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Knowledge sharing, social cohesion and work-life balance: the effects of NWoW

31 march 2016

We asked approximately 1500 employees of various organizations what effects they experience on the knowledge within the team, knowledge sharing with other departments and social bonding and the work-life balance after the introduction of New Ways of Working (NWoW).

Knowledge sharing: mixed results

Staff are rather divided about the impact the experience on knowledge sharing within the team. Although there are slightly more negative experiences (almost 30%) than there are positive (about 25%). The fact that work is time- and location independent, it is less obvious that a team will regularly meet each other at the office. Collaboration and meetings need to be organized more actively.

The scores for the impact of NWoW on knowledge sharing with other departments also is mixed but they show a more positive image. In particular there is a high proportion of neutral responses to the issue (‘it has no effect’), around 25% of the responses were positive and just under 20% indicated there was a negative effect.

Social bond: negative effect

The answers regarding the effect of NWoW on social bonding show a clear negative influence. More than 50% of respondents answered that there is a negative effect. Letting go of ones ‘own place’ in the office causes close colleagues to see each other less often or makes it more difficult to find one another. Working at home or in other remote places produces the same effect: people do not always know when and where their colleagues work. There are ways to counter this and improve social bonding, like: making clear agreements amongst each other, opening up agendas, using digital collaboration tools (eg. chatting), ‘a workspot checker’ (digital display that shows where desks are available), an active organization of (informal) meetings and an ‘anchor point’ (central meeting point) in the office.

Work-life balance: positive effect

The work-life balance is perceived by most respondents as being a positive by-product of HNW: more than half of the respondents are positive about the impact of NWoW on their work-life balance, while less than 10% are negative.

In the figure below, the results are displayed.

 

Contactperson

Iris de Been

Iris de Been

Researcher│MSc, Psychology (psychonomy)