Internal communication quality in a telecommuting context: a phenomenological exploration of telecommuters’ communication experiences

Gabriel A. Kilson*, Patrícia Tavares

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) mediated interactions, such as audio and video calls, are part of all companies’ routines. Despite technological advances, no current ICT can perfectly mimic the unique characteristics of face-to-face interactions. As good-quality internal communication is critical to companies’ operations, the increased demand for work-from-home jobs raises relevant questions regarding employees’ capability to communicate properly. To better understand if the physical and temporal distance associated with the work-from-home represents a threat to employees’ capacity to establish clear communications, this study explores the internal communication experiences of full-time home-based telecommuters. Adopting a transcendental phenomenological strategy and based on a mix of purposeful and snowball sampling, 23 employees were interviewed online. Two additional interviews with top managers from a company where all employees work from home were also performed. Following a thematic analysis, results did not reveal a direct relationship between physical and temporal distance and the quality of internal communication. Indeed, the increased media options adopted by employees after starting to work from home contributed to improving internal communication quality. The main identified communication issues, such as information segregation, are related to how internal communications are managed,and may happen whether employees work side-by-side or physically apart.
Original languageEnglish
Article number286
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalSocial Sciences
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

Keywords

  • Home-based telecommuting
  • Internal communication
  • Transcendental phenomenology
  • Online interview
  • Thematic analysis

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