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Future of Work: research resources

Getting Started!

Read widely, skimming off the tops of information surfaces, with the intention of creating your own "big picture" visual.  Here is an example:


Select one or two pieces of the visual and tap into vital details on the topic using the online library's resources, such as the Business Source Complete collection.  Combine the pieces, if you like.  (examples: remote work and pandemic, soft skills and gender)  Avail yourself of different database search features.  In this example, employ the "short article searching" technique to easily snap into an idea or topic.  By sifting only those articles that have fewer pages, you will get to the heart of the topic quickly and efficiently.  Here are some representative article titles:

Best practices for working remotely

Five nonobvious remote work techniques

Answering 7 questions about remote work

Here is the "short article searching" hack.



Tease out numerical/statistical data from your search results by selecting format representations that easily capture this type of data in a published article.  Using the advanced search features, narrow your search by focusing on articles with charts, graphs, etc.



As you find a few promising articles, use the subject headings in the article records to enhance your search.  Subject headings (controlled vocabulary) try to capture the salient themes of an information source.  Unlike keywords/descriptive words, subject headings do not waiver, and are applied in a consistent manner across the entire collection (database).


As you search, it may be the case that you find hundreds of potentially useful articles.  Skim article abstracts/summaries (found in the article records) to narrow the field of potentially useful articles.  Occasionally, the abstracts may point to other relevant sources.  Indeed, within the article itself, the author(s) may refer to additional relevant sources that you may want to have a look at. Not to be forgotten, the reference lists in peer-reviewed sources are good places to "data-mine" for further information.

Below is a segment from the Global State of Remote Work 2018 article, pulled from the Business Source Complete collection.

Use the library's online collections or the Internet to source this survey, and potentially more recent surveys.  Below is a chart drawn from the 2020 covid edition of the survey.


Add a Canadian focus to your research by taking advantage of the "geography" field in your next collection (database) search.  Here's how:

A snapshot from the, More than half of Canada's workers fear returning to the office, article.

Here is a segment from KPMG's website on this subject.


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