The goal of NewWoW research is the creation of concepts, implementation management models, and key metrics for high-performance and sustainable new ways of working.
Knowledge work is increasingly done as an interaction work. It is characterized by information seeking and utilization, creation and sharing of ideas, and collaborative team and project work. There is a growing need to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the changing nature and requirements of knowledge and collaborative work, their productivity drivers and metrics, and the new work and workplace management needs.
The industrial partners of NewWoW see a growing global business opportunity in providing services to organizations that are transforming their workplaces into flexible, adaptable, and collaborative learning environments.
RAPAL: In order to gain understand how people work we found that it is useful to combine the space utilization measurements with other data including information on key performance indicators (sqm/ppl, costs/ppl, CO2/ppl), employees’ ways of working and collaboration as well as their well-being and productivity. By combining and cross-analysing data collected through these different methods we can create a credible business case to support fact based decisions on work environment development, including different development scenarios and their effects on costs, emissions and well-being.
Senate Properties and Finnish governmental actors have created nationwide governmental workplace concepts since 2007. The aim of these concepts is that the workplace management and development in regional offices is done in line with commonly agreed coherent rules outlined in the nationwide concept. The workplace concepts align individual workplace projects to the strategic aims of the Finnish state. These aims include a decrease in real estate costs and meeting the aims of modern knowledge work.
GRANLUND: The new model of work life including the third time and space is called the expansive model. It expands the scope of the study from the work place to all activities of knowledge workers and from the work hours to all time spent in work related actions. The model is only a proposal and a hypothesis, which should be validated and tested.
ISS: The most concrete outcome of this journey is the business unit with a team in place handling this sort of customerships of developing working environment. It is worth underlining that ISS remains as a FM service company. It is unlike that core strategy is changed remarkably because of these new openings. All learnings so far although are well aligned with the original target of taking ISS somewhat higher in the food chain of providing value adding service solutions to all it’s customers.
The results of the Lahti pilot case contribute to the development of methods that support a continuous and dynamic transformation of the work environment, explicit choices employees make concerning place, technology, and work processes. This encourages an integrated approach that brings space management, ICT management, and business processes together taking into account the end user perspective and evolving needs.
Three pilots Case (VTT, ISS, and Granlund): An additional research question based on the findings from the literature review and experiences of participating organizations introducing NewWoW programs was added. The “8th” research question: “What aspects of the social environment enhance or disrupt knowledge work?” was specified at the individual, team, firm and societal levels: Are there aspects of your work environment, which affect your personal life? What aspects of teamwork enhance or disrupt your own work? What company policies or practices enhance or disrupt your own work? What national policies or practices enhance or disrupt your own work? A multi-method approach eventually developed to address the updated research plan. At first a web survey, designed and rolled out by VTT to Finnish employees of the three organizations (VTT, ISS, Granlund). As a further research tool, group interviews were also carried out. The survey participants were selected by organisations’’ NewWoW representatives from a pool of employees that had been introduced to New Ways of Working, in some way.
Figure: The categories of the NewWOW (Aaltonen & al. 2012 VTT TECHNOLOGY 177)
TUT: New ways of working can have an impact on employees’ job satisfaction, motivation and productivity for example, through improved work-life balance. In addition to knowledge work productivity and well-being, the rationales for implementing new ways of working from the organizational perspective are related to cost and resource savings. With different kinds of space usage, it is possible to use the organization’s resources and especially space more efficiently. This naturally leads to reduced occupancy costs, for example, there can more employees per one desk in a hot desk solution. Working from home reduces travel costs and at the same time takes into account the sustainability aspect reducing the carbon footprint caused by commuting.
The lessons learned are in great deal the same challenges that organizations have been facing without any change process towards new ways of working. In the organization looking for a sustainable change, the challenges turn into problems to solve. The unsolved problems are hinderers for change. Furthermore, the problems with interactions e.g. people-processes-tools should all be solved at once to avoid jeopardizing the anticipated impact.
Figure: Granlund prototype consept (VTT TECHNOLOGY 178)
Rapal Oy (project leader), Granlund Oy, ISS Palvelut Oy, Senate Properties, Tampere University of Technology and VTT