ENRICHMENT OF ONLINE AND PHYSICAL COLLABORATION
Editor: Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon
Author: Dorssemont, Jente; Dewit, Ivo; Jacoby, Alexis
Institution: University of Antwerp, Faculty of Design Sciences, Belgium
Section: Addressing Ethical and Social Issues in Design Education
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2021.23
All over the world people abruptly had to switch to remote working. Although working from a distance isn’t entirely new, this sudden shift accelerated the development of online collaboration tools. This study has two major purposes: (1) to investigate the online and physical collaboration, (2) to explore and develop how remote working can look like in the future. Systematically combining desk research and in-depth interviews revealed interesting insights and patterns. Our aggregated data shows that remote collaboration appears to have both its advantages and disadvantages. Employees experience an increase in productivity and efficiency, yet also indicate several functional obstacles, e.g., the feeling of being limited by technology. Moreover, this paper also examines the influences on social and emotional aspects. One of the main conclusions on remote collaboration appears to be the difficulty of connecting with colleagues. This affects the team spirit, makes it hard to connect with others and hinders learning from each other. There lies a great design opportunity ahead that will alter the collaboration landscape in the months and years to come. Therefore, to explore the future of collaboration, we approach the remote work phenomenon with a product-service system mindset that enables a hybrid form of collaboration and using the following research question in this paper: ‘How can we enrich online and physical collaboration’.