Current Projects

Current Projects

PISKU – Raising impact capability in micro-, small- and medium-sized companies (2017-2019)

Micro- and SME companies form the majority of business enterprises in Finland. As flexible and dynamic organizations, they have challenges in developing their planning and forecasting practices to be productive. Wellbeing of employees is known to be essential for companies’ productivity. However, the role of wellbeing in micro- and SME companies is often unclear, and they are not developed in parallel. Autonomous forms of work and job crafting possibilities, for example, combine the control of work and its development to the employee wellbeing.

The main goal of the PISKU project is the concurrent development of micro- and SME companies’ productivity and personnel wellbeing by modifying the ways of working towards more network- and community-based, digitally supported and employee motivating. Companies are prone to the changes in the working environment and often lack resources to utilize fully their intangible potential. PISKU project by studying ways of working and personnel experiences supports recognizing and sharing joint interests and good practices in participating 48-52 companies and between them.

Each participating research partner concentrates on different field of industry, for example Aalto University on the Health Technology industry. Each university has also their own special expertise in research that complement each other in the PISKU project.

Partner universities:

Aalto University
University of Vaasa
Lapland University of Applied Sciences
Turku University of Applied Sciences (coordinator of PISKU project)

Contact information:

Contact information:

Matti Vartiainen (coordinating professor at Aalto University),

Tel +358 505553380

Kirsi Polvinen (Researcher),

Tel: +358 505715678


NewWoW – New ways of work crafting 2017-2019

The NewWoW project focuses on the increasing mobile and multi-locational work, and specifically on how individuals design their work in these contexts.

Mobile work provides many advantages and opportunities to diversify the dimensions of work in an innovative and sustainable manner. The NewWoW project responds to the need to know and understand how mobile employees design their working hours, ways of working, and the variety of working spaces they use. In addition, the project uses research findings as a learning tool and material to support employees directly on a personal level and indirectly through their organizations in increasing productivity and well-being through work crafting.

Mobile and multi-locational work has been studied earlier, but so far, the actual development measures have been relatively scant. Thus, the NewWoW project focuses particularly on joint development of practices of work crafting in the increasingly popular context of mobile and multi-locational work. The target group is the staff of micro and small companies.

The project is funded by the European Social Fund. The research partners are Aalto University, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Tampere University of Technology, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and Humap Consultation Oy.

Contact information:

Outi Vanharanta

tel. +358 50 596 2597


Digitally supported informing, advising and guiding practices for occupational health care to serve mobile and multi-locational workers and their organizations – DigiTANO (2016-2018)

Occupational health cares have the need to modify and develop some of their informing, advising and guiding practices (prescribed in the Finnish Occupational Health Care Act) to reach and serve mobile multi-locational workers in distributed organizations and project groups. The goal of provision of information, advice and guidance is to improve and support employees’ knowledge and skills in matters concerning the healthiness and safety of the work. These issues affect not only individual employees’ behavior but also the overall well-being at work in their customer companies and organizations. The project focuses on studying new practices by using on-line coaching tool for healthcare professionals. The themes under study cover how to manage mobile and multi-locational work specific workload factors individually as well as collectively in distributed teams and organizations.

The project will be conducted in collaboration with Aalto University, Turku University of Applied Sciences and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. The research project is funded by the Finnish Work Environment Fund and partner organizations.

Contact information:

Doctoral student Johanna Koroma and prof. Matti Vartiainen
Tel. +358 50 435 8087

MatchDesign – Collaborative designs for value creation beyond boundaries (2015-2018)

The increasing dynamism, digitalization, and globalization of business challenges organizations to respond by creating new types of professional collaborations that are fluid and linked with customers and external partners. According to the latest research, as much as 70 % of inter-organizational partnerships fail to meet their objectives. Similar numbers have been estimated for global teams alike. Yet, researchers have paid scant attention to the design of intellectual capital to manage the demands of boundary-spanning collaborations.

MatchDesign project aims to unravel how the 30% – 40% of organizations who succeed in boundary-spanning design their intellectual capital for value-creating collaboration with partners, suppliers and/or customers. By utilizing different theoretical (international management, work psychology, and information systems) as well as methodological (qualitative, quantitative, and social network analysis) approaches, this research project will provide new theoretical understanding and applicable strategies, practices, and tools for practitioners’ use to develop boundary-spanning collaborations in global and inter-organizational settings.

Research partners:
Aalto School of Science: Emma Nordback (Project manager), Johanna Koroma, Niina Nurmi, Ph.D.
Aalto Business School: Professor Kristiina Mäkelä, Tuuli Hakkarainen
UC Berkeley: Brandi Pearce, Ph.D.
Santa Clara University: Professor Terri Griffith
American University: Professor Alberto Espinosa

Contact information:

Emma Nordbäck

phone: 050-5677-528


POP-UP Knowledge work productivity research project
Social media: #PopUpResearch

The goal of the project is to create new research information and practical solutions to solve the productivity and wellbeing crisis of the current work life. The unit of analysis is human doing knowledge work in a physical, virtual, social, and emotional dimensions of a work environment. Aalto researcher concentrate on developing LifeScope methodology that has a role in measuring changes in the daily working life. LifeScope methodology utilizes mobile sensors and smartphones to better capture the relevant data. Vigofere Oy provides their product Mood Metric (a ring & an app) to be used in the project. The project also utilizes a POP-UP method developed in Tampere University of Technology to study and develop company partners. The method allows fast iterations of experimenting of changes in the practices and habits of workers and measuring the productivity and wellbeing effects of those interventions.

The developed concept is utilizable in many environments bringing the impact of the results significant. The project combines expertise and experience of relevant fields to solve problems central to Finland’s economy in a way that is repeatable also after the project.

Tekes funds this project in cooperation with the universities. The project is scheduled to run 1.1.2015-31.12.2016. The researcher consortium is multidisciplinary consisting of researchers from Performance Management team, Human-Centered Technology unit, and the Department of Architecture from Tampere University of Technology; and the Virtual and Mobile Work Research Unit from Aalto University.

The companies participating in the project are: Arkkitehtitoimisto Helamaa & Heiskanen Oy, Suomen Yliopistokiinteistöt Oy, Tampereen kaupunkiseudun elinkeino- ja kehitysyhtiö Tredea Oy, Martela Oy, and Vigofere Oy.

Contact to:

Ph.D. Student Eero Palomäki,

tel. +358-40-5654024



Smart and Flexible Work and Living in Metropolitan Areas (2013-2015) – CityWorkLife

As globalization, ICT development and environmental issues have increased the needs and enabled new types of work arrangements they have also multiplied the number of work locations. Public spaces (e.g. coffee houses, libraries), telecenters, and private homes have become common places of work. The project focuses on these new workspaces to develop flexible working and living in metropolitan areas. We explore how employees as citizens mix and melt work and living in and out of the ‘main office’, and how places and technologies integrate into working and living practices. We examine the other ways and places of work both from the perspective of organizations, supervisors, work groups, and employees as well as from the point of view of urban planning. The main goals of the project are: 1) to study different public and private places as flexible work environments and 2) to explore organizational, leadership and employee perspectives on flexible work in detail. Project’s partner organizations include TeliaSonera Finland, Finnair, Helsinki City Library, Workspace, Café Köket and Regus Finland.

The project will be conducted in collaboration with Aalto UniversityUniversity of California Santa Barbara and Santa Clara University. The research project is funded by Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation and partner organizations.

Contact information:

Dr. Anu Sivunen

tel. +358-40-7354279


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