Changes in Working Spaces and Relationships Due to Telework after COVID-19
Suyoung Kim | Seoul National University
Myungjoo Kang | Seoul National University
Hanui Kwon | Seoul National University
이서경 | University of Chicago
This study examines how telework after the COVID-19 is changing workers’ workspaces and relationships. Before the pandemic, telework was introduced as part of a flexible work policy for workers with children who need work-family balance. However, due to the social distancing policy enforced to tackle COVID-19, telework began to expand to workers in various industries and occupations regardless of their marital status. Studying telework, which is expected to be more active, will be a way to find clues to predict changes in the future social and working environment. This study aims to explore how telework reorganizes the workers’ workplaces and relationships, drawing on in-depth interview data and photos of 10 teleworkers living alone. First, this study captures the phenomenon to appear virtual co-offices in the online world, in addition to the traditional concept of teleworking in which major workplaces are moved from fixed workplaces to home offices. Furthermore, this study shed light on that remote organizational management has become more advanced and workers’ online relationships also have been newly formed through telework. These phenomena are different from the working environments of workers who have had relationships with colleagues and supervisors within a fixed workplace. Based on the results, this study expands the scope of telework research which has been discussed based on workers in the traditional workspace and examines social policy issues that should be considered when telework becomes a common way of working.
telework, workplace, remote management, colleague relationship, collaboration tool