.01). A correlation analysis also revealed that respondents having a longer telecommuting experience tended to attach more importance to the following disadvantages of telework: lack of face-to-face interaction with the manager (r = 0.096, p < 0.05), complicated access to work-related information (r = 0.183, p < 0.01), lack of feedback (r = 0.104, p < 0.05), distractions when teleworking by other household members (r = 0.101, p < 0.05), working overtime due to the manger’s inability to estimate the workload (r = 0.109, p < 0.05), feeling concerned that they might miss important information (r = 0.123, p < 0.05), doubts regarding the manager’s evaluation (r = 0.112, p < 0.05), communication overload (r = 0.098, p < 0.05), extended decision-making time (r = 0.095, p < 0.05), time-consuming asynchronous communication (r = 0.107, p < 0.05), and focus on communication rather than on the tasks (r = 0.106, p < 0.05). Furthermore, respondents having a longer telecommuting experience tended to value more the ability to work independently (r = 0.154, p < 0.01), good time-management skills (r = 0.150, p < 0.01), personal leadership (r = 0.133, p < 0.05), and a strong personal responsibility for one’s work (r = 0.182, p < 0.01) as important qualities when telecommuting. Our study results revealed significant differences between the respondents teleworking only during the quarantine and those having a longer telework experience. It appeared that respondents who began teleworking only during the quarantine appreciated less the possibility to choose their work time (p = 0.049) ant to work individually (p = 0.027), compared to those who had experienced telecommuting for 1–3 years. Moreover, the respondents who telecommuted only during the quarantine and those who had telecommuted for several weeks assigned less importance to the possibilities to independently organize work (p < 0.05) and to balance work and personal life (p < 0.05), compared to those having a longer telecommuting experience (less than 1 year and 1–3 years). Therefore, the respondents teleworking only during the quarantine tended to appreciate less the teleworking’s benefits compared to those who were teleworking before the quarantine. The results also revealed that, compared to employees having more teleworking experience (less than 1 year), the respondents teleworking only during the quarantine placed less emphasis on these disadvantages of telework: complicated access to work-related information (p = 0.006), distractions when teleworking by other household members (p = 0.011), and time-consuming asynchronous communication (p = 0.015). Finally, there were significant differences in the assessment of qualities required for teleworkers between the respondents who began teleworking during the quarantine and those having telework experience before the quarantine. Respondents who telecommuted only during the quarantine attached less importance to the ability to work individually, compared to groups having more experience (less than 1 year and more than 3 years) (p < 0.05). They also placed less value on the strong personal responsibility when telecommuting as compared to the groups having more experience (1–3 years, p = 0.03). Furthermore, respondents having less experience in telecommuting (less than 1 year) gave less importance to digital literacy, a quality requested to teleworkers, as compared to those having a longer experience (more than 3 years). Moreover, respondents who had more than 3 years of telecommuting experience placed more value on good time-management skills compared to those telecommuting only during the quarantine (p = 0.018). Finally, respondents having a longer telecommuting experience (less than 1 year and more than 3 years) valued more highly personal leadership as an important quality for teleworkers, as compared to those having less telework experience (only during the quarantine and for several weeks) (p < 0.05).
