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Trust disruption and preservation in the Covid-19 work from home context

Panteli, Niki, Nurse, Jason R. C., Collins, Emily, Williams, Nikki (2022) Trust disruption and preservation in the Covid-19 work from home context. Journal of Workplace Learning, . ISSN 1366-5626. (doi:10.1108/JWL-02-2022-0017) (KAR id:96206)


The paper posits that the enforced and unprepared Work from Home (WFH) context due to Covid-19 provides a unique setting for the study of trust in changing contexts. The purpose of our work therefore is to examine to what extent Covid-19 WFH changed trust relationships among remote employees, their managers and organisations and how this has taken place. The study used semi-structured interviews with employees and managers from different organisations across different sectors. Interviews were supported with image prompts as suggested by the storyboarding method and took place between November 2020 and February 2021. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Our findings identified factors that contribute to trust disruption and factors that led to trust preservation within the changing workspace landscape enforced by WFH environment. Employees reported trust in their organisations, feeling as though their organisations proven resilient at the time of the crisis caused by the pandemic. Interestingly, managers reported trust in employees to remain productive but also anxieties due to the possible presence of others in the household. The study identified factors that affect intra-organisational trust that have not been previously recognized, exposing tensions and challenges which may disrupt trust relations between managers and employees, whilst also identifying evidence of trust preservation in the Covid-19 WFH context. Implications for workplace learning are also discussed.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/JWL-02-2022-0017
Additional information: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact
Uncontrolled keywords: Work from home, trust, trust preservation, pandemic, remote work
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science)
T Technology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
University-wide institutes > Institute of Cyber Security for Society
Depositing User: Jason Nurse
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2022 14:26 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2024 13:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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