The New Normal
This case is focused on remote/hybrid work models in a small, BC-based financial firm. The concept of a remote or hybrid workplace in which employees are engaged in at least some remote work is not new. Organisations of all sorts have been experimenting with different arrangements for years, even if they didn't always use the terms "remote" or "hybrid." What is new in 2021, however, is the scale of the experimentation: remote working has become common in many (though not all!) professions and industries during the pandemic.
The newness and scale of this trend may affect your research: the term "remote workers" may not have been used often in the past, and when it was used, it may not have meant quite the same thing as it is starting to mean now. You should also explore terms such as telecommuting, telework, and "work from home." And try terms such as "new normal," "reinventing," or "reimagining" when you are looking for articles on new models for the post-pandemic workplace.
I suspect you will need to think of your broad research question as a mix of related questions such as...
- What are the best and worst aspects of both remote and onsite work?
- How can an organisation address the typical HR/OB concerns such as employee engagement, productivity, communication, and corporate culture in a remote or mixed model?
- How might physical offices be reconfigured to be effective & efficient in such a model?
I have detailed guides on several related topics, each of which offers many resources and search strategies! Explore the following wiki pages. Note that some of them are a few semesters old now and may include a few broken links.
Given that those subtopics are already covered in depth by other guides, I'll use this guide to focus very specifically on resources about financial firms such as credit unions & banks. Keep in mind, though, that research often involves drawing on experiences and solutions from other industries -- don't be too narrow in your focus. Use the guides above to find resources that are relevant to other/all industries.
- National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU): This US association provides free access to their main industry magazine, the NAFCU Journal, and a quick search uncovers at least a few articles that seem relevant to this topic. For example...
- Credit Union National Association (CUNA): Another US-focused organisation with some free news content such as What’s your return-to-work plan?
- World Council of Credit Unions: An umbrella organization that features COVID-19 news from credit unions around the world, and often touches on initiatives that include "remote work" or "work from home" aspects.
Specific industry magazines
- Credit Union Magazine - publication of CUNA mentioned above.
- Check out this search that I just ran for Credit Union Magazine articles that touched on remote work (using a wide range of terms for the topic).
- Credit Union Directors Newsletter - another publication of the CUNA. Extend your search to cover the complete fulltext of the articles to catch mentions of your topics: sample search.
- That sample search doesn't seem to dig up any recent articles on the "remote work" topic, but even older articles might be useful.
- Credit Union Management - a publication of the Credit Union Executives Society (US). Start with this sample search.
General news and journal articles
A good news article may mention key experts, relevant research studies, and unanticipated trends and issues -- all clues that you can follow up on with deeper searching!
- Search Canadian Newsstream for articles in newspapers published throughout Canada.
- Start with this rough exploratory search.
- Also try Factiva for news articles published in general and industry news sources from around the world. See this screen capture of a rough Factiva search I just tried.
I just read a recent article in the Financial Times that touches on this topic: The flexibility factor: who is going back to the office?
- This article is about large, global firms, so there maybe some relevance issues to consider, but the names of the organizations mentioned may be leads that you could follow with further news and web searches.
- Note that SFU students have full access to the Financial Times, but the registration/access method is a bit different from our other publications. See this blog post for details.
- I'll add hard-to-categorize resources here as I come across them. Don't forget to explore the Related Topics guides mentioned at the top as well!
<That's all for now, but check back later in case I add new resources & tips! -- Mark>