Call for Papers for the Human–Computer Interaction Journal
Special Issue on The Future of Remote Work: Responses to the Pandemic
Special Issue Editors:
University of New Hampshire
University of California, Irvine
The coronavirus pandemic has significantly disrupted information work
across the globe. The rapid and prolonged shift to remote work from home is
producing transformational change that will undoubtedly have long-term
implications. The new reality of distributed information work challenges
and inspires us to revolutionize our work practices and technologies to
support the sustainable and robust distribution of people, resources, and
There is an urgent need for the research community to come together to
address the challenges to productivity, wellbeing, and society that people
and organizations are facing. The goal of this special issue on The New
Future of Work is to provide a forum to explore where we have come from and
to suggest where we should go, if we are to meet these challenges. The
issue will showcase timely and novel research on currently disrupted or
evolving work practices, to reflect on how past findings shed light on the
current situation, and to prepare for a world in which work may be done
We seek two kinds of contributions
Novel research: Recently completed research (including findings, design
concepts, or prototypes) about work relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. This
research should be original and should involve data directly drawn from or
highly relevant to the changed global work situation arising from COVID-19.
Position statements: Overviews that explore how prior research is relevant
to, or might be tested in the light of, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contributions should include clear calls to action for research,
development, or policy. Given the publication of this special issue in mid
2021, authors should ensure that their contribution identifies important
long term issues and recommendations.
We encourage submissions on topics related to the impact of the current
global work situation on distributed information work and technologies,
including but not limited to:
Accessibility and inclusion: How might work be affected for populations
that have specific assistive requirements or those that have limited access
to digital services?
Attention: In an already attention-strained world of work, what new
challenges arise from hybrid and remote attempts to enable both focused and
peripheral attention on one’s own tasks, work, and goals, and those of
one’s group, colleagues, and social network?
Employment, including hiring, onboarding, management, and freelancing: How
might both digital and physical services offer new possibilities for
employment, and what challenges will be faced?
Fairness, accountability, transparency, and ethics: How might AI assist
users and offer enhanced insights for both hybrid and remote work,
balancing the need for efficiency and exploration with fairness and
sensitivity to users? How might intelligent agents provide trusted support
for individuals and organisations?
Managing hybrid and all-remote teams: What special challenges and
opportunities might arise to change the nature of management of
differentially-distributed teams? How do we facilitate distributed social
connection and overcome isolation?
Media and social media influence: How is the new future of work described
and made visible in traditional and social media, and what impact might
that have on work and wellbeing?
Hybrid and fully remote meetings, and events: How will the differential
distribution of people and resources change the way in which live
engagement operates, from one-on-one to large events? What disruptive
technologies are needed to ensure that remote participants in hybrid
scenarios are included? What opportunity and challenges arise in a range of
real-time meeting technologies, from traditional video-mediated
collaboration to new virtual, mixed, and cross-reality systems? How might
they be made robust enough to cope with dramatic changes in usage numbers?
Physical workspaces: How might physical workspaces be redesigned to cope
with both a range of ‘new normal’ outcomes but also be ready for
Privacy and security: What new privacy and security needs arise from
differentially-distributed workers and resources?
Productivity within and across work roles and domains: How well do we
understand productivity and how to measure it? What opportunities exist to
redefine productivity from received models and theories? Do we need to
reinterpret wellbeing and work-life balance, especially in ways that
encompass periods of dramatic change?
Societal implications and confounding factors: What are the wider societal
implications for technological changes proposed to cope with both ‘new
normal’ and emergency conditions of work? What new forms of public policy
related to hybrid and remote work need to be developed?
We encourage submissions from a variety of fields with a clear and relevant
link to distributed information work and technologies, including but not
* Computer Supported Cooperative Work
* Data and Information Sciences
* Design Research
* Human-Centered AI
* Human-Computer Interaction
* Human Geography
* Machine Learning
* Management and Organisational Sciences
* Privacy and Security
* Short Proposals due: 28th September 2020
* Response to authors: 19th October 2020 (3 week turn-around)
* Full papers due: 10th January 2021 (2.5 month turn-around)
* Reviews to authors: 10th April 2021 (3 month turn-around)
* Revised papers due: 10th June 2021 (2 month turn-around)
* Reviews to authors: 10th August 2021 (2 month turn-around)
* Final papers due: 10th September 2021 (1 month turn-around)
Submission of Proposals
To help authors find a good fit, we will solicit proposals. Proposals
should be about 1000 words and provide a clear indication of what the paper
is about. Please use the template provided (available at
https://bit.ly/2DCaTpp or https://bit.ly/3kl4UG8). Proposals will be
evaluated for relevance to the special issue theme, and feedback will be
given. Both proposal and full paper submissions should be submitted to the
HCI Editorial site (mc.manuscriptcentral.com/hci). Follow the guidelines
and instructions for submissions on the site. There is a place on the
submission site to note that your submission is for the special issue.
Full paper Special Issue submissions will be peer reviewed to the usual
standards of the HCI journal.
For questions about the special issue, please send mail to
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Scott Carter, PhD
HCIJ Administrative Editor
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