Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Debra Welkley

Second Advisor

Corey Berg

Third Advisor

Michael Davis


When regional quarantine restrictions were rapidly implemented in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, knowledge workers were forced to vacate their traditional shared office spaces and transition to remote work environments. This unprecedented mass exodus from traditional in-person physical workplaces was facilitated by existing and new software and technology that allowed workers to remain connected and working. This phenomenological study explored the lived experiences and perceptions of knowledge workers who experienced this transition to a full-time remote work environment. The study also examined how knowledge workers perceived work performance relative to their experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews with 18 knowledge workers in the New England region of the United States to document their feelings and experiences and to offer a “snapshot” of shared perspectives. Five themes emerged from the data: navigating connectivity gaps and remote communication challenges; isolation and technological barriers contrasting with freedom and flexibility; the intersection of remote work and family dynamics; navigating remote work environments; and collaboration, leadership, and communication in remote teams. The findings showed that knowledge workers preferred a hybrid approach, one that allows for in-person professional interactions and flexibility to work remotely when needed due to personal commitments or preferences. Effective communication was the most common challenge encountered by study participants, and maintaining professional relationships was strained in remote environments. Benefits included increased time spent with family, the perception of improved levels of productivity, and less time spent commuting. Keywords: remote work, work from home, knowledge workers in remote work environments, hybrid work environments, challenges in remote work environments, benefits of remote work environments, lived experience of remote workers during the COVID-19 pandemic


Ed.D. Dissertation



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