Chapter 20: Keep in touch in remote workplaces: the relationship between collegial isolation and contextual work performance in remote work settings and the mediating role of relatedness
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This study examines the relationship between collegial isolation and contextual work performance and the mediating role of relatedness. Contextual work performance, referring to work behaviors beyond one’s job description that support the organization’s, peers’ and individuals’ functioning, is increasingly important in work contexts where technologies disrupt work routines. Based on the telework literature, performance literature and self-determination theory (SDT), hypotheses were tested employing PLS-SEM to analyze data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic from 146 salaried employees. In line with expectations, collegial isolation was negatively related with both contextual work performance and relatedness. In contrast to expectations, however, relatedness did not mediate the relationship between collegial isolation and contextual work performance. This extends SDT as it shows that it is not sufficient for organizations, HRM, managers and colleagues to create a sense of relatedness in disruptive work contexts, as only opportunities for direct communication and (signals of) actual support can foster contextual work performance behaviors.

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