Covid, work reorganisation and trust: the importance of employment relations
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionLabour and Industry. 2023, . 10.1080/10301763.2023.2251220
The world met the COVID-19 pandemic with various national stra- tegies to handle the crisis. In Norway, upon the advice of health authorities, the government imposed a societal lockdown on 12 March 2020. This had major consequences for people’s work lives and organisations’ management and daily operations. Many employees were temporarily dismissed, while others suddenly had increased workloads. Working from home became the new normal for those who could perform their tasks online. We used survey data from April 2020 to investigate the impact of the changed work conditions on trust relations in the workplace. We asked whether the informants perceived the changes as consonant with the col- lective agreements. Trust in management increased significantly among those who were least affected but declined among those who experienced major changes at work. However, this distinction became less marked when we considered adherence to collective agreements and employee influence. This implies that manage- ment that ‘plays by the book’ can maintain a high level of trust amidst organisational change.