The Future of Work: Using Information Technology to Work Smarter – iSchool


As we explore our series on the future of work, we look at the projects of four professors from the School of Information Studies. Workplaces have always evolved, but with the advent of new technologies and the pressures of a global pandemic, these changes have accelerated exponentially.

The School of Information Studies has four faculty who are determined to get ahead of the inevitable paradigm shifts and help workers gracefully step out of traditions and conventional workplace designs and confidently enter the work environments of the future.

Are you looking for a program that allows you to study the future of work? Discover our undergraduate and graduate programs at iSchool.

In Process automation will liberate the knowledge of knowledge workers, we present the work of Professor Kevin Crowston and his team. Crowston’s curiosity led him to secure funding to study ways to optimize process automation in knowledge-based industries. This project will lead to new ways to use process automation and machine learning to complement the efforts of professional thinkers.

The honeymoon phase of human and machine courtship highlights professors Carsten Østerlund and Ingrid Erickson and their work to better understand the true nature and potential future of the relationship between human workers and machine learning technologies. They explore the characteristics and benefits of symbiotic connections between humans and machines.

Data Collection, Privacy, and Ownership in a New Digital Workplace presents the intersection of work between Professors Østerlund and Crowston. Here we examine the implications of collecting, protecting, and responsible use of large amounts of employee data for the benefit of all stakeholders. Instead of using data analytics to create punitive work environments, these professors seek to use data to improve systems and conditions for employees.

In Measure the productivity of an invisible workforce, we revisit Professor Erickson. This project focuses more on the social aspects of the changing working environment. As organizational culture and a sense of work community become increasingly important facets of overall job quality and satisfaction, Professors Erickson and Sawyer explore the future of work through a social lens.


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