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Meet our visitor, Professor Anja Olafsen

We are thrilled to introduce Professor Anja Olafsen, a Professor in Management and Motivation at the University of South-Eastern Norway’s School of Business. She visited us as part of her 10-month research sabbatical and is currently collaborating with our John Curtin Distinguished Professor Marylene Gagne.

Read on to learn more about her background, experiences, and the highlights of her visit.

⭐️Tell me a bit about yourself?

I am from Norway, where I work as a Professor in Management and Motivation and lead the research group on Work Motivation and Optimal Functioning at the University of South-Eastern Norway’s School of Business. In Norway, I live in a small town called Hønefoss with my partner and our two young children.

⭐️What are you doing at CTWD / FOWI?

I am working with Marylene on a work package in one of my grants from the Norwegian Research Council, focusing on the topics of compensation and motivation. While I am here, I am also working on other parts of my grants, focusing on work design, motivation, and employee well-being, one of the grants being in the context of remote work. The environment and focus at FOWI is a perfect fit for these topics. I am very happy to have the opportunity to meet other researchers with similar research interests, take part in the different activities at FOWI, and get a change of scenery (both in terms of work and country 😊)

⭐️ How did you find the experience?


FOWI is a friendly and unique research environment, and I am having a very nice time here. And of course, the experience is even better when you add the impeccable climate (read: warm and sunny) and many places and things to explore in Perth and Australia.


⭐️ What was the highlight of your visit?

Workwise the highlights have been getting to know the people of FOWI and the many international visitors that have been here at the same time as me (although not as long as me!), take part in the various activities and learning opportunities, as well as just seeing what FOWI is all about and how you work. It has definitely given me inspiration that I will take back home and has resulted in new research collaborations that will continue on after I leave. Outside work, my family and I have had many trips around Australia and really gotten to spend quality time together. Having had the opportunity to explore more of Australia together with my kids has created memories for a lifetime.

⭐️What does the future of work look like to you?

Some of the keywords to the describe the future of work would be uncertainty and rapid changes, often a result of increasingly advanced technology. As a timely example, the release of ChatGPT and similar tools have suddenly made AI very real for many people. This carries both opportunities and challenges that we need to understand better, and as such many opportunities for us as researchers to help navigate this changing future of work.

⭐️If you were a book or a movie, what would it be?

I really have no idea!

⭐️One thing not many people know about you?

Two of my passions are travel and food, often in combination. I love to bring food inspiration from places I visit back home to create new dishes in my own kitchen and do a nice wine pairing. My trips around Western Australia have taught me more about Australian food and, especially, wine 😊


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