Finally, a correlation analysis (Table 2) showed that respondents who telecommuted more often tended to place more value on the possibilities to independently organize work (r = 0.014, p < 0.05) and to balance work and personal life (r = 0.135, p < 0.05). It also appeared that respondents who spent more time on telecommuting tended to emphasize more the following disadvantages of telecommuting: lack of face-to-face interaction with the manager (r = 0.158, p < 0.01), complicated access to work-related information (r = 0.164, p < 0.01), lack of feedback (r = 0.126, p < 0.01), feeling concerned about missing important information (r = 0.099, p < 0.05), doubts regarding the manger’s evaluation (r = 0.118, p < 0.05), extended decision-making time (r = 0.116, p < 0.05), and increased focus on communication rather than on the task (r = 0.095, p < 0.05). Dunn-Bonferroni post hoc method following a significant Kruskal-Wallis test showed that respondents who telecommuted approximately up to two days per week valued more the benefit of time saved on commuting as compared to the respondents who did not telecommute before the lockdown (p = 0.005), who telecommuted more than half of the week (p = 0.019), and who telecommuted all the working week (p = 0.024) (Table 8). The test also revealed that respondents who telecommuted all the working week placed more emphasis on the constraints on the possibilities to build mutual trust (p = 0.002), compared to those telecommuting approximately up to two days per week. In addition, respondents who telecommuted more than half of the week (p = 0.025) and all the working week (p = 0.025) placed more emphasis on the lack of mutual trust between employees and their manager, as compared to those who telecommuted for an insignificant working time. Furthermore, respondents who did not have telecommuting experience before the lockdown placed less importance to complicated access to work-related information, compared to those telecommuting approximately up to one day per week (p = 0.015) and those telecommuting all the working week (p = 0.006),. Respondents who telecommuted all their working week were more focused on communication rather than on the tasks (p = 0.023), as compared to those who did not have telecommuting experience before the lockdown. Finally, respondents who telecommuted approximately up to two days per week attached more importance to personal leadership compared to those who did not have teleworking experience before the lockdown (p = 0.029).

4. Focus Points and Discussion

By comparing the answers of respondents in different conditional groups, our analysis showed different evaluations of the advantages and disadvantages of telework as well of the personal characteristics required from a teleworker:
1.
The results of the study from the gender perspective showed that:
  • Women particularly appreciated the opportunity to work from home to ensure a healthier lifestyle. Men did not single out this aspect of teleworking.
  • In general, men assessed working from home more negatively than women, due to perceived role conflict, changes in employment relationship dynamics, and constraints on career opportunities. Men were significantly more likely than women to (i) state that other members of the household disturbed when working from home; (ii) question whether their supervisors would properly assess their competencies, performance, and achievements while working from home; (iii) argue that working from home poses career constraints due to limited opportunities to demonstrate exceptional skills. As negative aspects of telework, men also highlighted information overload, time-consuming asynchronous communication, and tension due to the distribution of attention between work tasks and intense communication. Finally, men were statistically more likely than women to face self-organizing challenges, i.e., experienced difficulties in identifying start and end of several simultaneously implemented tasks.
  • On the other hand, although women did not mention the latter aspect—self-organization as a challenge for them to effectively work from home—they nevertheless focused on this issue, stating that the ability to work independently and time-management and communication skills are the most important qualities for successful teleworking. The results also showed that women were statistically more likely than men to believe that personal leadership qualities are essential when working from home, i.e., it is necessary to be able to independently engage and maintain organizational commitment and have a strong personal responsibility for one’s work.
Thus, from the gender perspective, it can be observed that men consider their career to be more successful when they have the opportunity for a traditional “masculine” life. When caught up in a stereotypically feminine situation (where it is necessary to combine home and work responsibilities and therefore allocate time productively to work and non-work responsibilities), men begin to feel the threat to their work success.
2.
When analyzing the relationship between the age of the respondents and the study variables, the results showed that:
  • Older generations tended to emphasize the disadvantages of telework, while younger ones tended to emphasize that teleworking requires specific skills and competences compared to working in an office.
  • Baby boomers mostly lacked direct contact and feedback from their managers, found it more difficult to maintain trust-based relationships with co-workers, felt a lack of team spirit and motivation, faced difficulties in self-organization more often than other generations, and it was most difficult for them to draw the line between work and private life when working from home. Moreover, baby boomers more often than any other generation felt information overload while teleworking.
  • Accordingly, research has shown that for the older members of Generation X, telework poses more similar challenges to those faced by baby boomers, e.g., time management, self-organization, and so on, while for the younger members of Generation X, i.e., Xennials, the mentioned challenges are no longer significant.
  • Millennials statistically most often tend to emphasize the pros rather than the disadvantages of telework.
It can finally be noted that respondents’ attitudes towards telework varied between generations; however, the boundaries between the generations were not dramatically clear: the attitudes of the older and younger generations were intertwined, and more pronounced differences were seen only between non-convergent generations. In terms of generational differences, our study confirmed that the younger generations are more technology-friendly, and older generations’ employees consider more valuable work which happens in a physically common space.
3.
