Hjemmearbejde Colourbox

Cooperation and management in a working-from-home setting

Friday 03 Apr 20


Christine Ipsen
Associate Professor, Head of Section
DTU Management
+45 45 25 60 14


John Paulin Hansen
DTU Management
+45 45 25 48 52

Join the survey

The researchers need input from Danish and foreign researchers, students, managers, and employees from all industries. Data is processed anonymously.
Danish https://survey.cachet.dk/index.php?r=survey/index&sid=67942&lang=da
English https://survey.cachet.dk/index.php?r=survey/index&sid=67942&lang=en

The study is led by Professor John Paulin Hansen and Associate Professor and Group Leader Christine Ipsen with the involvement of Ane Sandager, Data Protection Officer at DTU.

Survey in English

Survey in Danish

The corona situation means that many people now have to work from home—but how do we deal with this challenge? DTU researchers have set out to investigate this.

Distance teaching, distributing tasks and assignments by phone and email—not to mention all the meetings and project work that takes place via online platforms—with many at the same time having to look after children. This is what everyday life looks like for many during the corona crisis, but how are we dealing with the challenge of distance cooperation, distance management, distributing work tasks, and exploiting technology? A research group from DTU Management has set itself the task of answering these questions.

“It’s not every day that so many people have to work together digitally, which is why it is obvious to examine how this situation is being handled and experienced. We are gaining insight into a unique period where people all over the world are working from home. This places both new and different demands on communication, management, and task solving, all of which must be done at distance,” says Associate Professor and Group Leader Christine Ipsen, who is leading the study together with Professor John Paulin Hansen from DTU Management.

The survey consists of a questionnaire which was sent to students, researchers, employees, and companies in Denmark on 22 March. Internationally, the questionnaire has been sent to the researchers’ networks in Europe, the United States, and Australia. There are no restrictions on numbers of participants.

Preliminary results reveal efficiency

As of March 31, 914 had participated in the survey—810 of whom are people working in Denmark. The initial figures show that 55 per cent of the study participants get the same amount or more work done at home compared with when they are in the workplace—even if they work fewer hours.

“Our preliminary results suggest that people have become more efficient—they get more done in less time. We can also see that 55 per cent find that they can maintain a good relationship with colleagues while working from home. We are already familiar with many of the technologies that support our working from home which has made the transition easy for most people. But there are still about 40 per cent for whom working from home has proved more challenging,” says Christine Ipsen, stressing that this is only a preliminary analysis and that the figures can therefore fluctuate as more responses come in.

New knowledge on distance management and well-being

The study is still ongoing, and the researchers hope to get more answers in the days and weeks ahead. Among other things, the results should also be able to provide more information on good distance management.

Professor John Paulin Hansen explains:

“We research and teach management and performance. In the future, we will see more and more teleworking, but distance management as a management discipline hasn’t been the subject of much scientific research. We are seeking to rectify this with this study, which we will be able to use to teach students how to get the most from distance working—both in terms of productivity, but also in relation to well-being and good distance management. This is highly relevant, as many of the students will go on to become managers in their future jobs.”

He also explains that all the knowledge gathered on distance management and teleworking could be used to create good conditions for working from home, which is important at a time when more and more employers want to cut back on meetings and journeys and encourage working from home. Finally, the study could provide knowledge that can be used for future crises.

“The more we know about distance management and distance working during the current crisis, the better we can set up tools for businesses and organizations so they can be ready and better equipped to deal with a similar crisis in the future,” he concludes.