Benefit and Hidden Cost of Organizational Support for Telework amid the COVID-19 Pandemic on Public Employees’ Job Satisfaction and Retention Intention


This study examines the impact of crisis-induced telework during the COVID-19 pandemic 2020 on public sector employees’ job satisfaction (JS) and retention intention (RI). Analyses of the 2020 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey data reveal a negative association between the amount of COVID-induced telework and the federal employees’ JS and RI. However, this negative effect is mitigated by offering adequate organizational telework support for mandatory telework during the COVID peak and subsequently decreasing the amount of telework after the peak. Nevertheless, the findings also indicate that solid organizational support for teleworkers during the pandemic’s peak can ironically discourage them from returning to the regular work setting even when it is safe, potentially compromising organizational performance—a hidden cost of the organizational support. Still, this hidden cost does not appear to be significant enough to warrant revisions in the level of crisis-specific organizational support.

Namhoon Ki
Namhoon Ki
Assistant Professor
Department of Public Administration/Graduate School of Governance

My research interests include public management, state and local government, and intergovernmental relations. matter.