Disengaged From Planning During the Lockdown? An Interview Study in an Academic Setting

in IEEE Pervasive Computing, Journal article

Abstract

This article reports the results of a repeated interview study with 15 knowledge workers in academia during the first COVID-19 lockdown (April-July 2020). The focus of these interviews was to understand how people adjusted to working from home and the impact this had on their planning routines, strategies, and use of tools. Common themes reveal that work was chaotic, participants lost focus, and felt overworked and tired. Many disengaged from their planning routines and were reluctant to plan work in detail. However, those who reflected on how efficiently they were spending their time, found two planning strategies—breaking down tasks and manual time tracking—effective at improving accuracy of plans and productivity. Participants did not start using any new planning tools instead they adapted their existing ones. Design implications for planning tools in the context of the future of work and prevention of planning disengagement are discussed.