In terms of the impact of education on the evaluation of telework, it can be seen that higher education led to higher self-confidence and satisfaction with the opportunity to make independent decisions, and lower education led to lower involvement and organizational commitment and greater interest in performing specifically defined tasks. Moreover, respondents with lower education were statistically more likely to believe that teleworking does not require any specific skills compared to work in a traditional workplace. Such research results can be explained by the nature of the work performed by the respondents, since people with lower education choose jobs that require different competencies than professions and positions chosen by people with higher education.
4.
The fact that the performed work had an impact on the evaluation of telework was confirmed by the study results, which showed that respondents working in the field of services and intellectual outputs experienced more difficulties in identifying start and end of several simultaneously implemented tasks compared to those working in management and administration. In this way, services and intellectual outputs specialists indirectly indicated the need to be led and guided in organizing their workflow.
5.
Employees with a short experience of teleworking found the least challenges when comparing work from home and work in the workplace. It can be assumed that their experience in assessing certain aspects of telework was not sufficiently weighted, since their work tasks were not performed fully independently or in a purely virtual way. The fact that employees with episodic telework experience were not fully aware of the challenges of such work was shown by comparing their responses with those of individuals who started teleworking for the first time during the quarantine. The latter group of respondents did not tend to evaluate telework positively. Comparing telework assessments between individuals who started teleworking for the first time during the quarantine and those having a longer telework experience, it turned out that those teleworking only during the quarantine tended to emphasize less the drawbacks of telework, while, on the other hand, they appreciated less the benefits of telework and were not likely to highlight any specific skills required for teleworkers. Respondents who did not have telework experience before the quarantine mostly highlighted the negative effects of telework, such as lack of face-to-face interaction with the manager, complicated access to work-related information, lack of feedback, lack of inspirational work atmosphere, working overtime due to the manager’s inability to estimate the workload, doubts on whether the supervisor would notice and adequately evaluate the results of the work, and so on. It appears that the work motivation of employees who started teleworking during quarantine suffered a major blow. Questions remain unanswered as to whether, when, and how the assessment of telework by this group of respondents would change with more experience in this sphere. Changes are very likely, as our study showed that respondents with longer telework experience much more widely evaluated the disadvantages and advantages of working from home. These advantages were mainly related to the flexibility of work organization, i.e., the possibility to choose worktime and workplace and save time on commuting. Meanwhile, the biggest shortcomings of working from home, from the point of view of experienced teleworkers, were related to future career constraints and a more time-consuming and relatively more complex communication.
6.
The study showed that respondents who worked remotely for up to about two days a week placed more emphasis on the advantages of telework and did not highlight its disadvantages, compared to those teleworking full-time or for most part of the work week. This is an important message to Human Resource Management specialists: working from home two days a week can be a strong motivating tool that does not adversely affect the quality of employees’ collaboration, mutual trust, providing feedback, and similar aspects that are identified as negative by individuals who telework most of the time.

5. Conclusions

In general, our study showed that there are differences in the assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of telework as well as of the individual characteristics required from a remote worker, depending on gender, age, education, work experience, and experience of telework.
After considering all the findings of the study, the following portrait of the most satisfied teleworker emerges: she is a Millennial woman holding a higher education degree, with 4–10 years of professional experience, and working from home two days a week in the management and administration field.
Meanwhile, the employee most dissatisfied with telework appears to be a man of the baby boomers’ generation, holding a university degree, with 20 years or more of professional experience, and who started working remotely only during the quarantine.
When drawing a broader picture of the results with softer strokes, it appears that those more satisfied with telework are younger and middle-aged employees, who can combine telework with work in the office and who have sufficient professional and telework experience (teleworking before the quarantine).
In the meantime, older generations who worked virtually three or more days a week before the quarantine were less satisfied with telework, especially those whose entire work was transferred to a virtual communication and collaboration environment exclusively during the quarantine period.
When assessing the results in the context of previous research, e.g., reference [9], it can be observed that the attitude towards telework of Lithuanian employees who worked in a remote or virtual workplace before and during the pandemic did not change significantly, but the share of those assessing certain advantages and disadvantages of telework did. We found a relative decline in those who believe that teleworking is a possibility to limit unnecessary interaction and small talks; on the contrary, during the quarantine, teleworkers highlighted the need for socialization a bit more than before the quarantine. To conclude, the main achievement of our research is the comparison of different conditional groups, which had not yet been done by researchers in Lithuania. Furthermore, in our study, we compared differences in attitude towards teleworking between workers who had previously worked remotely and those who started working remotely only during the pandemic, which had not been done by other researchers yet.
