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One of the topics that has brought the attention in the area of human resource management is remote working that comes from the concept of flexible working.On the other hand, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) under the leadership of Minister Dr. Ali Bin Masoud Al-Sunaidy has issued a ministerial decision no. 157/2017 that contains the guiding principles through the program called "Remote Work through the Invest Easy Portal" with the objective of increasing productivity of the Ministry staff (Oman Daily Observer, 2018). Other than this information, there was no evidence on the formal implementation of remote working in companies throughout the Sultanate of Oman. Because of the possibilities of embracing this concept in Oman, conducting the study on this topic is deemed relevant and timely based on the researcher's observation as many companies are making ways and means to save costs while increasing productivity. This lead to the objective of this study which is to determine the impact of remote working on work-life balance, organizational commitment and employee productivity. A. Problem Statement:

Recently, the country is experiencing economic crises as evidenced by the drop in government revenues from oil hence; it experienced oil price shock. Moreover; fuel subsidies were also reduced by the government since January 2015 that eventually raised the prices of water, electricity and other commodities (The Institute for National Security Studies, 2017). This crisis has led to negative impacts to companies especially in the private sector. In an effort to look for means to survive in the marketplace and competition, companies resort all the means to save costs, stay profitable and productive. One of the ways to attain this company objective is to introduce the concept of remote working where as previously stated, findings have shown that it can increased productivity, employee and organizational performance and at the same time save in costs. In Oman, perhaps remote working practices were already applied but no proper documentation through researches had been done to affirm it importance. Evidence of success were experienced in Europe and United States that could be applied in Oman context considering the recent economic situation. It is therefore a felt need to examine the importance and potential success of remote working considering the companies in Oman that started the implementation of remote working including the Ministry of Commerce and Industry who went through the implementation of "Invest Easy Portal".To determine the interrelationship among variables, correlation matrix, Pearson Correlation and regression analysis will be used.In addition, studies have already been conducted to determine the relationship of flexible working on individual and organizational performance, health and well-being and employee attitudes (Ortega, 2009; de Menezes & Kelliher, 2011) however; very few studies examined the impact of remote working on work-life balance, organizational commitment and employee productivity.Percentages will be used to analyzed the respondents demographic profile while mean and averages will be applied to determine the level of satisfaction of remote working in relation to work-life balance, organizational commitment and employee productivity.Modified scaled questionnaires that contains remote working, work-life balance, organizational commitment and employee productivity from different sources are considered the primary data and supported by secondary data from websites, books, journals, and others.In various studies, findings revealed that flexible working is becoming a common human resource practice experienced by many countries which have given companies the opportunity to operate with less costs and at the same time provide lots of advantages (CIPD 2012; Matos & Galinsky, 2012; Matos & Galinsky, 2014; Tipping, Chanfreau, Perry & Tait, 2012; Skinner, Hutchinson & Pocock, 2012).Conceptual Framework of the Study

H4
Organizational Commitment







Employee Productivity
Remote Working


H3




H1 H2
Work-Life Balance











Part Three




(Study Methodology) A. Study Design:

This section presents the methodology of the study.Evaluate the possible impacts of remote working on work-life balance, organizational commitment, and employee productivity.A number of studies have found a relationship between flexible working and organizational commitment (Chow & Keng-Howe, 2006; Gajendran & Harrison, 2007; Kelly & Moen, 2007).In European countries for example, policies were formulated to encourage flexible working to all workers as mandated through the European Union policy by promoting job quality wherein employees are given the opportunity to exercise some control over their working arrangements (European Union, 2012).Remote working and employee productivity is moderated by organizational commitment.What is the relationship of remote working on work-life balance, organizational commitment, and employee productivity?However; there is not much found a study that significantly correlates home working and productivity.Employee Productivity - is a measure of how productive an individual is in terms of his/her output within specific period of time.3.2.H2.4.2.3.4.H3.


Original text

One of the topics that has brought the attention in the area of human resource management is remote working that comes from the concept of flexible working. In various studies, findings revealed that flexible working is becoming a common human resource practice experienced by many countries which have given companies the opportunity to operate with less costs and at the same time provide lots of advantages (CIPD 2012; Matos & Galinsky, 2012; Matos & Galinsky, 2014; Tipping, Chanfreau, Perry & Tait, 2012; Skinner, Hutchinson & Pocock, 2012). In European countries for example, policies were formulated to encourage flexible working to all workers as mandated through the European Union policy by promoting job quality wherein employees are given the opportunity to exercise some control over their working arrangements (European Union, 2012).

In addition, studies have already been conducted to determine the relationship of flexible working on individual and organizational performance, health and well-being and employee attitudes (Ortega, 2009; de Menezes & Kelliher, 2011) however; very few studies examined the impact of remote working on work-life balance, organizational commitment and employee productivity. In fact, the researcher hardly can find a study that discusses a research about the extent of remote working in Oman. On the other hand, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) under the leadership of Minister Dr. Ali Bin Masoud Al-Sunaidy has issued a ministerial decision no. 157/2017 that contains the guiding principles through the program called “Remote Work through the Invest Easy Portal” with the objective of increasing productivity of the Ministry staff (Oman Daily Observer, 2018). Other than this information, there was no evidence on the formal implementation of remote working in companies throughout the Sultanate of Oman.

Because of the possibilities of embracing this concept in Oman, conducting the study on this topic is deemed relevant and timely based on the researcher’s observation as many companies are making ways and means to save costs while increasing productivity. This lead to the objective of this study which is to determine the impact of remote working on work-life balance, organizational commitment and employee productivity.













