Remote leadership and work engagement: a critical review and future directions
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The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic shook the entire world. All sectors, industries, organisations, and more importantly, people were affected by multiple restrictions implemented by their respective governing bodies. Federal lockdowns and all the emerging laws and regulations associated with them have forced organisations worldwide to transition their operations to remote environments. The implications from the organisations’ perspective vary from leadership to management, structure to operations, and training and development to policy making. However, from the employees’ perspective, the implications vary from general well-being to work engagement, satisfaction to motivation, and followership to trust. Nonetheless, remote work has other implications, such as productivity, the impact of social distancing, work-life balance, and isolation concerns. Therefore, this article aims to present critical thinking and comprehensively analyse the existing literature on remote working, transformational leadership, and work engagement contexts. Theoretical and practical gaps are discussed, and recommendations for future research could contribute to our better understanding of remote leadership and its practical elements. Remote working environments are believed to be permanent working arrangements for many organisations and employees; hence, scholars and practitioners must explore them to further depths.
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