Although the survey was conducted in a small country, in this case, Lithuania, the sample was sufficiently large to ensure the reliability of the data. However, the number of respondents was quite small and not sufficient to allow categorical statements about telework. Nevertheless, our research insights can contribute to a better organizational management of the challenges that employees face when teleworking (specifically, in our study, from home) and consequently they can help create preconditions for higher efficiency of employees, higher levels of work motivation and, finally, greater efficiency of telework.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, A.G.R.; methodology, A.G.R. and V.R.; investigation, V.R. and K.V.; data curation, V.R. and K.V.; writing—original draft preparation, A.G.R., K.V., K.S. and V.R.; writing—review and editing, A.G.R. and K.S.; visualization, A.G.R. and K.S.; funding acquisition, A.G.R. and K.S. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

Funding

This research was funded by Mykolas Romeris University and by project VEGA no. 1/0412/19 Systems of Human Resources Management in the 4.0 Industry Era.

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the Infrastructures of the Institute of Leadership and Strategic Management, Mykolas Romeris University, and Scientific Grant Agency VEGA.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Table 1. Socio-demographic characteristics.
Table 1. Socio-demographic characteristics.
Variable N%
GenderFemale29467.4
Male14232.6
GenerationBaby boomers (1943–1963)133
Gen X (1964–1976)7417
Xennials (1977–1982)7016
Millennials (1983–2003)24964
EducationSecondary9421.6
Bachelor’s degree16738.3
Master’s degree14934.2
Doctor’s degree266
Field of activityServices and intellectual outputs19845.4
Production and trade337.6
Management and administration10323.6
Health, education, and social services5111.7
Other5111.7
Total 436100
Table 2. Correlation between the study variables.
Table 2. Correlation between the study variables.
ConstructGenderAgeEducationDuration of EmploymentTele-Commuting Experience before the LockdownLength of the Tele-
Commuting Experience
Frequency of Tele-Commuting
Possibility to choose workplace0.0680.090−0.063−0.131 **−0.0860.124 **0.031
Possibility to choose worktime0.0280.0390.056−0.050−0.095 *0.163 **0.093
Possibility to independently organize work0.032−0.0120.068−0.009−0.126 **0.183 **0.114 *
Possibility to work individually−0.0360.066−0.045−0.049−0.133 **0.143 **0.087
Possibility to balance work and personal life0.0810.052−0.002−0.072−0.175 **0.204 **0.135 **
Time saved on commuting0.0140.0940.043−0.071−0.146 **0.122 *0.020
Possibility to limit unnecessary interactions0.024−0.0850.0360.119 *−0.103 *0.0740.060
Possibility to avoid formal dress code and appearance-related requirements at the workplace0.080−0.038−0.047−0.008−0.0470.0100.009
Possibility to better keep up with the selected wellness program0.125 **−0.019−0.131 **−0.072−0.052−0.041−0.029
Lack of face-to-face interaction with colleagues0.046−0.174 **0.0680.134 **−0.0640.0810.052
Lack of face-to-face interaction with the manager−0.025−0.145 **0.109 *0.208 **−0.101 *0.096 *0.158 **
Constraints on the possibilities to build mutual trust−0.017−0.109 *0.0240.0530.032−0.0140.086
Lack of mutual trust between employees and their managers−0.061−0.0820.0400.083−0.0240.0700.089
