The coffee machine-talk that suddenly stopped
Covid-19 enforced a major unplanned change of working from home (WFH) that was accompanied by uncertainty, which led organizational members into a sensemaking process to digest and adapt to the new situation. This study conducted 25 interviews with members from different roles and industries, to investigate how employees and managers in Sweden made sense of the transition of working from the office to WFH, and how that has affected employees’ attitudes towards WFH. The data has been analyzed through a sensemaking perspective, to understand how employees and managers reflected retrospectively and made sense of the transition. Our first main finding concluded that the technological tools have been a major factor in facilitating the adaptation of WFH. Through the sensemaking process, actors were able to figure out how the advanced technological tools could be utilized in communicating and completing work tasks, as well as opening geographical opportunities for businesses. The second finding concluded that sensemaking was affected by several factors like living conditions, support from organizations, and individuals’ personalities. The last finding showed how attitudes towards WFH have changed with the progress of the sensemaking process over time, as the transition created a new preference for where work can be managed. The study provides insights into how the transition was perceived in Sweden and it opens the door for further investigation.
McS in Mangagement