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Publication Title | Remote Working is the Future of Work

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Taking initiative/curious (55%)
This refers to an act or strategy intended to resolve a difficulty or improve a situation; eager to know or learn something. The phrase ‘the buck stops here’ rang true with many research participants. When working remotely the individual may not have ready access to a manager or co-worker to solve a problem, or provide a resource. In all likelihood, no one will be standing over a remote worker telling them next steps, or even first steps in initiating and working through a project; no micro manager to focus on the details. Being curious speaks to a desire for continued growth, never settling for status quo, seeking new and improved processes, new solutions, learning new things, and never letting oneself stagnate. This desire for continued learning was a common sentiment among participants.
Adaptable/flexible (54%)
Research participants shared the sentiment that being ready and able to change in order to adjust to new conditions is what adaptability is all about. They shared that while an individual may be an amazing web developer, writer, project manager, without the ability to adapt he or she may not have what it takes to recalibrate or adjust when faced with continuing changes to due dates and deliverables. These changes can come from different directions: the client, a supervisor, a team member, unforeseen circumstances, or even as the result of self-action. No matter the source, the respondents cited successful remote workers need to develop the ability to ‘go with the flow’ without compromising the integrity of the project or assignment.
High Self-efficacy (52%)
Self-efficacy speaks to having a high belief in one’s own capabilities to produce quality outcomes. A healthy self-efficacy regarding a person’s ability to produce a product or service that is of the highest quality provides a profile of an individual who has what it takes to be successful in a smart working context. Discussions clarified the distinction between self-efficacy and over confident or egotistical. Respondents recognized that an individual with high self-efficacy understands their strengths and is willing to seek help when needed without feelings of inadequacy.
Results ~ motivational factors
There were four additional areas explored during the course of the research: support, autonomy, accountability, and feedback. Each has an influence on the intrinsic motivation of the remote workers, and on the work environment.
Support
The most frequently commented on question was, ‘what does being supported mean to you?’ (Figure ix). In conversations, many reported their manager or supervisor had little idea what they actually did; many had to take the lead in communicating and reporting to their supervisor. One survey respondent stated, “This is the biggest challenge I find in remote work. Being supported means being able to find what you need, get feedback, and, when needed, have team members and leadership back your ideas and support you to clients/customers.”
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs5 draws attention to the five levels of needs required for an individual to reach self-actualization (Stewart, Nodoushani, & Stumpf, 2018). As exemplified by a case study coming out of South America (Cangemi, 2009), the research revealed many remote workers chose this work context because it supports their desire to create, and to be autonomous, operating at the higher levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy. They expect to meet the foundational levels of basic needs, belonging, and recognition through the support and collaboration of peers and supervisors. Herzberg, in his Motivation- Hygiene Theory, builds on Maslow’s Hierarchy. He states that unless people’s basic needs (hygiene) i.e. salary, secondary working conditions, the relationship with colleagues, physical work place, and the
5 A respected motivational theory of needs depicted visually as a triangle. The foundational need of the triangle is physiological, being built upon with safety, social, esteem, self-actualization.
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