Can new hires work remotely?

Last registered on October 17, 2023

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Can new hires work remotely?
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0012256
Initial registration date
October 08, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
October 17, 2023, 11:43 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
London Business School

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2023-10-09
End date
2024-04-30
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Remote work appears to be here to stay. Yet, anecdotal evidence from organizational leaders suggests that new hires who join the organization remotely perform poorly and are less engaged. This field experiment provides evidence on whether newcomer performance and engagement are worse when starting their position in-person compared to remotely. Additionally, I test the efficacy of an organizational policy where newcomers start in-person prior to working remotely in mitigating reductions (if any) in performance and work engagement. This field experiment compares new hires who work remotely for four week and new hires who work in the office for three weeks then remotely for one week.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Chan-Ahuja, Stephanie. 2023. "Can new hires work remotely?." AEA RCT Registry. October 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.12256-1.0
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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
This field experiment compares new hires who work remotely for four week and new hires who work in the office for three weeks then remotely for one week.
Intervention Start Date
2023-10-09
Intervention End Date
2024-04-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcomes of this study are performance and work engagement (colleague interactions).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Performance is measured unobtrusively through their work as well as elicited through self-reported measures weekly. From their work, I will collect detailed data on each participant, including the number of texts completed, hours worked, and accuracy scores.

Colleague interactions are measured in several ways. First, I will collect communication information through Slack, a communication tool that participants will use throughout the study. Second, I will collect self-reported measures of daily interactions through surveys. Third, a research assistant will be conducting participant observations, assisted by security camera footages, to capture communications that are not conducted via Slack.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Other outcome variables that are measured in the study include well-being (job satisfaction and engagement), work-family conflict, interruptions, trust, burnout, and loneliness.

At baseline, I will measure the control variables: self-efficacy, proactive behavior, familiarity with other colleagues prior to the study, personality traits, commute time, and other demographics, including gender, age, caregiving responsibilities, and caste.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Other outcome variables will be measured on a weekly basis through self-reported surveys and baseline measures will be measured once at the beginning of the study.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experiment will be conducted in Pune.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done in Stata.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
240 individuals.
Sample size: planned number of observations
240 individuals.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
120 individuals in treatment (remote working) and 120 individuals in control (office working).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
London Business School
IRB Approval Date
2023-08-30
IRB Approval Number
REC892-30082026