We spent the past three days talking to experts from factory42, IDnow and brigk.
factory42: In terms of teamwork, employees’ consensus was that the many meetings held are required to keep the software and sales teams on the same page. Common issues mentioned include their dependency on the internet as well as their clients’ lack of modern communication platforms.
IDnow: Collaboration and teamwork are key because different departments work together to handle customer enquiries. This is facilitated by the openness of the office and its layout: Teams that need to collaborate sit closer to each other, so the needed colleague is never far away. This is very different from factory42. Employees there prefer to message because their colleagues may be sitting further away or be out of office (e. g. in Home Office).
The founder of Coworking Space brigk had a unique perspective of the modern workplace. At brigk, planned meetings are less important than personal conversations. In this very diverse environment, the largest issue is the lack of a shared calendar. This is the area that could be improved upon the most.
In today’s world, where technology continues to grow, more and more different ways of working appear to be more flexible and useful. In interviews with knowledge workers we want to find out how “new work” already influences them in their daily work, how they will work in the future, which advantages and disadvantages and difficulties they will encounter and which possibilities there will be through a change in working life.
So far, the interviews have shown that working life already differs greatly from that of a few years ago and that the development of new ways of working is progressing more and more. For example, we had an interviewee from a company who changed from a permanent office to an “open space” office. We also notice that the possibilities for “home office” are increasing and that there is a growing interest in it.
We have also been able to identify some suggestions for improvement and are looking forward to processing this data and are excited about the results that will ultimately be achieved.
“I don’t want to measure by 9-to-5, but by tasks that are done and goals that are achieved”. This thought by a young founder from a marketing agency shows that current developments in the labor market are moving away from the traditional job with eight-hour compulsory attendance. Employees want to work more flexibly. They want to work more flexibly instead of marking time in the office even though they have successfully completed their tasks.
Our focus with the user researches laid on how the different persons would describe their perfect job and how it might look in ten years. We were also very interested in the challenges digital workers are facing:
– the distribution of tasks internally,
– productivity and efficiency and
– the communication with colleagues working on the other side of the world.
The interviews show that rigid working models are outdated and that the digital industry is looking for alternative solutions.
The main idea of New Work is to give people freedom to be more creative and to support each individual to develop their full potential. For most it means getting rid of traditional ways of working and moving on to modern work concepts. Some might even say it is a lifestyle.
Wondering in which ways to enrich the daily work life, we decided to take a look at different companies – some with a lot of experience with New Work concepts and some who are still in the process of figuring out how to introduce it. In Interviews we were fortunate enough to gain insights on how those companies implement their work concepts. For example we were able to take a look around Werk1 and experience how a co-working space is utilized.
During these interviews we collected lots of helpful information and were already able to identify some problems. Ultimately we hope to create a tool to improve and support the everyday life of a worker in the future.
In this day and age traditional working methods have become outdated and a demand for more modern techniques to cope with globalisation and digitalisation has emerged. This development has led to the concept of “New Work”, where teamwork and efficiency are a major priority and the goal is to optimise the individual’s work-life-balance.
For our project’s UX Research we conducted our interviews with the company “Serviceplan”, which is based in Munich and has embedded the concept of “New Work” in their firm. They provide flexible working spaces, like stand-up desks, large conference tables in an open space, lounge chairs, etc., so the employees are not constricted to one cubicle or desk anymore. Furthermore, outdoor working areas are implemented and “HomeOffice” is an option as well.
We noticed that even though the business is a forerunner regarding “New Work”, there are still areas with room for improvement, e.g. meetings and the combination of various communication tools.
Since the industrial revolution, work consisted of executing a certain task that was part of a process, serving to craft a certain product. In today’s world, humans want to have fun at work, they want it to merge with their private life and to eventually reach self-actualization. This is where the concept of New Work and work-life-blending comes in; a new work environment which is supposed to be more fun, social but individualized, flexible but productive, more creative but more affordable.
Open offices, coworking spaces, and home offices are meant to be offering all of these features. Their concept drifts away from separate office rooms and permanent working places to large, open spaces with flexible work desks and working times, offering comfortable places to network and exchange ideas.
While all of this sounds great at first sight, we contacted companies whose employees are working in such environments and that were kind enough to let us speak to some of them, to find out if the new work concept is as flawless and what one could improve to make it even better.
While online shopping is growing in the market, retailers had to improve or change their concepts to attract customers to come and visit their stores. Our user research is all be about retail experiences and their opportunities and challenges.
Through five observations and interviews with different retail staff and manager we had a great insight in their working process and interactions with the customers. We wanted to know why people come to their stores and if there is something that can be improved in order to make a special shopping experience. There are always new challenges for the retail stores because there is much competition in this industry. As a retailer, you should be able to keep up with trends and the customer expectations. But people still value the personal support and advice that they get from the retail staff. Moreover, finding a good technology for the retail industry is not always easy and challenging, too.
We are really looking forward to the results of our project.