The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of our life leading to a completely new world, increasingly complex and uncertain. This is also evident in the workplace, especially on how employees experience and perceive their work. Indeed, it is not surprising that current critical reflections in the study of work and organizations give attention on the challenges on individuals’ wish for meaningful experiences at work. The current debate focuses on how employees can get lost in terms of their sense of work in the face of job demands, responsibilities and working hours. From here, it is central that in the face of new working methods and conditions, organizations behave to guarantee the quality of work and the degree to which work can be a source of meaning. This study has exploratory purposes and intends to investigate the relationship between the dimensions of quality of work and the dimension of meaningful work in the context of the post-pandemic. The data were obtained with a pre-test–post-test design, i.e., before and after restrictions due to the pandemic, through a survey administered online to about 145 workers. We investigated (a) the level of quality at work considering the dimensions of training, safety and communication at work, and (b) the Meaning in Work construct and the related sources of coherence, significance, purpose and belonging. We analysed data via the Structural Equation Modelling to explore the predictive role of job quality for meaning in work dimensions. The results indicate that the latent variable of job quality, described by the observed dimensions of organizational safety and training resources, at time 1 affect meaning in work dimensions respectively at time 1 and time 2. The results of the present study are relevant both for directing further studies on the topic of meaningful work and for organisations wishing to foster meaningful work and link sources. In the context of top-down work redesign process, our results offer initial implications about the role of job quality for sustaining employees’ wish for meaning in their work. The present study represents one of the limited studies on the sources of meaningful work and posit initial insights on how to foster meaningful work. Moreover, this happens in the context of the post-pandemic, supporting initial comprehension about whether organizations can support individuals’ quest for meaning in this uncertain time.

How Meaningful work and sources of meaning changed during the pandemic: an exploratory study

Francesco Tommasi
;
Andrea Ceschi;Riccardo Sartori;Giorgia Giusto;Sofia Morandini;Beniamino Caputo;Marija Gostimir
2022

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of our life leading to a completely new world, increasingly complex and uncertain. This is also evident in the workplace, especially on how employees experience and perceive their work. Indeed, it is not surprising that current critical reflections in the study of work and organizations give attention on the challenges on individuals’ wish for meaningful experiences at work. The current debate focuses on how employees can get lost in terms of their sense of work in the face of job demands, responsibilities and working hours. From here, it is central that in the face of new working methods and conditions, organizations behave to guarantee the quality of work and the degree to which work can be a source of meaning. This study has exploratory purposes and intends to investigate the relationship between the dimensions of quality of work and the dimension of meaningful work in the context of the post-pandemic. The data were obtained with a pre-test–post-test design, i.e., before and after restrictions due to the pandemic, through a survey administered online to about 145 workers. We investigated (a) the level of quality at work considering the dimensions of training, safety and communication at work, and (b) the Meaning in Work construct and the related sources of coherence, significance, purpose and belonging. We analysed data via the Structural Equation Modelling to explore the predictive role of job quality for meaning in work dimensions. The results indicate that the latent variable of job quality, described by the observed dimensions of organizational safety and training resources, at time 1 affect meaning in work dimensions respectively at time 1 and time 2. The results of the present study are relevant both for directing further studies on the topic of meaningful work and for organisations wishing to foster meaningful work and link sources. In the context of top-down work redesign process, our results offer initial implications about the role of job quality for sustaining employees’ wish for meaning in their work. The present study represents one of the limited studies on the sources of meaningful work and posit initial insights on how to foster meaningful work. Moreover, this happens in the context of the post-pandemic, supporting initial comprehension about whether organizations can support individuals’ quest for meaning in this uncertain time.
Meaningful work, Source of meaning in work, COVID-19.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1069068
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