Covid-19: Lessons Learned
The Covid-19 pandemic brought about profound changes in our society in a short period of time. These were also clearly noticeable in our working world: many employees were sent to their home offices with only a few days to prepare. Company events had to be canceled at short notice, internal and external communications had to be switched to digital channels, working time regulations had to be revised, work processes, supply chains, and goods for production had to be rethought.
Companies from all industries and economic sectors are faced with the challenge of flexibly adapting their work structures and processes to the current situation as a result of the dynamic changes in the health situation and the associated applicable regulations. Companies that were already highly digitized before the crisis were better able to meet these challenges than those that were now forced to make a digital turnaround on the fly.
While these developments represent an enormous burden to many companies in Germany, they also offer great potential for innovation. New ways of working and technical tools have to be implemented and tested in the shortest time possible, initiating not only change processes but also learning processes. In order to systematically record such learning processes and make them usable in the long term as well as across industries, the BMBF has launched the research project “Using Good Solutions for the Future – COVID-19 Lessons Learned” (COVID19LL) at short notice. As part of the project, the IAW – Institut für Arbeitswissenschaft (Institute of Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics) at RWTH Aachen University, together with cooperation partners at the TU München (Technical University of Munich) and the TU Dresden (Technical University of Dresden), is conducting a systematic and cross-regional analysis of the effects of the crisis on working practices in companies. The aim is to identify particularly effective responses to the current challenges that can lead to long-term improvements in work processes and working conditions even after the pandemic will have been contained.
Interested companies are still being sought for the study.