Understanding stressor-strain relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic: The role of social support, adjustment to remote work, and work-life conflict

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

Abstract

This study investigates how the transition to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic is experienced by employees. We investigate to what extent perceived work stressors relate to psychological strain through perceptions of social support, work-life conflict, and adjustment to remote work. The findings expound the mechanisms underlying psychological strain in the context of sudden organizational change. Specifically, this study shows that both challenge stressors and hindrance stressors have negative impact on adjustment to remote work, while hindrance stressors are more strongly negatively related to social support. The study further demonstrates that there is hardly any buffering impact of job control, work structuring, and communication technology use on the implications of these work stressors. These findings contribute to our theoretical understanding and provide actionable implications for organizational policies in facilitating employees' adaptation to remote work.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalJOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Control
  • Remote Work Adjustment
  • Stressor-Strain
  • Support
  • Technology Use
  • Work Structuring
  • Work-life Conflict

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