Support at work helps remote employees cope better with working remotely
The evidence overwhelmingly points to the fact that social support does help remote workers to handle working remotely better.
Empirical evidence shows more extensive remote work can lead to lower perceptions of social support and higher emotional exhaustion among remote employees20. Social support simply defined is “the provision of assistance or comfort to others, typically to help them cope with biological, psychological, and social stressors”21. Higher social support from the organisation, on the other hand, has been shown to reduce social isolation, which in turn reduced psychological strain, and improved job satisfaction22. More recent research found that social support can help employees overcome loneliness, reduce emotional exhaustion by helping to reduce procrastination, reduce work-to-home and home-to-work interference, improve life and job satisfaction1. Professional research has found that employees who receive support from their management are less likely to experience burnout18. Some academics have even suggested that social support is instrumental in suicide prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic23.
1Wang, B., Liu, Y., Qian, J., & Parker, S. K. (2021) Achieving effective remote working during the COVID‐19 pandemic: A work design perspective. *Applied Psychology, 70*(1), 16–59. https://doi.org/10.1111/apps.12290
18Pendell, R. (2020, December 11) 7 Gallup Workplace Insights: What We Learned in 2020. *Gallup*. Retrieved from https://www.gallup.com/home.aspx
20Vander Elst, T., Verhoogen, R., Sercu, M., Van den Broeck, A., Baillien, E., & Godderis, L. (2017) Not extent of telecommuting, but job characteristics as proximal predictors of work-related well-being. *Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 59*(10), e180–e186. https://doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000001132
21American Psychological Association. (n.d.) Social support. In *APA dictionary of psychology*. Retrieved March 23, 2021, from https://dictionary.apa.org/social-support
22Bentley, T. A., Teo, S. T. ., McLeod, L., Tan, F., Bosua, R., & Gloet, M. (2016) The role of organisational support in teleworker wellbeing: A socio-technical systems approach. *Applied Ergonomics, 52*, 207–215. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2015.07.019
23Kawohl, W., & Nordt, C. (2020) COVID-19, unemployment, and suicide. *The Lancet: Psychiatry, 7*(5), 389–390. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30141-3