Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Choose one of the case studies listed in the resources for this module. Then you will write a paper in which you respond to questions posed in the case study, advice and recomme - Writingforyou

Choose one of the case studies listed in the resources for this module. Then you will write a paper in which you respond to questions posed in the case study, advice and recomme

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I'm reaching out to find help drafting a case study paper.  I've attached the files for the assignment description, plus the case study itself as a PDF.  Any guidance would be appreciated. 

General prompt:  Choose one of the case studies listed in the resources for this module. Then you will write a paper in which you respond to questions posed in the case study, advice and recommendations provided by the commentators, and how you would have intervened and engaged with the case study client. This assignment provides an opportunity to practice skills you can apply to your consulting and final projects. 

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Past, Present, and Future of Remote Work: The Swing

of a Pendulum?

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Author: Rimi Zakaria, Annamaria Bliven

Pub. Date: 2021

Product: Sage Business Cases


Disciplines: Business & Management, Business Ethics & Corporate Social Responsibility, Human Resource

Management, Corporate Social Responsibility, Human Resource Management (general)

Access Date: February 4, 2024

Publishing Company: SAGE Publications: SAGE Business Cases Originals

City: London

Online ISBN: 9781529767292

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Remote work practice varies widely across occupations, organizations, industries, and countries. This

case considers the forces that lead organizations to adopt and reexamine remote work practices. The

evolving landscape of remote work comes with benefits, challenges, organizational implications, as

well as managerial dilemmas. Employees of various ranks, identities, and roles (e.g., working parents,

individuals with disabilities, highly involved supervisors, co-workers, senior executives) and compa-

nies must consider unique contextual factors that may help or hinder the adoption and implementation

of this practice across industries. The case presents examples of supervisory interventions and em-

ployee-friendly policies in creating workplaces conducive to optimizing remote work. Students will be

asked to weigh various alternative scenarios and make managerial decisions, such as whether to (a)

allow more employees to work remotely; (b) allow employees to work partially or exclusively remotely;

(c) allow remote work regardless of employee tenure, role, and responsibility; and (d) invest deliber-

ately in remote work systems. These managerial decisions will be pivotal in advancing organizational

competitiveness and sustainability in the coming decades.


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Page 2 of 21 Past, Present, and Future of Remote Work: The Swing of a Pendulum?


Learning Outcomes

By the end of this case study, students should be able to:

• describe remote work practices across organizations and trends around remote work policies;

• describe the intricacies of contextual factors that affect organizational adoption and implementation

of remote work culture;

• identify the personal, social, and professional implications of remote work for individual employees in

a highly digitized and performance-driven economy;

• determine, using the organizational perspective, the applicability of socially responsible work policies

in people management;

• evaluate the organizational, economic, social, and environmental effects of remote work practice;

• discuss the role of proactive managers in managing people strategically and responsibly in a dynam-

ic environment;

• identify the relationship between socio-technical shifts, managerial practices, and organizational suc-


Remote Work Ban

On February 22, 2013, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer wrote a memo to the employees at Yahoo banning the

work from home (WFH) policy. The Yahoo employees had to either abide by the ban or quit. “Speed and qual-

ity are often sacrificed when we work from home,” read the memo from HR head Jackie Reses “We need to

be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together” (Swisher, 2013). It further read, “Being a Ya-

hoo [employee] isn’t just about your day-to-day job, it is about the interactions and experiences that are only

possible in our offices.” At the time, remote work was becoming more common and a desirable work option in

Silicon Valley and elsewhere. The disgruntled employees at Yahoo instantly leaked the contents of the memo.

According to Glassdoor posts made by former Yahoo employees (Figure 1), many quit and joined other com-

panies offering the flexibility of remote work (Glassdoor, 2020).

However, when Mayer stepped down in 2016, new Yahoo management again allowed employees to return to


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Page 3 of 21 Past, Present, and Future of Remote Work: The Swing of a Pendulum?

their remote offices (Dixon, 2019). The reason stemmed from the fact that banning the WFH policy for Yahoo

backfired. Employee morale sunk and so did productivity (Glassdoor, 2020).

Figure 1. Screenshots of Comments Made by Yahoo Employees on Glassdoor Website After

the Recall


Competitors Jumping on the Bandwagon of Recall

Lessons learned from the elimination of the Yahoo WFH option (referred to as a recall) reverberated in work-

places around the globe. Yet, in the immediate years following the Yahoo recall, other companies followed,

such as IBM, Reddit, Honeywell, and Best Buy, by adopting the same stance as Yahoo and recalled em-


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Page 4 of 21 Past, Present, and Future of Remote Work: The Swing of a Pendulum?

ployees back to their physical offices. The message to employees was unequivocal: abide or quit. The re-

call angered employees, placed stress and expenses on them, and caused a mass exodus in some cases.

