The Experience of Russian Companies in Switching to Remote Work in the Context of the Pandemic

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 8

This article presents the results of a study of the experience of the emergency transition to remote work in Russian organizations and enterprises in the spring of 2020. The main purpose of the study is to analyze how the lockdown has changed the strategies of managing teams: how managers determined the most pressing tasks and what technical capabilities, organizational and communicative techniques have been used to solve them. The transfer of employees to remote work entailed a decrease in the efficiency of collective work with an increase in the amount of working time; people’s concerns about the stability of their work; difficulties in business interaction. Those companies that had created IT-platforms and communication channels before the lockdown managed to solve production problems relatively quickly. But the problems of motivation, engagement, trust, mutual understanding, etc. could not be solved promptly. The crisis was relatively successfully passed by those organizations that already had these skills in their corporate culture repertoire. Experience in overcoming the difficulties of the lockdown has shown that effective work outside the office is possible if managers use solutions that motivate employees to show initiative and cooperate, to find the optimal balance between control and trust. As a consequence, there appeared a demand for a corporate culture involving horizontal interaction, a combination of stability and variability of communication rules, and feedback tools.

Keywordslockdown, remote work, IT-systems, work time, business communication, corporate culture, cooperation, motivation, engagement, trust
AcknowledgmentThis article is a translation of: Климова С.Г., Климов И.А. Опыт перехода российских компаний на удаленную работу в ситуации пандемии // Sotsiologicheskie Issledovaniia. 2021. No 7: 50–60. DOI: 10.31857/S013216250014470-0
Publication date27.09.2021
Number of characters35018
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