Arja Ala-Laurinaho, Marja Känsälä, Mari Järvinen, Hilkka Ylisassi & Seppo Tuomivaara
Jurka Rahikkala & Pekka Perälä
Mikko Ämmälä & Jari Partanen
Bittium Wireless Oy
Keywords: agile, experimental, well-being at work
Well-being at work is a less researched angle of studying agile production concepts. In order to achieve sustainable productivity and growth – in addition to speed, quality and user/customer needs – well-being of employees must be taken into account as well. Experimental and agile ways of working bear much potential for more meaningful and fluent work as well as minimizing of unnecessary work. However, short release cycles and continuous, proactive reacting to customer needs may cause extra strain and work load. How do experimental, agile ways of working affect well-being at work? We investigated connections of experimental and agile ways of working on wellbeing at work, especially on motivation, commitment and job aspiration as well as stress and work load in two companies. We used interviews (13) and surveys (26 respondents, response rate 54%) as a data. The case companies represent innovative companies in the front line of digitalised services, products and processes. The research is part of DIGILE’s Need for Speed (N4S) program on Finnish software intensive companies in digital economy, funded partly by Tekes. The results show that characteristics of experimental and agile ways of working are positively correlated with motivation and job aspiration, as well as with an increase in the utilization of new ideas and innovations. On the other hand, especially at the end of release cycle, work load and stress are on a higher level. However, agile methods even out the pressure during work periods and make it possible to reach goals (getting things done) more frequently. Thus, advancing experimental and agile way of working generate sources and potentials for well-being at work.