Lack of team spirit, the “we” feeling−0.089−0.136 **0.099 *0.128**−0.0450.0650.027
Exaggerated expectations of the manager/employer, without taking into consideration the actual workload−0.085−0.0190.0340.043−0.0410.0560.084
Communication problems with other employees−0.066−0.0070.0350.004−0.0670.071
Complicated access to work-related information−0.032−0.0840.0810.083−0.168 **0.183 **0.164 **
Lack of feedback−0.064−0.153 **0.0540.094 *−0.112 *0.104 *0.126 **
Blurred boundaries between work and personal life−0.036−0.192 **−0.0440.144 **−0.0630.0630.073
Distractions when teleworking by other household members−0.095 *−0.0740.0150.013−0.122 *0.101 *0.065
Working overtime due to the manager’s inability to estimate workload−0.544−0.0190.0430.059−0.121 *0.109 *0.077
Lack of inspirational work atmosphere−0.078−0.129 **0.0650.159 **−0.113 *0.0590.083
Challenges related to self-organization and following of the work routine−0.089−0.103 *0.0210.123 *−0.0590.0660.047
Being under the impression that other people finish their tasks and enjoy life at home while I continue working all the time−0.036−0.159 **0.0150.231 *−0.0410.0620.028
Feeling concerned that important information evades me, that I miss something−0.094−0.0800.119 *0.119 *−0.141 **0.123 *0.099 *
Doubts regarding the evaluation: will the managers notice and adequately appreciate my results−0.103 *−0.146 **0.104 *0.162 **−0.104 *0.112 *0.118 *
Career restrictions due to limited possibilities to demonstrate exceptional skills or extraordinary work results−0.098 *−0.156 **0.0940.189 **−0.0340.0860.085
Information overload−0.137 **−0.0190.030.052−0.0490.0760.079
Communication overload−0.058−0.0470.0340.078−0.0310.098 *0.056
Decreased coworkers’ responsibility for joint results−0.023−0.013−0.0100.022−0.1060.0720.085
Extended on-line meetings−0.056−0.096 *−0.0420.0460.0140.007−0.019
Extended decision-making time−0.078−0.115 *0.0410.054−0.100 *0.095 *0.116 *
Time-consuming asynchronous communication−0.111 *0.006−0.010−0.016−0.100 *0.107 *0.059
When telecommuting, the team becomes focused on communication rather than on the tasks−0.073−0.0520.0520.066−0.0860.106 *0.095 *
Tensions due to the distribution of attention between work tasks and intense communication−0.173 **−0.0530.0210.069−0.0720.0590.048
Difficulties in identifying start and end of several simultaneously implemented tasks−0.138 **−0.097 *−0.0200.149**−0.0120.0260.058
Self-motivation-related challenges−0.080−0.140 **0.0610.185 **−0.0620.085−0.002
Lack of understanding on the part of family members−0.064−0.0260.0530.016−0.0720.061−0.016
Ability to work independently0.096 *0.0150.162 **0.023−0.102 *0.154 **0.064
Good time-management skills0.188 **−0.460.175 **0.078−0.123 *0.150 **0.033
Digital literacy0.080−0.100 *0.150 **0.173 **0.0080.047−0.024
Personal leadership0.0870.0390.100 *0.007−0.123 *0.133 *0.069
Good communication skills0.170 **0.0370.117 *0.040−0.0470.0390.047
Ability to engage and maintain commitment to the organization0.149 **−0.0080.0470.0910.114 *0.0860.068
Strong personal responsibility for one’s work0.106 *−0.0180.222 **0.122 *0.132 **0.182 **0.072
Source: Authors’ results. * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01.
Table 3. Evaluation of factors negatively affecting telework efficiency among different generations of respondents.
Table 3. Evaluation of factors negatively affecting telework efficiency among different generations of respondents.
