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Working From Home and Job Attitudes
Last registered on May 11, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Working From Home and Job Attitudes
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005833
Initial registration date
Not yet registered
Last updated
May 11, 2020 11:24 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Cologne
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2020-05-11
End date
2020-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Together with a large chemical company, we survey the majority of employees in the majority of countries the company is operating. We ask employees about their current job situation (whether they work from home or not) and questions regarding e.g. their satisfaction, their current relation to their supervisor/employees/co-workers and their evaluation of working from home. Our main aim is to study how employees’ satisfaction, engagement, commitment, self-reported productivity, and supervisor-reported team productivity correlates with the intensity of working from home. If possible, we will exploit exogenous variations in the intensity of working from home (e.g. through policy measures). We plan to investigate heterogeneity in the response to working from home. Furthermore, we are interested in the connection between the intensity of working from home and stress levels, relationships with colleagues, and relationships with supervisors. We also survey supervisors’ ability to manage direct reports, and which work aspects employees perceive to be better at home versus at the office.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Block, Sidney, Dirk Sliwka and Timo Vogelsang. 2020. "Working From Home and Job Attitudes." AEA RCT Registry. May 11. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5833-1.2000000000000002.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
There is no intervention
Intervention Start Date
2020-05-11
Intervention End Date
2020-08-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key outcomes are employees’ satisfaction, engagement, commitment, self-reported productivity, and supervisor-reported team productivity. We will create an index based on all questions of each construct. This index will be a simple average over all questions. The number of questions per construct are as follows: satisfaction (3), engagement (3), commitment (2), self-reported productivity (1), and supervisor-reported team productivity (1).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We plan to investigate heterogeneity in the response to working from home. Respective dimensions are family situation (caring responsibilities, commuting time), preference for separating work and free time, how well a job can be done from home (incl. equipment and job-specific exchange with co-workers and customers), preference for self-reliant work, feedback and interaction intensity from team members and supervisors when working from home, and supervisor style (controlling or not).
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary outcomes are stress levels, and relationships with colleagues and supervisors. We indices based on all questions of a dimension. The number of questions per dimension are as follows: stress (5), relationship with colleagues (2), relationship with supervisor (4).
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We ask all employees up to 80 questions and repeat this survey up to three times (beginning of May, approximately beginning of June, approx. end of July). We run two different surveys for employees with and without management responsibility. We run the survey in several different languages.

The survey consists of standard satisfaction, engagement, and commitment questions from the psychological literature. It further asks about self-reported productivity and supervisor-reported team productivity. Moreover, the survey contains questions on current stress-levels/workloads, the relationship to the supervisor and team members and employees’ evaluation about the current working from home situation. It also includes open questions to write about negative and positive aspects of working from home. Finally, we ask participants to share some few information on demographics, personal situation and team composition. Employees with management responsibility have further questions on employee management during working from home.

We are in the process of obtaining personnel data that will be matched to the survey data.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
No randomization at this stage
Randomization Unit
No randomization at this stage
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Roughly 100 locations
Sample size: planned number of observations
We invite more than 10,000 employees to participate (each employee is invited for three surveys).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Number of employees varies between locations
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Ethic Committee University of Cologne
IRB Approval Date
2020-05-11
IRB Approval Number
2009DS