Characteristics of distance work organization in SMEs during the COVID-19 lockdown: case of western Lithuania region
The article is based on the findings of the applied research project Assessment of the Effectiveness of COVID-19-Related Restrictions on Economic Activity and the Impact of State Intervention Measures on Enterprises in the Klaipėda Region (No. P-COV-20-51). The aim of the research is to reveal the characteristics of distance work in small and medium business enterprises of Klaipėda Region in the context of COVID-19. The main research question focuses on how the variety of work activities be realized in distance way and to what extent is it effective? To identify the situation, a mixed research methodology, quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (focus group) research methods were used. 73 business entities participated in the survey, and 7 focus group discussions were organised remotely in 7 municipalities, with the participation of 61 respondents (on average, 8 in each group). The research findings revealed that the problems of distance work in SME‘s were generally an under-researched topic, and the definition and concept of distance work varied. Problems emerged that could be divided into two subgroups: the first related to the IT infrastructure(a shortage of equipment, Internet disruption and the resulting increased costs), while the second subgroup concerned mainly human factors (the issues of employees' communication skills and attitudes or emotions when working remotely, lack of methodology for organising distance work, etc.). It is worth adding that, in the course of the current research, identification of a broader field of problems and discussions of their causes were possible due to the cooperation of researchers-representatives of various scientific areas.
distance work, COVID-19, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME)
O32 , O33 , O15 , O11
FundingThis research was funded by Lithuania Research Council, grant number P-COV-20-5
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