A Longitudinal Interview Study on Work Planning During COVID-19 Lockdown

in Microsoft Research New Future of Work Workshop, Conference paper (text)


As a result of transitioning to remote work during the COVID-19 lockdown, many knowledge workers had to quickly invent new ways of managing work while working entirely from home. The research community currently lacks insights about how such a stressful and disruptive event might impact how people plan their work. To start filling this gap, the current study explored how knowledge workers adjust their planning routines, strategies and tools during this unprecedented global crisis. It consists of longitudinal weekly interviews with 15 participants during the UK's COVID-19 lockdown. Early stage analysis of 68 interviews is presented. Findings suggest that workers experienced planning challenges that prevented them from keeping their existing planning routines. We describe those planning challenges together with the new planning routines, strategies and tools that participants developed during this period. These insights are discussed in terms of future research directions that can benefit both workers and organisations to support the transition to productive remote work.