The Lived Experience of Teleworking: A Case Study from the Higher Education Environment

Author/Creator ORCID




Department of Educational Professions


Doctor of Education, Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Citation of Original Publication


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Changes to society, the economy, and technology in the 21st century have transformed the world of work as employees are expecting greater flexibility (Bond, Thompson, Galinsky, & Prottas, 2002; Matos & Galinsky, 2014; McNall, Masuda, & Nicklin, 2010). Among all forms of flexibility, gaining in popularity is the concept known as teleworking (Nilles, 1998). Teleworking is on the rise (Matos & Galinsky, 2014; Lister, 2010; Telework trendlines, 2007; Telework trendlines, 2009) however adequate literature is lacking on the teleworker experience. This case study was designed to understand and explore the lived experiences of exempt employees who telework and to determine if these employees experience fit, as outlined by the theoretical framework, Concept of Fit (Belanger & Collins, 1998). The 11 participants in the sample included exempt employees who had a telework agreement on file with the Department of Human Resources at public, research university located in the state of Maryland. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and data analysis revealed that exempt employees did experience fit at outlined by the theoretical framework. While all participants had unique experiences with teleworking, there were similar themes among the entire participant group. Participants agreed that they would like to telework more. During their telework day, they are more focused and disciplined, leading to increased productivity. They understand, however, the need for face-to-face communication and collaboration in the workplace. They plan specific tasks to complete while working from home and believe that they work with supportive supervisors and employees. It was recommended that additional research on the theoretical framework, as amended, be conducted to further support the framework. Additionally, it was recommended that research on supervisory support, the influence of gender on teleworking, and telework day in respect to experience, be explored.