I am the Captain of my Soul: Choosing Where to Work: Impact on General Well-being and Organizational Commitment

I am the Captain of my Soul: Choosing Where to Work: Impact on General Well-being and Organizational Commitment

Debolina Dutta, Chaitali Vedak, and Anasha Kannan Poyil

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted organizations to adopt various models of work arrangements, including remote work and hybrid work locations. This study examines the effects of the dissonance between employees’ work location preferences and enforced work norms on general well-being and organizational commitment. Drawing on the Self-Determination Theory and Social Comparison Theory, the study analyzed data from 881 respondents across multiple industries in India during six months of the pandemic. The researchers employed Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) to analyze the data and explore the moderating influence of individual resilience on work control.

The findings indicate that a significant dissonance between work locations and enforced norms negatively impacts employees’ general well-being and perceived control at work. However, the study also revealed that higher levels of individual resilience could mitigate the adverse effects of this dissonance on work control.

This research contributes to the existing scholarship by providing insights specific to the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications for future ways of working. It highlights the importance of employees’ self-determination in choosing their work location and emphasizes the significance of employees’ sense of control over when and where they work. The study establishes a solid theoretical foundation for understanding the impact of limited autonomy in emerging work norms on employees’ overall well-being and commitment to the organization.

The research paper’s findings have significant implications for the industry, particularly in light of the current landscape characterized by the Great Resignation and shifting work norms. The research cautions industry leaders against implementing isomorphic policies and practices, as employees may compare their firm’s approach to others, potentially impacting their perceptions and decisions. It highlights that disregarding employee preferences and enforcing work norms that do not align with their choices can adversely affect their well-being and organizational commitment. Organizations should strive to provide flexibility and autonomy in work locations whenever feasible to promote employee satisfaction and retention.