We believe that the world of work is fundamentally changing today. With the use of modern technologies, it is possible to freely choose how, where, when, and who we work with.
However, this also means: the working world becomes ever more complex and confusing. Insecurity is rising. The goal of the Institut für Arbeitsdesign und Zukunftstechnologien e.V. (the Institute for Work Design and Future Technologies, a registered association) is to compile practical knowledge on new working models and to decrease insecurity in companies.
Through the massive changes in the working world, strategic chances open up in an competitive environment. The institute's goal is to clearly explain the strategic and operative chances.
To effectively design the actual new working world, it must be part of the management's agenda. This will only happen if the management understands the benefits of new modes of working. The institute's goal is to prepare practical business cases.
To use modern working models can only be successful if companies further develop both strategy and culture. The institute's goal is to compile concepts on how to adjust strategy and culture.
Finally, the management has to execute modern forms of working and collaboration through changes to their core
processes. The institute's goal is to describe practical examples from successful companies.
We see ourselves as researchers who investigate innovative models of work. With recommendations for management, we want to contribute to actively designing the new working world. Our understanding of the trends in the working world serves as our basis and orientation.
We are of course not the only ones who are engaged in exploring the future of work. Therefore, we see it as one of our main tasks to participate in the current debate as a commentator; and to evaluate important decisions. Those who are interested may use our blog or follow us in our social media channels.
To be a curator is equally important for us. We want to classify and format the relevant knowledge for the user. In the context of events, we want to bring together people, concepts, and experience and thus encourage the exchange of know-how.
A variety of publications exists on designing the future of work. Oftentimes, very interesting fragmentary aspects are discussed, but rarely they are integrated in the context and an overall picture.
Therefore, the institute has developed an overall view to relate all singular aspects of the future of work to each other. This model shall be the basis for all future research efforts and structure our work.
Furthermore, we also want to format existing knowledge and catalog it systematically. We want to facilitate the discovery and
practical use of intriguing contributions for interested parties.
Physical Working World: This refers to the workplace, the working environment, and the working time: the dimensions one can identify on the surface
and according to which one will generally first describe the working conditions.
Work Processes and
Technologies: This dimension is almost as visible as the former, since it is mostly concerned with hardware and software equipment today. However, it needs to be said that
for the time being, only working processes of highly standardized knowledge work can be mapped by software (e.g. in SAP processes). To design the working processes of creative work is
significantly more complex and thus even harder to automate systematically.
Work Content: Naturally this is the key dimension for all people who execute creative knowledge work. Still, even the most creative work environment embodies routine tasks and menial administrative jobs.
Work Organization: On
one hand, this dimension refers to integrating the respecitve workers in the structures of hierarchy and management. On the other hand, questions of how to lead employees are discussed
Work Culture: This is
the underlying structure, based on which work is anchored within every organization. Work ethics is a crucial part of it; oftentimes, it is exemplified by the organizations's opinion
The term "Work Design":
Today, "Work Design" is a mere term. With it, we are designating the conscious, systematic design of work in organizations along the five dimensions outlined here. In general, "Work Design" is of course relevant for all types of work. For instance in manufacturing, findings from work research on work design and work organization are regularly implemented to improve processes and organization. However, our initiative's strategic focus is not factory work or largely standardizable service work. We are primarily interested in the creative knowledge worker in companies and organizations regardless of industry or sector.