Development of a design approachof decentralized workplace concepts using SME-specific management tools

The aim of the research project 'DecentraLEAD' is to enable SMEs to successfully manage decentralized workplace concepts for cognitive professions.

Initial situation

During the pandemic, entire professional groups worked from home. The exceptional situation has shown us that in order to achieve a high degree of efficiency and effectiveness, not everyone has to be on site all the time. The reduction of presence times in the company and the lack of personal exchange with colleagues and superiors place new, unprecedented demands on management. Professions that primarily involve cognitive activities with a focus on the exchange and processing of information - also referred to as 'informational professions' - offer potential for location-independent, decentralized working.

Solution approach

At the beginning, requirements for decentralized work and existing management tools are identified. Based on the analysis of the current situation and the requirements, the design fields of management tools are derived. Measures for the prevention of negative impact relationships are derived by determining the impact relationships of the design fields. For practical implementation, the concrete selection of suitable management instruments is made possible.

Expected result

To enable SMEs across industries to successfully manage decentralized workplace concepts for informational professions, both informal design fields such as culture and employee development and formal design fields such as bonus and incentive systems are taken into account. For the concrete selection of suitable management tools, a roadmap as well as a construction kit will be developed.

Benefits for the target group

The development of the concepts takes place in close cooperation with the project-supporting committee, consisting of cross-sector industrial companies. Various formats are used to facilitate exchange, focusing on practical challenges and learning from best-practice solutions.


  • Research and Development

Topic Area

  • Business Transformation

Research Focus

  • Digital Leadership

FIR Navigator

  • Transformation Management
  • JRF Guiding Topic

    • Society & Digitization
    • Industry & Environment


    Funding no.
    22844 N
    Funding information

    The IGF project 22844 N of the Research Association FIR e. V. at RWTH Aachen University, Campus-Boulevard 55, 52074 Aachen, is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) via the AiF within the framework of the program for the promotion of joint industrial research (IGF) on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.