Redefining Workplace Norms: Employer-Employee Discrepancies in Remote Work Preferences; Improving Business Development Using Gamification

Mann, Marcus, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Norton, Peter, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Vrugtman, Rosanne, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia

How can companies and employees adapt to a remote work environment? Employees who work remotely may be more susceptible to burnout than others. New tools may help remote workers collaborate better.

How can a data consulting company ensure its business leaders accurately represent their employees’ knowledge base across different technology stacks? To learn what its employees know about industry tools and methods, Elder Research, a data consulting company in Charlottesville, Virginia, instructed employees to enter their experience into the internal company wiki, ``The Vault.'' Among employees working remotely, however, compliance was low. A point and badge system was designed to promote compliance. It rewarded users for contributing to The Vault and completing technical certifications. This was achieved through the combination of the Ruby on Rails framework, PostgreSQL, and expanding Redmine (an open-source ticket system)'s functionality. As a result, Elder Research's business development team could encourage the 50+ technical employees to populate The Vault with employee knowledge. In the future, the point system should account for the quality of contributions.

How do workers and employers respond to remote work and make the case for their preferred remote work policies? Employee surveys, online employee discussions, and manager accounts reveal a disconnect between employers’ and employees’ perceptions of the burnout associated with remote work and how to manage it. This inconsistency can compromise productivity and solidarity in the workplace. Evidence indicates that recognition of the importance of work-life balance can prevent or mitigate burnout. Further research should explore best practices for remote work policies and optimal means for enforcing work-life balance.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
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