The emerging new information economy is fostering new ways of working which can be characterised in
terms of such features as:
- people collaborating across geographical distance and professional boundaries
- people working from home, on the move, and in flexible office environments
- work being assigned to people in terms of objectives, not tasks
- the short timeframe of work group constellations that emerge, engage in activities, and then dissolve
again, as the circumstances require.
Pervasive technologies will allow people to work in a more flexible way, having supporting tools available
anytime, anywhere, rather than being tied to a specific location. At the same time these technologies
must be understood in relation to all aspects of these new ways of working, what we will term "nomadic
work", the layout of offices and workspace, the qualifications of cooperators and the ongoing negotions
of objectives and work plans.
There are several obstacles to be overcome before technology can be deployed appropriately and accommodated
into existing structures and processes, while at the same time helping to restructure these existing activities:
A substantial reframing of existing activities and tasks at the personal and group level, as well as a
substantial shift in perspective on the part of management.
Our working hypothesis is that the consequtive high demands for dynamics and change creates a growing
need for anchoring, generally and knowledgewise. NWOW accordingly works with models, technologies and
methodologies to support anchoring in nomadic work.
The general themes of the center are
- Work – What are the social and technological challenges of work in shifting environments, e.g.
project work as well as remote at home, mobile in a car or stationary at the office desk?
- Space – What are the social and technological challenges of work in distributed or changing
loactions? How does architecture support mobility and flexibility?
- Technology – How can mobile and spatial technologies support work in flexible work arrangements
and shifting environments? What kind of technologies can be imagined and what kinds of problms are encountered?
The center in general combines research methods from a number of scientific fields. It emphasizes
user-oriented methods through which actual work and use is studied, and users involved in the exploratory
design of future pervasive technologies.
New ways of working has a general partnership with the Alexandra Institute, and with its participating
companies, and the City and County of Aarhus. Cooperation with Key2Know, Systematic Software Engineering,
CCI, Danfoss, Bang & Olufsen, COWI. Cooperation with the Ministery of Research and of Traffic.
We arrange monthly research seminars, industry seminars, and supervise master and PhD students from
psychology, information- & media sciences, computer science and multimedia. The research network includes
staff from the mentioned departments and from Etnography.
New ways of working has its own experimental office with flexible furniture where recent innovations in
technology, organisation and furniture is evaluated. We makes use of facilities in Interactive
Workspace, CSCW, CAVI
and Mobile Systems.
- Susanne Bødker
- Eva Bjerrum
- Claus Bossen
- Ellen Christiansen
- Jannie Friis Kristensen
- Werner Sperschneider