A. Problem Statement:

Recently, the country is experiencing economic crises as evidenced by the drop in government revenues from oil hence; it experienced oil price shock. Moreover; fuel subsidies were also reduced by the government since January 2015 that eventually raised the prices of water, electricity and other commodities (The Institute for National Security Studies, 2017). This crisis has led to negative impacts to companies especially in the private sector. In an effort to look for means to survive in the marketplace and competition, companies resort all the means to save costs, stay profitable and productive. One of the ways to attain this company objective is to introduce the concept of remote working where as previously stated, findings have shown that it can increased productivity, employee and organizational performance and at the same time save in costs. In Oman, perhaps remote working practices were already applied but no proper documentation through researches had been done to affirm it importance. Evidence of success were experienced in Europe and United States that could be applied in Oman context considering the recent economic situation. It is therefore a felt need to examine the importance and potential success of remote working considering the companies in Oman that started the implementation of remote working including the Ministry of Commerce and Industry who went through the implementation of “Invest Easy Portal”.

B. Significant of the Study:

The outcome of this study provide many advantages to the intended beneficiaries. First, findings of this study will help the concerned government agency like the Ministry of Commerce and Industry evaluate the effectiveness of remote working for policy implications. To companies, this study will provide them information and idea that remote working can be a good alternative and proxy to the physical workplace environment for economic and other possible reasons. To the respondent organization, this study may provide justification and affirmation of the already started concept.

C. Study Objectives:
The objectives of this study is to:
1. Understand the concept of remote working and its implications to the business environment in Oman.
2. Determine the level of satisfaction on remote working as perceived by the respondents who have already utilized remote working in their workplaces.
3. Evaluate the possible impacts of remote working on work-life balance, organizational commitment, and employee productivity.
4. Suggest recommendations based on the findings of this study.

D. Hypotheses and/or Research Questions:
In this study, the following questions are developed:
1. What is remote working and what are its implications on the business environment in Oman?
2. What is the level of satisfaction of the respondents on remote working concept in the context of their workplaces?
3. What is the relationship of remote working on work-life balance, organizational commitment, and employee productivity?
4. What recommendations can be suggested based on the findings of this study?
Based on the research objectives and questions, the following hypotheses are formulated:
H1. Work-life balance is significantly influenced by remote working.
H2. There is significant relationship between work-life balance and employee productivity.
H3. There is significant relationship between remote working and employee productivity.
H4. Remote working and employee productivity is moderated by organizational commitment.
E. Definition of Study Variables:

Remote Working - is flexible working arrangement where employees work most of the time in their own homes and is also called work from home.

Work-Life Balance – a situation wherein an individual has to create a balance between working and personal activities and leisure.

Organizational Commitment – is the individual’s psychological attachment to an organization.

Employee Productivity - is a measure of how productive an individual is in terms of his/her output within specific period of time.







Part Two
(Previous Studies)

According to current study, people who work remotely were found to be happier and more productive than those traditional workers (Nield, 2016). This trend has been growing and has become an alarming issue that many employers have come to think of it. Consequently, many ideas have been solicited regarding working at home to be practical as it saves your time, money and effort of travelling on daily basis (Peeters, 2014). However; there is not much found a study that significantly correlates home working and productivity. A survey conducted on TinyPulse for 509 full-time remote workers in the US found out that, remote workers are more satisfied, happy and more valued although their presence were not physically observed in the actual workplace (Peeters, 2014). Interestingly, about 91% of those remote workers stated that they were more productive if doing their jobs far from offices because they feel more comfortable and can independently work with the given tasks.

A number of studies have found a relationship between flexible working and organizational commitment (Chow & Keng-Howe, 2006; Gajendran & Harrison, 2007; Kelly & Moen, 2007). Notwithstanding the problems with definitions discussed above, a study of how formal and informal approaches to flexibility relate to organizational commitment, showed little difference between the forms (Eaton, 2003).

Conceptual Framework of the Study

H4
Organizational Commitment







Employee Productivity
Remote Working


H3




H1 H2
Work-Life Balance











Part Three




(Study Methodology) A. Study Design:

This section presents the methodology of the study. Descriptive research design will be used with quantitative approach. Considering the nature of the research, descriptive survey is used in line with deductive reasoning where the data are analyzed statistically to generate specific findings from general information gathered. Survey questionnaires will be developed to achieve the research objectives.


B. Study Setting:

The setting of this study is one of the companies in Muscat named Ericsson. The company started its operation since 1887, and has been operating for 8 years in Oman. It has total of 9000 employees and has one branch in knowledge Oasis Muscat .

C. Community Study and Sample Size:

To determine the sample size, convenience sampling will be applied based on the availability of the respondents during the sampling. Out of the total population of 9000, 120 respondents will be considered as the sample size.

D. Study Tools:

Both primary and secondary data will be used in this study. Modified scaled questionnaires that contains remote working, work-life balance, organizational commitment and employee productivity from different sources are considered the primary data and supported by secondary data from websites, books, journals, and others.

E. Commitment to Academic ethics:

In compliance with ethical conduct and procedures implemented in the MBA department of Al-Zahra College for Women, this study follows protocol from the start of the study until its completion. In Choosing the title, series of checking and evaluation by the supervisor was done before presentation and consent letters will be prepared to obtain consent from the respondents followed by distribution of questionnaires. Respondents are given assurance that the information to be gathered will be treated with utmost confidentiality.



F. Study Implementation steps/ methods of Data analysis:

All the collected data will be analyzed and interpreted using SPSS package system. Percentages will be used to analyzed the respondents demographic profile while mean and averages will be applied to determine the level of satisfaction of remote working in relation to work-life balance, organizational commitment and employee productivity. To determine the interrelationship among variables, correlation matrix, Pearson Correlation and regression analysis will be used.

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