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One drastic change that has been established in many organizations is the possibility of location-independent work. However, working remotely also creates distinct challenges that organizations must face. Thus, remote work could lead to a decrease in social interactions and therefore less implicit knowledge exchange in teams. However, informal conversations are crucial for building and maintaining team cohesion as well as experience transfer among employees. To address this problem, we apply a design science research approach to examine how a virtual world as a work environment could help to overcome those challenges within our research group. We designed a prototype of a virtual world that is based on knowledge gained from three design thinking workshops and tested it over four weeks in a real-world work case. Furthermore, we conducted 16 interviews with employees and present our initial findings of the effects on group awareness, social identity, IT identity, trust, and acceptance.



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