The aftermath of this recall was felt in the stock exchange; it caused an uproar for the company imposing

the ban, with employee productivity and their profits suffering greatly (Rexaline, 2017). These company-wide

bans eventually appeared to be counterproductive, causing more harm than good for the employees and the

employers across industries (Asay, 2020). This reveals the need for a multilayered cost-benefit analysis when

deliberating about this policy.

What Is Remote Work, Anyway?

Remote work can take a variety of forms. It essentially captures the idea of an employee working for its em-

ployer from a geographically remote location. Work from home (WFH), work at home (WAH), and work from

anywhere (WFA) are telework terms used interchangeably to describe someone working remotely. For in-

stance, someone who works from home accomplishes most of their job tasks outside the location of a home

office or corporate office (e.g., interior decorator, plumber, home inspector, insurance adjuster). In contrast,

someone who WAH undertakes 100% of their job tasks on their computer at their preferred physical location

(e.g., virtual call center associate). Working remotely is conceptualized as a person working with a reliable in-

ternet connection and using other technology-enabled platforms from a geographic distance from the location

of their employer (Felstead & Henseke, 2017; Keeling et al., 2015). For instance, an employer-based in Ba-

ton Rouge, Louisiana, has an employee who works from their kitchen table in New Orleans, Louisiana. Such

was the case for many people working at major global corporations such as Yahoo, IBM, Google, Twitter,

and Facebook before 2013. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, by early 2020, anyone deemed a non-essential

worker (e.g., except for certain medical professionals, front-line service workers) rapidly switched to remote

work mode, around the world.

Despite the challenges of managing remote workers, an increasing number of companies were opening re-

mote working positions (Apostolopoulus, 2019). Mainly due to the evidence of greater productivity and im-

proved morale, which leads to increased job performance, organizational outputs, and socio-environmental

outcomes (Choudhury et al., 2019). These observations are consistent with research drawing on quantitative

and qualitative evidence that employees who work remotely express more job satisfaction than those who

work in the office (Felstead & Henseke, 2017; Fonner & Roloff, 2010; Morganson et al., 2010).


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Page 5 of 21 Past, Present, and Future of Remote Work: The Swing of a Pendulum?

In recent years, big tech companies, in general, appeared to be favoring a hybrid model—one where employ-

ees can work from a company office, but are not required. This trend, together with the COVID-19 exigency,

could result in downsizing to smaller offices, as companies across industries experiment with flexible remote

work policies. The days of big offices may one day be a thing of the past.

Pros and Cons: Organizational and Employee Perspec-


A debate is dawning among employers and employees on the merits of returning to the office or remaining

off-site. Off-site work locations produce cost savings for the employer, specifically the reduction of direct costs

to maintain a physical office space. On the contrary, one has to consider the indirect costs associated with

remote work recall in the form of disgruntled employees who may leave their organizations, increased costs

of recruiting and training new employees, and loss of productivity due to low morale. These outcomes are

among those lessons learned from Yahoo recalling their remote employees. A summary of the advantages of

remote work from an organizational viewpoint (Table 1) as well as from an individual employee’s perspective

(Table 2) are presented below.

Table 1. Organizational Benefits of Implementing Remote Work

Cost savings on large office spaces and supplies

Sourcing the qualified talent from around the world regardless of employer location

Increased employee and organizational productivity

More efficient meetings and other forms of temporal efficiencies

Offering many employees career opportunities with higher job satisfaction

Providing more autonomy to employees resulting in a strong organizational culture


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Page 6 of 21 Past, Present, and Future of Remote Work: The Swing of a Pendulum?

Academic studies report that working remotely leads employees to be more productive and to have a greater

latitude for change, thereby positioning the company for making pivots to keep up with competitors (Claver-

Cortés et al., 2012). Organizational agility is mostly accomplished with a remote workforce (Claver-Cortés et

al., 2012). A study conducted by Zeller (2018) reported that the most agile structure for a business to thrive

is one that has a hybrid approach (e.g., employees working in the office for one or three days of the week

and remotely the rest of the week). Contrary to what CEO Mayer in 2013 believed, around the globe, there is

growing evidence that a remote workforce has greater job satisfaction, increased retention, and greater pro-

ductivity (Morganson et al., 2010).

Eiko Hashiba, a finance professional working in-house at Goldman Sachs, had to leave her job after the birth

of her child in order to care for the child. This left her wondering about more flexible ways for expectant and

new mothers to keep working—as opposed to leaving the workforce. Ten years later she founded VisasQ,

which went on to become a multimillion-dollar consulting firm offering its employees remote work options.

