Association among Covid-19 parameters, occupational stress and employee performance: An empirical study with reference to Agricultural Research Sector in Hyderabad Metro
Purpose of the study: Several organizations across the industry opted for remote working after the Government of India announced lockdown on 24th March 2020 to mitigate the spread of infection. There is a visible occupational stress among the employees across all the sectors, a result Covid-19 and its associated parameters. This empirical study was carried out to report the effect of Covid-19 parameters and occupational stress factors on employee performance in agricultural research sector. The independent Covid-19 parameters with five subscales— workplace isolation, lack of peer advise, lack of communication, family distractions and role overload; occupational stress causing factors—workload, role ambiguity, role conflict, social support, career, job-control and dependent factor performance with six subscales—task competence, employee motivation, commitment, non-job assignments, integrity, and co-workers were measured to study the cause and effect. All the independent factors were measured using five-point Likert type scale whereas the dependent factor performance was measured applying a scale based on Taxonomy of Higher-Order Performance Dimensions Model developed by Campbell. A research instrument, survey questionnaire was used, where all the statements were systematically mixed to avoid bias. The authors applied descriptive statistics, correlations studies, reliable statistics and multiple regression analysis to draw inferences from the study. The Covid-19 parameters workplace isolation, lack of communication, family distractions, role overload and occupational stress factors role ambiguity, role conflict, career, Job-control are statistically significant and are good predictors of the performance. There are no significant gender differences were observed, however the post-hoc comparisons reveal significant age group difference with the group 20-30 years employees experiencing more stress. The authors suggested that the organizations should develop strategies on remote working onlong-term basis to mitigate the employee stress and enhance performance.
Keywords: Occupational stress, Covid-19 pandemic,employee performance, reliability statistics, multiple regression analysis.