10:23 AM

Bellevue University Professor Wins Best Paper Award


Bellevue University’s Dr. Julia Cronin-Gilmore was recently awarded a Best Paper Award for her research paper “Reexamining Quality of Life, Motivation, and Productivity in the Workplace during a Pandemic.” 

The award was presented at the Academy of Business Research Winter 2021 Conference. 

Dr. Cronin-Gilmore, a Professor in the College of Business, was the lead researcher along with Dr. Helen G. Hammond of Grand Canyon University and Dr. Jena Shafai Asgarpoor of the University of Nebraska. 

The trio started the project in May 2020 shortly after some employees transitioned to working from home due to the pandemic. 

“Our team was interested in understanding how working from home impacted employees,” Dr. Cronin-Gilmore said. “We created a quantitative study examining total rewards, working from home, quality of life, and rethinking the workplace amid the pandemic to assess how it affected employees.” 

Dr. Cronin-Gilmore and her colleagues surveyed 866 people by sending out requests to participate via social media. The team found that a significant number of respondents considered working from home to be a moderate (36.8%) or high (41.1%) level of reward.

One of the team’s most significant findings related to their employers’ plans to continue remote work arrangements after the pandemic. Fifty-four percent of participants said their organizations were considering allowing employees to work from home post-pandemic. 

“Employers should consider working from home as an employee benefit, which can lead to attracting new employees and increased retention,” Dr. Cronin-Gilmore said. “Out of the three goals of attracting, developing and retaining employees, two could be achieved by offering the benefit plus it could be a competitive advantage in the market as well.”

About a third of participants themselves ranked their quality of life as somewhat better during the pandemic. And when asked how many days they would prefer to work from home in the future, 30% said five days; 24% said three days; and 21% said two days. 

“The pandemic has provided an opportunity for employees to experience working from home and they have overwhelmingly responded it is what they would like to continue,” Dr. Cronin-Gilmore said.