Within a decade of inception, VisasQ became a global firm employing more than 110,000 registered consul-

Reducing employee turnover and related direct and indirect costs

Promoting a healthier work-life balance and employee relations ensuring proper training and communication among supervisors and employees

Table 2. Employee Perspective on Weighing the Advantages of Remote Versus Office Work

Working remotely Working from the office

Benefit for parents and other special needs employees No personal and family related distractions

Time savings from no or reduced commuting Seamless team building and collaboration

Significant financial savings due to locational autonomy Spark of creativity from interacting with colleagues

Greater control over work-life balance Closer relations with colleagues and supervisors

Benefit of choosing flexible hours Greater integration with organizational culture


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Page 7 of 21 Past, Present, and Future of Remote Work: The Swing of a Pendulum?

tants working in multiple countries.

For certain individuals in the workforce, it only makes sense for jobs to be flexible and to allow for a greater

work-life balance through remote work. Individuals vary in terms of their need to maintain work-life balance,

attain social support at work, and manage work-family conflicts (Hosboyar, 2012). Employee burnout is less

likely to occur if a healthy work-life balance is maintained, which working remotely can promote (Barros,

2017). Some employees are willing to accept a pay cut to work remotely, suggesting its value as a non-mon-

etary benefit. Remote work is related to reduced stress and increased physical and mental health (Casey &

Grzywacz, 2008). The improved heath factors are due to the diminished pressure of maintaining a healthy

work-life balance and the diminished financial strain of childcare and transportation needs. Working at home

alleviates some of these stressors (Maruyama & Tietze, 2012). Figure 2 outlines some of the top responses

in favor of or against remote work, as reported by employees in a recent survey.

Figure 2. Top Pros and Cons of Working Remotely as Reported by Employees

Source: Author, based on data from (


A Stanford study (Bloom et al., 2015) reported that allowing temporal flexibility (i.e., a choice to work during

a preferred time of day) at one firm boosted employee productivity by 13%. Of this, 9% was attributable to

employees voluntarily choosing to work longer per shift and 4% from accomplishing tasks faster per minute

due to lower distractions. A Harvard study by Choudhury et al. (2019) found that allowing geographic flexibility


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Page 8 of 21 Past, Present, and Future of Remote Work: The Swing of a Pendulum?

(i.e., choice to live in a preferred location) increased employee output by 4.4%, which could lead to an inno-

vation spillover (i.e., benefit other related sectors) valuing at USD 1.3 billion. By allowing geographic flexibility,

employers honor employees’ social, cultural, and community attachments that relate to their life satisfaction

(i.e., positive or negative feelings toward where people live). The United States Patent and Trademark Office

(USPTO) estimated that its remote workers annually avoided driving 84 million miles, thus reducing emissions

by more than 44,000 tons (United States Patent and Trademark Office, 2015). There are some positive cor-

porate responsibility ramifications of remote work policies in the areas of social, economic, and environmental

dimensions (see Table 3).

Table 3. Corporate Responsibility Implications of Remote Work Policies

Social Economic/organizational Environmental

Inclusion and diversity: Despite the physical distance,

childcare duties, disabilities, and coming from different

walks of life, employees can participate in the workforce.

Remote workers are included in the up-to-the-minute oc-

currences such as company news as it happens (Ford et

al., 2017). Remote workers and their supervisors are

constantly (i.e., up-to-the-minute exchange) and consis-

tently in communication almost daily and there is nearly

immediate feedback on the part of the employee and

employer (Jarvenpaa & Leidner, 1999).

Employees, regardless of working remotely, can trust

and be trusted, and can have a sense of being someone

highly valued in the company (Kanawattanachai & Yoo,


Organizational benefits: Job perfor-

mance and productivity increase with re-

mote workers (Choudhury et al, 2019).

When individual remote workers perform

well at their jobs, there is an increase in

organizational productivity that leads to

greater profitability for the company.

Remote workers tend to have greater

satisfaction from their job performance

and the resulting productivity with re-

duced tendency to leave their employer

(Jackson & Fransman, 2018).

Reduction in greenhouse gas emis-

sions: Reduction in air and noise pol-

lution levels due to a decrease in

transportation usage, traffic conges-

tions, and greenhouse emissions

(Choudhury, et al., 2019; Hambly &

Lee, 2019).

Fairness and equity: Remote work allows for the possi-

bility of ensuring fair wages based on the level of posi-

tion and employee qualification. Compensation is not

determined by the place of residence (i.e. Facebook

paying less for employees not living in the Silicon Valley

area) (Frias, 2020).

