Recontextualizing Employee Experience in a Remote Work Setting: A Flexible Pattern Matching Approach

Rena Sophie Riekenberg & Kerstin Margareta Nystedt

Student thesis: Master thesis


The concept of Employee Experience (EX) has become increasingly important for many organizations, as they adjust their focus on engaging and retaining their employees. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the conceptof Remote Work became another important topic for organizations, as employees around the globe were forced to work from home overnight. Existing research and academic studies investigate both topics, EX as well as RemoteWork, separately. However, academic literature that follows a combined approach, i.e. exploring the EX within a Remote Work context, appears to be limited. As Remote Working routines are expected to continue throughoutpost-pandemic times, organizations are bound to create a positive EX, while being physically apart from their workforce. Thus, the purpose of this study is to reconsider the traditional approach to EX and adjust the conceptto Remote Working conditions. We aim at exploring both concepts and combining them to REX as an entity.
Therefore, the research questions of this study are:
1. What constitutes Employee Experience in a Remote Work context?2. How are the aspects of Employee Experience reconsidered in a Remote Work context?To answer these questions, a flexible pattern matching (FPM) approach is used to deductively derive expected patterns from theory that serve as a baseline for creating a theoretical framework. Following, empirical data wascollected, by conducting semi-structured interviews with Human Resource (HR) executives. The findings were then compared to the expected patterns whereby the identified matches and mismatches were used to inform andmodify the established REX Framework. The results indicate that REX constitutes three themes, i.e. ‘Ways of Working’, ‘Personal & Professional Needs’ and the ‘Physical & Digital Workplace’, which are embedded in thedimension ‘Organizational Culture’. Within the three themes, 15 attributes were identified that are likely to influence the EX in a Remote Work context. These findings inform existing theory by providing an overview onEX attributes and their reconsideration in a Remote Work context. Furthermore, the results contribute to the understanding that EX is a variable and alterable concept and hence, should be approached differently, dependingon the context. Lastly, the study's outcome is useful for practitioners to understand employees’ needs when working remotely and serves as a baseline for developing initiatives with the aim to create and maintain a positiveEX in a Remote Work setting.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages238
SupervisorsDana Minbaeva