ConstructGenerationNMean Rankχ²p
Lack of face-to-face interaction with colleaguesBaby boomers13291.0814.4900.02
Generation X74252.28
Xennials70227.07
Millennials279204.01
Lack of face-to-face interaction with the managerBaby boomers13273.779.9700.019
Generation X74248.22
Xennials70224.61
Millennials279206.51
Constraints on the possibilities to build mutual trustBaby boomers13286.8810.2610.016
Generation X74247.62
Xennials70204.91
Millennials279211.0
Lack of team spirit, the “we” feelingBaby boomers13312.5814.4990.02
Generation X74248.91
Xennials70208.10
Millennials279208.66
Complicated access to work-related informationBaby boomers13292.467.8640.049
Generation X74238.36
Xennials70205.62
Millennials279213.02
Lack of feedbackBaby boomers13299.6913.6370.003
Generation X74251.57
Xennials70216.51
Millennials279206.44
Blurred boundaries between work and personal lifeBaby boomers13314.8822.2570.000
Generation X74263.41
Xennials70211.88
Millennials279203.76
Lack of inspirational work atmosphereBaby boomers13273.089.3520.025
Generation X74249.60
Xennials70215.51
Millennials279208.46
Challenges related to self-organization and
work accomplishment
Baby boomers13289.2310.0840.018
Generation X74246.23
Xennials70203.63
Millennials279211.58
Being under the impression that other people finish their tasks and enjoy life at home while I continue working all the timeBaby boomers13289.4213.330.004
Generation X74253.40
Xennials70219.30
Millennials279205.74
Feeling concerned that important information evades me, that I miss somethingBaby boomers13278.4611.8910.008
Generation X74249.74
Xennials70190.69
Millennials279214.40
Doubts regarding the evaluation: will the managers notice and adequately appreciate my resultsBaby boomers13267.359.5720.023
Generation X74247.68
Xennials70228.20
Millennials279206.05
Career restrictions due to limited possibilities to demonstrate exceptional skills or extraordinary work resultsBaby boomers13255.6210.6830.014
Generation X74249.98
Xennials70233.62
Millennials279204.63
Information overloadsBaby boomers13303.698.9730.03
Generation X74222.95
Xennials70194.44
Millennials279219.39
Extended decision-making timeBaby boomers13303.7310.2850.016
Generation X74241.65
Xennials70212.01
Millennials279210.02
Time-consuming asynchronous communicationBaby boomers13300.739.0950.028
Generation X74217.07
Xennials70192.53
Millennials279221.56
Self-motivation-related challengesBaby boomers13303.1213.4340.004
Generation X74249.95
Xennials70211.14
Millennials279208.06
Table 4. Telework evaluation by different groups of respondents, depending on their education.
Table 4. Telework evaluation by different groups of respondents, depending on their education.
ConstructEducationNMean Rankχ²p
Possibility to independently organize workSecondary school94198.098.1230.044
Bachelor’s degree167227.59
Master’s degree149212.98
Doctor’s degree26265.52
Lack of inspirational work atmosphereSecondary school94191.347.9070.048
Bachelor’s degree167215.04
Master’s degree149228.61
Doctor’s degree26193.77
Feeling concerned that important information evades me, that I miss somethingSecondary school94193.398.5120.37
Bachelor’s degree167215.04
Master’s degree149239.37
Doctor’s degree26211.88
Ability to work independentlySecondary school94171.9726.4640.000
Bachelor’s degree167236.13
Master’s degree149222.40
Doctor’s degree26251.12
Good time-management skillsSecondary school94167.5326.3730.000
Bachelor’s degree167235.30
Master’s degree149225.91
Doctor’s degree26252.42
Digital literacySecondary school94186.7710.9900.012
Bachelor’s degree167220.13
Master’s degree149232.11
Doctor’s degree26244.75
Personal leadershipSecondary school94183.6013.7810.003
Bachelor’s degree167228.17
Master’s degree149235.16
Doctor’s degree26187.12
Good communication skillsSecondary school94176.4318.0530.000
Bachelor’s degree167232.66
Master’s degree149233.55
Doctor’s degree26193.46
Ability to engage and maintain commitment to the organizationSecondary school94189.6010.4890.015
Bachelor’s degree167236.11
Master’s degree149220.01
Doctor’s degree26201.21
Strong personal responsibility for one’s workSecondary school94167.6928.7210.000
Bachelor’s degree167226.39
Master’s degree149237.86
Doctor’s degree26240.58
Table 5. Telework evaluation among different groups of respondents’ activity fields.
Table 5. Telework evaluation among different groups of respondents’ activity fields.
ConstructField of ActivityNMean Rankχ²p
Difficulties in identifying start and end of several simultaneously implemented tasksServices and intellectual outputs198234.6014.5750.006
Production and trade33199.26
Management and administration103187.18
Health, education, and social services51202.72
Other51247.49
Good time-management skillsServices and intellectual outputs198205.8423.8800.000
Production and trade33245.18
Management and administration103243.97
Health, education, and social services51249.12
Other51168.32
Personal leadershipServices and intellectual outputs198202.3519.3680.001
Production and trade33216.80
Management and administration103256.60
Health, education, and social services51238.36
Other51185.47
Strong personal responsibility for one’s workServices and intellectual outputs198210.6525.5220.000
Production and trade33233.05
Management and administration103250.47
Health, education, and social services51230.03
Other51163.46
Table 6. Evaluation of telework disadvantages and qualities required for remote workers by groups with different employment duration.
