Higher Learning Research Communications

Digital Object Identifier





Objectives: Using the lens of the virtual workplace model, the current basic qualitative study examined how COVID-19 self-isolation affected both online and land-based faculty (working online as an emergency due to COVID-19) workspaces and work processes.

Method: A total of 20 online and six land-based faculty completed e-mail interviews both one month and 3 months post self-isolation.

Results: Online faculty were more satisfied with their home workplace, but both groups felt more negative about their online work, as they felt a loss of freedom and independence due to the isolation.

Conclusions: Findings indicated that both land-based and online faculty showed indications of stress due to self-isolation, which in turn affected their feelings about work. Gaining a sense of control seems to be essential to reducing stress over time.

Implication for theory and/or practice: Future researchers may wish to examine the relationship of feelings of employee burnout to the stress of the pandemic. How working from home interacts with burnout is not yet known, particularly for online faculty. Both employers and virtual workers may wish to utilize the study’s findings in recognizing a need for control in virtual workers.