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Occupational Psychology Report: Remote Working and Managing Teams

Case Analysis

Sumaira is the regional team leader at a national car rental company based in the UK. Historically, all staff members working for the company were required to be physically present onsite between the hours of 9am – 5pm. This approach suited Sumaira’s leadership style. Sumaira’s team is relatively new. As such, being able to walk over and check on each staff member and their work has helped Sumaira to identify issues and communicate these with her reportees quickly. Sumaira feels that it is an important part of her role to ensure that quality standards remain high and, in order to achieve this, it is the team leader’s duty to check and monitor each employee’s work regularly. In general, Sumaira’s team feel fairly uninspired by their work and this has resulted in reduced motivation. However, the team does enjoy the social aspects of working together and regularly cite this as the best aspect of the job during performance reviews. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision has been made to close the office and adopt a flexible, remote-working model. Sumaira is worried about how remoteworking might affect the team. In particular, she is worried about whether their work motivation and general wellbeing will suffer and how managing her team would work at a distance. Sumaira is seeking your advice as an Occupational Psychologist and has requested a professional report outlining what the key issues are and how they may be solved. Using occupational psychology theory and research, identify which factors may be impacting the situation from the perspective of both the manager and the employees mentioned in the case study. Furthermore, consider alternative actions to mitigate the impact and, ultimately, make recommendations to Sumaira. You may integrate any of the key areas in the following:

Learning Outcomes: 

1. Demonstrate a critical knowledge and understanding of research in occupational psychology. 

2. Demonstrate a critical appraisal of methodology used in applying psychology to the world of work. 

3. Critically evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and apply methods to solve particular workplace issues. 

4. Demonstrate effective communication of ideas in writing.

Recommended Coursework Structure- It is recommended that you follow the structure outlined below: 

1. Case Analysis (approximately 500 words) In your own words, explain what Sumaira has commissioned you to do and why. What are the objectives of your consultancy in this case? What should she be aiming to achieve and why is this important? 

2. Contextual Theory (approximately 2000 words) In this section, you will select and discuss relevant, up to date psychological theory and research that it pertinent to the case. To do this, choose up to three topics that you feel are most important for this case. There are no right or wrong answers here – you can choose any area from within the module. The most important thing is that you can justify why you feel this is important, explaining how it applies to the case and the impact these issues are currently having and why. As you discuss theory and research, you are setting the stage for the recommendations that will follow. Make sure you critically analyse the psychological theory and research that you include. 

3. Recommendations (approximately 1250 words) This section should be clear and persuasive, explaining what Sumaira should do, why she should do these things and the positive results that can be expected. It might be best to approach this section one topic at a time, as you did in the contextual theory section. You are aiming to make explicit links back to the contextual theory section, showing how the theory and research leads directly to some practical solutions. As you outline your recommendations, comment on the associated ethical issues. 

4. Conclusion (approximately 250 words) Finish your report with a balanced conclusion to summarise the main findings and recommendations and how these will benefit the organisation 

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