Table 6. Evaluation of telework disadvantages and qualities required for remote workers by groups with different employment duration.
ConstructDuration of EmploymentNMean Rankχ²P
Lack of face-to-face interaction with colleaguesLess than 1 year32175.2510.7720.029
1–3 years62215.56
4–10 years139208.79
11–20 years133221.97
More than 20 years70253.55
Constraints on the possibilities to build mutual trustLess than 1 year32182.3320.4010.000
1–3 years62171.80
4–10 years139212.92
11–20 years133238.28
More than 20 years70249.89
Blurred boundaries between work and personal lifeLess than 1 year32172.5016.5660.002
1–3 years62226.31
4–10 years139201.81
11–20 years133220.00
More than 20 years70262.89
Lack of inspirational work atmosphereLess than 1 year32154.1714.5040.004
1–3 years62209.40
4–10 years139210.85
11–20 years133233.86
More than 20 years70241.97
Being under the impression that other people finish their tasks and enjoy life at home while I continue working all the timeLess than 1 year32162.4123.6520.000
1–3 years62180.57
4–10 years139211.40
11–20 years133234.86
More than 20 years70241.97
Doubts regarding evaluation: will the managers notice and adequately appreciate my resultsLess than 1 year32208.5315.0910.005
1–3 years62195.99
4–10 years139195.63
11–20 years133240.65
More than 20 years70246.33
Career restrictions due to limited possibilities to demonstrate exceptional skills or extraordinary work resultsLess than 1 year32177.3017.2710.002
1–3 years62196.56
4–10 years139200.62
11–20 years133243.17
More than 20 years70245.41
Difficulties in identifying start and end of several simultaneously implemented tasksLess than 1 year32205.2512.3030.015
1–3 years62201.27
4–10 years139202.64
11–20 years133224.29
More than 20 years70260.31
Self-motivation-related challengesLess than 1 year32173.7315.3500.004
1–3 years62198.06
4–10 years139206.35
11–20 years133232.29
More than 20 years70255.00
Good time-management skillsLess than 1 year32157.0912.9220.012
1–3 years62237.30
4–10 years139212.36
11–20 years133226.09
More than 20 years70227.69
Digital literacyLess than 1 year32157.1916.2650.003
1–3 years62198.43
4–10 years139218.65
11–20 years133228.42
More than 20 years70245.16
Good communication skillsLess than 1 year32140.5216.7970.002
1–3 years62229.52
4–10 years139233.13
11–20 years133218.42
More than 20 years70215.49
Ability to engage and maintain commitment to the organizationLess than 1 year32162.459.7230.045
1–3 years62206.80
4–10 years139226.87
11–20 years133226.37
More than 20 years70222.91
Strong personal responsibility for one’s workLess than 1 year32159.2214.3380.006
1–3 years62201.37
4–10 years139225.58
11–20 years133231.33
More than 20 years70222.34
Table 7. Teleworking evaluation by groups with different teleworking experience.
Table 7. Teleworking evaluation by groups with different teleworking experience.
