This paper aims to introduce an innovative approach to employee engagement through personalized calls targeted at work-from-home (WFH) employees. It explores the effects of these calls on employee motivation and work behaviour.


The research is based on a case study of a multinational company over a one-year period (2020–2021). In-depth interviewing in the form of engagement calls was used as the primary method of data collection. Seventy-two frontline supervisors were directly involved in calling 1,318 employees totaling 2,671 calls. Content analysis was used to identify key patterns from the data.


The employees experienced varying degrees of WFH transition based on their response to isolation and work-life boundaries. The calls made a difference to their psychological and emotional wellbeing, reaffirming their confidence in the company’s WFH arrangements and reinforcing their self-worth. This led to the employees engaging more proactively through work process improvisation and working around technological challenges. The calls also uncovered unlearning and relearning as a way of helping them make deeper sense of who they are and how they can contribute more valuably to the company.


This longitudinal research offers fresh insights into the transitions of employees at different phases of their WFH experience based on the first-hand accounts of frontline supervisors. Theoretically, the study contributes to a different perspective of employee engagement and work behaviour from the remote working literature in the context of Covid-19.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalStrategic HR Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 4 2022


  • COVID-19
  • engagement calls
  • working from home
  • proactive communication
  • motivation to learn
  • psychological and emotional impact
  • work meaningfulness
  • employee engagement


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