The impact of COVID-19 restrictions and responses on working practices and environments for police employees

Research Institution / Organisation

University of East Anglia

Principal Researcher

Dr Helen Fitzhugh

Level of Research

Professional / Work-based

Project Start Date

June 2020

Research Context

​A constabulary in the Eastern Region and the University of East Anglia are working together to explore how police employees have been impacted by the way the constabulary has responded to COVID-19. The research will consider what the move to more remote / agile working has brought in terms of benefits and issues, particularly around autonomy, management practices and effects on work activities. The main part of the research is a diary study – including a 15 minute initial survey and then a 5 minute survey each day for three weeks. Additional qualtative interviews add depth and perspective on the benefits and challenges of changed working practices.

Research Methodology

Mixed methods design:

  • Scoping initial discussions.

  • Baseline survey - on personal characteristics, working lives, use of technology, risk perceptions, mental wellbeing, job and life satisfaction, performance, job control, childcare.

  • A three-week daily diary study (online) with mostly quantitative questions but a small free text element, eliciting data on working hours, use of technology, working relationships, challenges and benefits of agile working and ability to work effectively under current conditions.

  • Qualitative interviews eliciting data on the impact of the crisis on working life, organisational communication, working relationships and attitudes towards work.


  • Structural Equation Modelling (for the quantitative data)

  • Inductive thematic analysis (for the qualitative data)

Date due for completion

January 2021
Return to Research Map