Brief description

The overall objective of the project is to counteract the rural exodus in Germany by improving the employment opportunities for knowledge workers in rural areas. This goal is to be achieved by offering knowledge workers an opportunity to do their work not only at a permanent workplace in a large city, but also to carry out this activity in a rural region, for example at home. For this purpose, the project will develop an open ecosystem platform with the integration of smart services, which enables the work of so-called distributed teams (VT). A Distributed Team is characterized by the fact that its members work together from different locations. In this project we are dealing with Distributed Teams with digitally supported collaboration, also called "digital teams".

In the project, ITA is specifically concerned with the ergonomic support of the project plan: The successful work of distributed teams is not only ensured by a purely technical support, but also by an ergonomic design of the technology used and the organisation of the cooperation. This concerns the formation of a team, the building of trust, the work motivation and satisfaction of the team members, the effectiveness of leadership, the cooperation within the team and necessary competence development processes. Furthermore, depending on the type of team, the integration into the organization of the company to which the team belongs must be designed: Questions such as identification with the organization, exchange with colleagues who are not part of the team, knowledge about information or changes in the organization or regular exchange with superiors play a role here. The task of the ITA is thus to integrate the occupational science perspective into the overall project and to take these design components into account in the conception of the intended ecosystem platform, its testing and evaluation.

Methodological approach

Prior to the development of the ecosystem platform, a comprehensive analysis (literature research, roadshows, user survey) will identify requirements that must be taken into account when designing the platform. These requirements will significantly determine the development of the platform. In the course of this, agile techniques (e.g. Design Thinking, Scrum) will be used. After an initial development phase, the platform will be tested in practice by application partners who will be selected on the basis of a scientifically based case study design. This is to ensure that a variety of different forms of digital teams are represented and that comprehensive findings are obtained accordingly. The platform will be evaluated using different approaches of classical social research and will be further developed during the course of the project. In addition to guideline-based interviews and standardised surveys (e.g. different questionnaires such as team climate, job satisfaction, motivation) in workshop sequences, data will be analysed that are available through the platform to be developed and thus on the basis of networked systems. These will enable statements to be made about the quality of the teams' work over a longer period of time (e.g. regarding productivity, user behaviour, work techniques).

More information about the project will be available soon at

Project title

Digital Teams

Duration: 01.04.2018 – 31.03.2021

Project partners

  • Institute for Technology and Work (ITA) e.V.
  • INSIDERS Technologies GmbH (Kaiserslautern, Konsortialführer)
  • Fraunhofer IESE (Experimentelles Software Engineering) (Kaiserslautern)
  • Microsoft Deutschland GmbH (München)
  • AviloX GmbH (Leipzig)


The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy as part of the Smart Service World II technology program. The sub-project of the ITA runs under the funding code 01MD18007D.

Contact person

Dr. Regina Osranek