2021-Blooma John

Leading the Digital Workplace Transformation in the Covid-19 Context

Dr Blooma John (PI), University of Canberra (AU); and Prof Niki Panteli (Co-I), Royal Holloway University of London (UK) - Leading the Digital Workplace Transformation in the Covid-19 Context

Project summary: Digital workplace transformation has been through a huge acceleration due to the enforced remote work caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, knowledge-based organisations had to swiftly use digital technologies to transform their workplaces from the traditional office environment to Work from Home (WFH). Today, as the globe target to reach 80% vaccination (National Plan, 2021; BBC News, 2021) we are on the verge of another work transformation because of the shift to hybrid workplace model as the new normal. In the hybrid workplace model, some employees return to the workplace and others continue to work from home, though variations exist within this model. In this context, leadership has been identified as critical in the success of the workplace transformation in the post Covid-19 context. Responsive leadership and employee engagement are key dimensions identified in earlier work (Chamakiotis et al, 2021). Today, as we move towards the new hybrid work environment, there is a need to understand the emerging and successful workplace leadership practices in order to keep both employees and clients engaged to business activities. Hence, the aim of this study is to explore how leaders in knowledge-based organisations are able to develop engagement with employees and clients when a hybrid workplace model is in operation. The research question addressed in this study is “How leaders in the high-tech sector develop engagement with employees and clients in hybrid workspaces?”. The empirical setting will involve a global high-tech corporation (Microsoft) that agreed to take part in the study.