Factors influencing adjustment to remote work: Employees’ initial responses to the covid-19 pandemic

Ward van Zoonen*, Anu Sivunen, Kirsimarja Blomqvist, Thomas Olsson, Annina Ropponen, Kaisa Henttonen, Matti Vartiainen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
241 Downloads (Pure)


The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted when, where, and how employees work. Drawing on a sample of 5452 Finnish employees, this study explores the factors associated with employees’ abrupt adjustment to remote work. Specifically, this study examines structural factors (i.e., work independence and the clarity of job criteria), relational factors (i.e., interpersonal trust and social isolation), contextual factors of work (i.e., change in work location and perceived disruption), and communication dynamics (i.e., organizational communication quality and communication technology use (CTU)) as mechanisms underlying adjustment to remote work. The findings demonstrate that structural and contextual factors are important predictors of adjustment and that these relationships are moderated by communication quality and CTU. Contrary to previous research, trust in peers and supervisors does not support adjustment to remote work. We discuss the implications of these findings for practice during and beyond times of crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6966
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Contextual factors
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Relational factors
  • Remote work
  • Structural factors
  • Work adjustment


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