Project Completion COVID-19 Lessons Learned

  Employees wear face masks at a work meeting Copyright: © Martin Braun

Results of a Delphi Study to Substantiate the Findings of the First Project Phase


Within a short period of time, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about profound changes in our society, which were also significantly felt in the working environment. In the first phase of the COVID19LL research project, these pandemic-related changes were recorded by means of expert interviews with representatives of companies and organizations, systematically analyzed and then processed in the form of normative-narrative best-practices.

In the second project phase, which has now been completed, the findings gained in the interviews of the previous phase were processed in the form of 17 measures, which were then systematically validated with the help of entrepreneurs, employers' and employees' associations and scientists. The validation of the identified measures was carried out using the multi-round Delphi method, in which the experts evaluate the measures with respect to two scenarios: (1) coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and (2) a working world outside a crisis situation.

The results of the Delphi study show that aspects such as more flexible working hours and workplaces and the associated consequences in terms of digital leadership, hybrid forms of work and a reduction in business trips are considered to be particularly useful both for coping with the pandemic and for a future working environment outside a crisis situation. In particular for coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, extended hygiene protection, the introduction of a crisis team and the transparency of attendance and room occupancy plans for employees were also highlighted as useful. Measures for which added value was seen only outside of a crisis situation related to new workplace concepts aligned to cooperation and the hiring of non-local employees. Working exclusively in fixed teams was not evaluated as useful for either scenario.

Overall, it can therefore be assumed that the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a long-term process of change in the working environment in companies and organizations, and that the majority of measures introduced in the short term as a result of the pandemic can also contribute to an increase in value creation and improvement in working conditions in the future.

For more information, please visit our project page.

The project COVID19LL (funding code: 02L18A700) is funded by the BMBF in the program line “Future of Work” and supervised by the project management organization PTKA.