19 February 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Positive work-based commitment and improved work performance can also be achieved even when physical presence is not available, according to a Dutch study.
Research by Dr Ali Fenwick of Nyenrode Business Universiteit, Breukelen, the Netherlands, contends that the effectiveness of virtual working arrangements can be improved to benefit work relationships.
A lot of research claims that it is difficult to build strong personal relationships without physical face-to-face meetings. Such direct interactions use identification as a core psychological mechanism governing the development of psychological attachment.
But Fenwick's research has "found that positive work experiences (e.g. meeting work expectations, quality of work, timely responses online) help create positive perceptions and help facilitate positive work experiences through the process help create positive perceptions and help facilitate positive work experiences through the process of reciprocation".
This means that "positive work-based commitment and improved work performance can also be achieved even when physical presence is not available".
Virtual work arrangements can be improved through the interchange of "high-quality work reciprocations based on positive, timely and quality (digital) exchanges", the study found.
Another solution to promote the effectiveness of virtual work arrangements is through the process of external validation, states the study.
External validation, work reviews or social ranking is "a socially driven performance management mechanism incorporated into many online platforms".
Online platforms and mobile applications used in the gig economy (e.g. Uber, Airbnb, Fiverr) make regular use of such self-steering performance enhancement mechanisms, says the report.