Below are details of the latest research that is being conducted by agiLab

Systematic Review examining differences between work-email and work-instant messaging\chat

There are a number of differences in design and use between work-email and work-instant messaging (aka channel-based messaging or chat) including the use of emojis, formality, and speed of response. This review will seek to categorise these differences and how they impact the perceptions of message recipients. Project lead: Marc Fullman

‘Flim-flam and padding’: Why people perpetrate uncivil email exchanges

A 3-part project with a large UK organisation has now come to a close. Using online surveys and in-depth interviews, we found that when people are (i) resource depleted – e.g. tired, busy, overloaded, lack of skills, knowledge and/or (ii) egoistic – e.g. believe their own work and standards are more important and should take priority, they are more likely to engage in uncivil exchanges. Project Lead: Emma Russell

Well-being and co-working hubs

In this ESRC-funded project (Digit Innovation Fund) we are researching why people are attracted to working in rural cowork hubs, what makes them stay, what makes them leave, and how membership of hubs impacts the local community, local economies and people’s well-being. The research is qualitative, involving interviews and discussion groups with cowork users and managers. Project Lead: Gary Bosworth; Co-I: Emma Russell and others

Virtual teamwork and well-being

Working in the international commercial sector, a funded two-stage project is underway. In stage 1, research partners in Spain have now completed interviews to understand more about the impact of virtual teamwork on well-being and performance. Stage 2 will begin around September and will involve daily surveys to capture how day-to-day teamwork impacts well-being, using themes emerging from stage 1. Project Leads: Petros Chamakiotis and Almudena Canibano; Co-I: Emma Russell

Does moving to a 4-day week create neurobiological changes for workers?

In this research, workers moving to a 4-day week on full pay are examined in terms of whether this change is associated with improved subjective changes to their work experience (lower stress, better engagement and satisfaction, etc.) and also in changes to neurobiological systems associated with stress and fatigue. MRI brain scanners are used to monitor, alongside surveys and time-use data over a 14-week period. Project Lead: Charlotte Rae (Sussex); Co-I: Sarah Garfinkel (Sussex); Emma Russell; Jessica Eccles (Sussex); Lisa Mullen (Sussex) and Gergios Tertikas (Sussex).

Is ‘problematic work-email use’ the reason why people can’t switch off?

In this 4-study programme of research, a scale for measuring problematic work-email use (PWEU: a compulsive and addictive form of behaviour) has been developed and validated. Subsequent studies examine if PWEU can predict why some people are resistant to interventions to improve or switch off from work-email use. Project Lead: Emma Russell; Co-I: Tom Jackson (Loughborough); Kevin Daniels (UEA); Carlo Tramontano (Coventry); RA: Marc Fullman

Remote4All: supporting neurodiverse and disabled workers in working from home
Understanding the agile working needs of lower-paid workers

In this ESRC Digit funded research project, workers with a range of disabilities and neurodiverse conditions (along with key stakeholders and support groups) are being interviewed about their experiences of working from home. We will be asking what have they found useful about working from home, and what have been their biggest challenges? How have employers and stakeholders provided support and what more is there to do? What resources do people with neurodiverse and disabled conditions need to facilitate and support this type of work in the future? Project Lead: Chris Grant (Coventry); Co-I: Maria Charalampous (Cyprus); Carlo Tramontano (Coventry); Emma Russell

This research, funded by NHS Employers, will be using qualitative methods to investigate how workers with lower socio-economic status (SES) have been impacted by agile working. These workers are often in lower paid, lower status roles, and a move to agile working for such groups has been under-explored. We will be interviewing low SES workers, giving voice to those affected, and will also be interviewing stakeholders and employers to understand what they perceive low SES workers’ resource needs to be. Project Lead: Emma Russell; co-I: Deepali Dmello; RA: Hannah Tibbutt

Working well from home: a best practice toolkit for business

This project has just been awarded HEIF funding. Working with project leaders in Psychology, this project involves local small-businesses. The aim is to understand concerns about how to make home working ‘work’ post Covid, and suggest a best-practice toolkit (and source of resources) to help small businesses manage this transition. Project Leads: Fran Meeten & Faith Orchard; Co-I’s: Emma Russell & Laura Chapman

agiLab project: Leading an agile workforce in the NHS

Sponsored by the NHS Leadership Academy, this research project aims to understand the different leadership needs of agile workers, and how to equip tomorrow’s leaders to manage an agile workforce. This is a qualitative study that will involve interviewing participants across different groups within the NHS. The intention is to use findings to feed into leadership training programmes within the NHS. Project Lead: Emma Russell; Co-I: Zahira Jaser

The agency delusion: A diary study examining why people employ or abandon control on their digital communication

In the first part of this multi-part project we found that workers employ different strategies in order to control the ‘always on’ nature of digital communication. The next phase of the study investigates factors that support workers to employ or abandon those strategies of control and how that may impact well-being and work-related outcomes. Project Lead: Deepali D’mello