For their research into the effects of unfinished tasks, Prof. Dr. Christine Syrek and Dr. Oliver Weigelt were awarded the Innovation Prize at the AOW annual conference on 27 September 2019 in Braunschweig. AOW, a German workgroup on work, organizational and business psychology, honours individuals for outstanding achievements in this field. These projects pursue new models or methods and promote innovative solutions to practical and social challenges. The AOW Innovation Prize has an endowment of EUR 2,000.
Syrek and Weigelt have carried out a series of studies on the old research topic of unfinished tasks to reimagine work in the 21st century. "Modern psychology has been studying the concept of unfinished tasks from the start," explains Prof. Dr. Christine Syrek. What's new however, is the increasing flexibility, which erases boundaries between work and free time. Syrek continues: "In our series, we studied the extent to which unfinished tasks interfere with weekend recovery and how this effect can be explained or reduced." "We also studied whether unfinished tasks produce more work in our free time and whether it might even make sense to finish them on the weekends," adds Weigelt. Finally, Syrek and Weigelt studied the effect of unfinished work or private tasks on our well-being prior to a vacation, especially before Christmas.