ConstructTelecommuting ExperienceNMean Rankχ²p
Possibility to choose worktimeOnly during quarantine129197.3314.1790.007
Several weeks141206.50
Less than 1 year50247.27
1–3 years62248.88
More than 3 years54238.88
Possibility to independently organize workOnly during quarantine129192.8420.7770.000
Several weeks141205.47
Less than 1 year50258.57
1–3 years62257.76
More than 3 years54231.65
Possibility to work individuallyOnly during quarantine129193.4310.6620.031
Several weeks141218.97
Less than 1 year50232.0
1–3 years62249.39
More than 3 years54229.20
Possibility to balance work and personal lifeOnly during quarantine129192.4721.0610.000
Several weeks141205.85
Less than 1 year50252.45
1–3 years62234.20
More than 3 years54264.25
Complicated access to work-related informationOnly during quarantine129191.3518.0310.001
Several weeks141208.29
Less than 1 year50261.93
1–3 years62235.89
More than 3 years54249.84
Distractions when teleworking by other household membersOnly during quarantine129200.5911.2670.024
Several weeks141212.68
Less than 1 year50267.34
1–3 years62227.67
More than 3 years54220.74
Time-consuming asynchronous communicationOnly during quarantine129197.0510.7240.03
Several weeks141217.31
Less than 1 year50262.18
1–3 years62229.52
More than 3 years54219.75
Ability to work individuallyOnly during quarantine129199.6211.5460.021
Several weeks141211.50
Less than 1 year50242.27
1–3 years62236.15
More than 3 years54239.61
Good time-management skillsOnly during quarantine129193.0610.7400.030
Several weeks141222.05
Less than 1 year50229.81
1–3 years62238.68
More than 3 years54236.36
Digital literacyOnly during quarantine129212.0510.3260.035
Several weeks141225.51
Less than 1 year50178.66
1–3 years62225.08
More than 3 years54244.95
Personal leadershipOnly during quarantine129200.9810.7220.030
Several weeks141209.58
Less than 1 year50250.86
1–3 years62222.92
More than 3 years54248.61
Strong personal responsibility for one’s workOnly during quarantine129195.8416.5530.002
Several weeks141213.65
Less than 1 year50218.50
1–3 years62254.81
More than 3 years54243.61
Table 8. Telework evaluation by groups with different telecommuting frequency.
Table 8. Telework evaluation by groups with different telecommuting frequency.
ConstructPart of Work Time Remote Work Take Up/Telecommuting FrequencyNMean Rankχ²P
Time saved on commutingNo teleworking before lockdown143209.5018.8900.004
Insignificant work time61215.07
Up to 1 day per week72224.45
Up to 2 days per week54279.48
About half of the week30198.33
More than half of the week28187.59
All working week48202.574
Constraints on the possibilities to build mutual trustNo teleworking before lockdown143217.0618.6240.005
Insignificant work time61203.25
Up to 1 day per week72211.31
Up to 2 days per week54179.15
About half of the week30230.63
More than half of the week28244.14
All working week48274.69
Lack of mutual trust between employees and their managersNo teleworking before lockdown143216.2113.9050.031
Insignificant work time61182.93
Up to 1 day per week72224.67
Up to 2 days per week54197.36
About half of the week30254.95
More than half of the week28246.45
All working week48245.98
Complicated access to work-related informationNo teleworking before lockdown143193.8715.0380.02
Insignificant work time61201.73
Up to 1 day per week72238.74
Up to 2 days per week54225.80
About half of the week30244.75
More than half of the week28228.21
All working week48252.54
When telecommuting, the team becomes focused on communication rather than on the tasksNo teleworking before lockdown143203.3013.0920.042
Insignificant work time61223.96
Up to 1 day per week72225.17
Up to 2 days per week54220.99
About half of the week30203.28
More than half of the week28189.63
All working week48270.39
Personal leadershipNo teleworking before lockdown143200.0416.4010.012
Insignificant work time61213.76
Up to 1 day per week72236.88
Up to 2 days per week54261.21
About half of the week30246.95
More than half of the week28209.27
All working week48191.51

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MDPI and ACS Style

Raišienė, A.G.; Rapuano, V.; Varkulevičiūtė, K.; Stachová, K. Working from Home—Who Is Happy? A Survey of Lithuania’s Employees during the COVID-19 Quarantine Period. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5332. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135332

AMA Style

Raišienė AG, Rapuano V, Varkulevičiūtė K, Stachová K. Working from Home—Who Is Happy? A Survey of Lithuania’s Employees during the COVID-19 Quarantine Period. Sustainability. 2020; 12(13):5332. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135332

Chicago/Turabian Style

Raišienė, Agota Giedrė, Violeta Rapuano, Kristina Varkulevičiūtė, and Katarína Stachová. 2020. "Working from Home—Who Is Happy? A Survey of Lithuania’s Employees during the COVID-19 Quarantine Period" Sustainability 12, no. 13: 5332. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135332

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