Flexible Work Arrangements and Employees' Knowledge Sharing in Post-Pandemic Era: The Roles of Workplace Loneliness and Task Interdependence.Behav Sci (Basel). 2023 Feb 14; 13(2)BS
Flexible work arrangements (FWAs) have become prevalent working norms in the post-pandemic era, but are they beneficial to employees' work? From the theoretical perspective of social exchange, previous studies have viewed FWAs as supportive practices that facilitate employees' functional intrapersonal outcomes. However, little is known about the interpersonal effects of FWAs. Based on the affective events theory, this study aims to elucidate why and when FWAs are associated with employees' knowledge sharing. A web-based survey of 314 respondents (Study 1) and a three-wave field research study of 343 employees (Study 2) provided valid questionnaires to examine the hypothesized theoretical relationships. Our findings reveal that employees who frequently adopt FWAs would produce a persistently negative affective experience-workplace loneliness-further discouraging their intentions to share knowledge with coworkers. The specific work-characteristic conditions in this relationship-task interdependence would mitigate the dysfunctional effect of FWAs on employees' knowledge sharing via workplace loneliness. Our study advances the understanding of FWAs' dysfunctional impacts on employees' knowledge sharing from the theoretical perspective of affective reactions. Our findings remind managers to avoid the interpersonal pitfalls of FWAs by increasing task interdependence among employees.