Economic efficiency and cost sav-

ings: Lean organizational budget due to

reduced overhead office and administra-

tive costs (Davidson, 2020). Savings

due to decreased construction and con-

sumption of office space and utilities

(Davidson, 2020).

Employee retention is increased and at-

trition decreased; thereby saving money

Reduction in material consumption:

Remote work allows the use of collec-

tively less energy at home versus in

corporate offices (Pasini, 2018). Re-

mote workers waste less paper, plas-

tic, and other office supplies working

virtually and individually (Pasini,



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Page 9 of 21 Past, Present, and Future of Remote Work: The Swing of a Pendulum?

There are some downsides to working at home. Employees report feeling isolated and lonely (Modi, 2019;

Schawbel, 2018). Isolation breeds loneliness and that usually results in lower job satisfaction (Cooper, 2002),

decreased organizational citizenship behavior (Cetin et al., 2015), increased absenteeism (Sagie, 1998), lack

of cooperation (Nagar, 2012), and eventually depression (Felstead et al., 2003). There are additional chal-

lenges of implementing the remote work practice both from organizational and employee perspectives (Table

4). For organizations navigating remote work technology, cybersecurity, privacy issues, virtual communica-

tion, and approaches to managing remote teams across time zones will increasingly be at the forefront of

deliberation in the coming decades.

on having to re-recruit and re-train for

job positions (Igbaria & Guimaraes,


Table 4. Challenges of Implementing Remote Work


Complexities of managing and supporting a remote workforce from a distance, given greater task interdependence

(Desrosiers, 2001)

Invisible workers (are they working?) (Anonymous, 2003)

Deferred response time taking longer than if the parties were working in the same office space (Ayoko et al., 2012)

Mandatory planning for collaboration (Ahuja, 2002)

Remote employ-


Isolation (Gainey et al., 1999) and loneliness (Gentina & Chen, 2019)

Depression (Noonan & Glass, 2012) and anxiety due to decreased social interactions (Anonymous, 2005)

Perceived support from colleagues (Desrosiers, 2001)

High risk of burnout due to overwork and lack of work-life separation (Barron, 2007)


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Page 10 of 21 Past, Present, and Future of Remote Work: The Swing of a Pendulum?

Managerial Interventions

Early evidence from managerial interventions shows that the challenges of remote work can, however, be

mitigated by intentional management, including continual and consistent communication (Watson Fritz et al.,

1998), organizational support for remote workers (Hartman et al., 1992), and the relationship-building be-

tween the remote employee and online employer (Desrosiers, 2001). Watson Fritz et al. (1998) recommends

promoting proper communication by exchanging information, messaging, and coordination of work activities

between the employee and employer in a virtual office. Hartman et al. (1992) stated that managerial coopera-

tion with remote workers in the form of technical (e.g., software and hardware for connectivity) and emotional

support (e.g., understanding and accepting direct supervisor) can foster productivity and satisfaction.

Some organizational scientists recommend proactive managerial strategies of offering co-working spaces and

incubators to promote knowledge transfer, collaboration, and innovation (Wagner & Watch, 2017) in order to

optimize the people management process in a virtual setting. First, organizations may prioritize allowing em-

ployees flexibility and autonomy (vis-à-vis micromanaging daily work). Second, organizations may mandate

uniform technology platforms to promote seamless coordination. For instance, when the USPTO began to

mandate the use of the agency’s common IT tools (e.g., VPN and messaging), early-career patent examiners

working remotely realized an additional 3% increase in productivity through increased supervisory approvals.

Third, organizations may leverage geographic clusters to provide funding and logistics for periodic and in-per-

son employee meetups to cultivate a greater sense of social belongingness. Finally, managers may consider

job duties or an individual’s length of experience on the job to determine its fit for remote work. For exam-

ple, in positions where employees can work independently with a relatively low amount of collaboration and

coordination, a transition to remote work will likely benefit both parties. Despite the geographic distance, an

intimate and cohesive digitalized workspace can facilitate the accomplishment of company objectives as well

as make the work process enjoyable and productive (Aboelmaged & Subbaugh, 2012).

Slack, a U.S. software company, implements “Friyays” to help employees manage their accumulated work-

load. It is where the company observes a universal holiday one Friday each month so that no one else is

assigning work while someone is out. Another tool is the use of Slack bots (i.e., intra-company games). These

bots remind employees twice a day to foster connections between coworkers. Slack also uses a bot called

Donut, which randomly pairs existing employees across the company to have a (virtual) coffee meetup with

new employees (Wieczner, 2020).


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Socio-Technical and Organizational Trends