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42nd International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management: Engineering Management and The New Normal ; : 292-301, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1695261


With the hope of regaining their pre-pandemic level of operations and certainties, companies who employ knowledge workers wonder whether working from home will be the main modality of employment going forward. The managers should understand the problems and opportunities and need to develop successful management strategies. This study analyzed the feasibility of remote working and looked for ways to improve employees' productivity while working at home. A survey was conducted on R&D engineers of a software company. Most employees reported no change in their productivity and less change in their physical health, while most employees reported an improvement in their mental health. The top four benefits of remote working are stress reduction from commuting, more freedom, location independence, and better work-life balance. The top three challenges are face-to-face interactions, dealing with distraction, and bad health habits. The top four tools that employees found necessary were face-to-face meetings at least once per month, better hardware and equipment, training and learning, and opportunities for non-work-related remote social interactions. The study indicates that regular face-to-face meetings are essential for successful remote collaboration. Also, if possible, a hybrid schedule should be considered, with remote work two or three days per week. A framework model for successful remote working programs was developed to summarize the findings of this study and to serve as a reference for decision making and further analysis. Finally, a remote work program's success can be measured through four factors: safety and regulatory compliance, environmental impact, productivity and cost reduction, and worker satisfaction. © American Society for Engineering Management, 2021