An organization’s capacity to sustain a crisis, and to benefit from work-from-home (WFH) arrangements in routine times, is dependent on its employees’ ability to successfully adjust to WFH conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic, which forced vast numbers of employees worldwide to WFH, provides an unprecedented opportunity to identify factors that facilitate WFH adjustment. Leveraging this opportunity and drawing from theories on person-environment fit and work adjustment, we consider trait optimism as a possible facilitator of WFH adjustment during the pandemic. We further investigate how situational optimism and cultural (country-level) optimism contribute to the relationship between trait optimism and WFH adjustment. Using data from 388 employees in five countries, we find that trait optimism positively relates to WFH adjustment. This relationship is partly mediated by situational expectations regarding health/financial benefits of WFH amid the pandemic. Moreover, trait optimism is more strongly related to WFH adjustment in countries with high (vs. low) cultural optimism. This study addresses the call to investigate whether and how personality traits relate to WFH adjustment. Our findings can improve organizations’ ability to select and train employees who WFH, and to enhance operational resilience to future crises. Managers in global firms can draw from our results to understand how cultural differences affect the ease with which WFH is adopted, and to develop country-specific WFH practices.
|Number of pages||21|
|State||Published - 2 Nov 2020|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by Priority Research Centres Program (Grant No. 2014R1A6A1031189), and by Basic Science Research Program (Grant No. 2015R1D1A3A03018029) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education.
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law