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  New Ways of Working - NWOW  
    Executive summary  
   
   

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.

Research themes
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.

Partnership activities
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.

Lab-facilities
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.

People

  • Susanne Bødker
  • Eva Bjerrum
  • Claus Bossen
  • Ellen Christiansen
  • Jannie Friis Kristensen
  • Werner Sperschneider

 

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Related projects
Nomadic work and the flexible office
Interactive Room Appliances in the Flexible Office
Mobile technology in healthcare
Common Information Spaces
A knowledge company
Area Site
New Ways of Working(in Danish)
www.nwow.alexandra.dk
Area Manager
Susanne Bødker
Department of Computer Science
University of Aarhus
Aabogade 34
DK-8200 Århus N

Phone: +45 8942 5630
Fax: +45 8942 5624
email: bodker@daimi.au.dk
   CfPC©, updated: 14-nov-05