Study, 30.03.2023

Diversity as an innovation booster.

These days, it is no longer enough to think of diversity and inclusion in traditional categories. When designing modern New Work working environments, a new perspective on the topic is therefore required. That is why we have joined the “Diversity Office” research project of the University of Bern, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Nordwestschweiz (FHNW) and our partners Vifian and Schoch Werkhaus. The study aims to shed light on the topic of diversity in the working world. In addition, it is important for the research partners to better understand the status quo and the needs of companies. 

We usually determine diversity by demographic characteristics such as gender or origin. In connection with the term “inclusion”, we inevitably first think of physical disabilities. Depending on one’s own point of view, age is either about not discriminating against older employees or integrating younger ones. However, reducing diversity to statistical characteristics alone does not go far enough.

The Diversity Office takes into account all dimensions

In order to map all dimensions, cognitive and neural aspects must also be taken into account. The way people are intellectually active, their different problem-solving styles, which are due to their individual mental and also neuronal predispositions, should definitely be taken into account.

After all, everyone can create added value through his/her individuality and the associated skills. The integration of all generations and individuals in working life can and should therefore be understood as an enrichment and entrepreneurial gain. Because diversity and an inclusive working culture, which is characterized by different perspectives and personalities in diverse teams, makes companies attractive as employers, promotes the individual development of employees and is a decisive success factor for the innovation and competitiveness of a company.

Our research project “Diversity Office” summarizes all these dimensions and examines in particular how the complex needs of various teams can be taken into account in workplace design, i.e. in the design of working environments. In this context, is the current implementation of New Work working environments in terms of space, culture and technology still valid? Or does New Work have to be thought even further so that diverse teams are understood as a success factor of every company?

Project partners and objectives of the study

As a cooperation partner, workingwell is researching the “Diversity Office” project together with the University of Bern and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Nordwestschweiz (FHNW) as well as with the partners Vifian AG and Schoch Werkhaus AG. The project is funded by the Swiss Innovation Agency, Innosuisse. PD Dr. Julia Burbulla from the University of Bern, Institute of Art History, Department of Architecture and Monument Preservation, is responsible for the scientific direction in cooperation with Dr. Theresia Leuenberger of the FHNW at the Institute for Cooperation Research and Development.

The research project is scheduled to be completed by the end of August 2024. We will publish the findings afterwards.

Would you like to participate with your company in our study “Diversity Office”? Then we look forward to receiving your message to: newwork@workingwell.com

Read also our article “The office of tomorrow: welcome to the Community Hub”.