Working from home during the COVID-19 crisis: How self-control strategies elucidate employees’ job performance

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Employees around the globe experience manifold challenges to maintain job performance during the so-called work-from-home experiment caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Whereas the self-control literature suggests that higher trait self-control should enable employees to deal with these demands more effectively, we know little about the underlying mechanisms. In a mixed-methods approach and two waves of data collection, we examine how self-control strategies elucidate the link between teleworking employees' trait self-control and their job performance. Using a qualitative approach, we explored which strategies employees use to telework effectively ( N  = 266). In line with the process model of self-control, reported strategies pertained to situation modification (i.e., altering the physical, somatic, or social conditions) and cognitive change (i.e., goal setting, planning/scheduling, and autonomous motivation). Subsequent preregistered, quantitative analyses with a diverse sample of 106 teleworkers corroborated that higher trait self-control is related to job performance beyond situational demands and prior performance. Among all self-control strategies, modifying somatic conditions and autonomous motivation was significantly associated with job performance and mediated the self-control-performance link. This research provides novel insights into the processes by which employees productively work from home and inspires a broad(er) view on the topic of self-control at work.

ZeitschriftApplied Psychology
Seiten (von - bis)853-880
Anzahl der Seiten28
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 07.2022

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© 2021 The Authors. Applied Psychology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Association of Applied Psychology.