Future Laboratory Society and Work


The possibilities of an increasingly software-based mechanization as well as the networking and automation of business and service creation processes have a great impact on work, organization and employment. Digitization and automation will result in a profound and systemic transformation of industry and services, the economic development tied to it and its cultural embedding in society. The new highly networked, intelligent technologies offer the potential to radically reorganize production and service processes. They are expected to have far-reaching effects on the scope and type of employment and on the internal and inter-company as well as spatial organization. In addition, forms of work and interaction are changing and it can be assumed that the role, competence and requirement profiles of employees will shift and need to be shaped.



OFFIS supports significantly the subproject 1 of the Future Laboratory: Design of digital working worlds: possibilities, concepts, prerequisites. The goal of the subproject is the proactive and participatory design of technologies and processes in organizations. Therefore, our research focuses on questions regarding the significance of technological innovations for the subjective experience of organization and participation, the communication behavior in organizations, technology development, appropriation and use, as well as changes in professional practices and routines in the work context. New technological approaches are evaluated in a participatory way with the aim of identifying key factors for an appreciative, meaningful distribution of tasks between people and technology.


In existing real-world laboratories (industrial laboratory, care laboratory, usability laboratories), design possibilities of technologies, such as the use of augmented and virtual reality, are not only examined for effectiveness as before, but in concrete case studies with the help of organization and communication sciences, it is also investigated how the technologies are (should be) integrated into the work process, how they influence the work processes themselves and which work skills are required as a result.


External Leader

Prof. Dr. techn. Susanne Boll-Westermann
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen - Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftspolitik und Mittelstandsforschung
Leibniz Universität Hannover - Institut für Wirtschafts- und Kulturgeographie
Leibniz Universität Hannover - Forschungszentrum L3S
Leibniz Universität Hannover - Institut für Rechtsinformatik
Leuphana Universität Lüneburg - Institut für Kultur und Ästhetik digitaler Medien
Soziologisches Forschungsinstitut Göttingen
Universität Hildesheim - Forschungsbereich Wirtschaftsinformatik


Start: 01.09.2020
End: 31.12.2024

Source of funding

Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur

Related projects


Zentrum für digitale Innovationen Niedersachsen (sorry - only available in German)


Smart technologies for standard-compliant process control and worker support in adhesive manufacturing processes