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Title: A critical reflection on the introduction and implementation of a homeworking policy in a United Kingdom government department
Author: Marshall-Camm, Judith
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 0042
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2019
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This study provides a critical reflection on the introduction and implementation of a homeworking policy in a United Kingdom Government Department from the perspective of managers and employees. Prior to the introduction of the policy, homeworking had been available on an individually negotiated basis for a minority of individuals. The policy set out the expectation that all employees would work 1-2 days per week from home, the aim being to achieve a change in working methods and a reduction in office space. Within the literature there is a significant amount of research which looks at homeworking when it is available as a perk to certain employees, there is very little research from organisations where it is an expectation applicable to all. The research adopts a phenomenological philosophy and an inductive approach. The research strategy was an exploratory case study using focus groups initially to provide insight into overarching themes and refine and validate questions for subsequent interviews. Employees were segmented into three groups, homeworkers, non-homeworkers and managers for both the focus groups and the interviews. Coding was carried manually to identify themes. The research found despite the clear expectation of homeworking set out in the policy the desired outcome was not achieved. Despite extensive communication about the change employees were confused and interpreted the messages differently. Managers were content to be relieved of the decision making around homeworking requests. Not all employees welcomed the prospect of homeworking and the findings support other research in identifying barriers to homeworking, for example suitability of property and family life. Trust between employees was an issue, with concerns raised about some homeworkers not having enough suitable work to do from home. Finally, the findings show all groups expressed concern about the adverse impact on career progression.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral