What is New Work and what are the implications?
Globalization and digitization expose the present way of working to structural changes concerning employee desires. Quality of life and individuality of individuals are increasingly prioritized, while the value placed on ones career tends to decline.
The concept of “new work” originates from the German social philosopher Prof. Dr. Frithjof Bergmann, who in the 1970s, focused primarily on the topic of “human freedom”. In the course of this, he determined that work restricts us the most, which is why he developed the basic principle of “New Work”. This concept is all about creating the most pleasant atmosphere possible for the employee in order to promote innovation, creativity, and productivity. As a result, co-working spaces, the possibility of a home office, and also self-employment are becoming increasingly important.
Management principles are also in reformation: Hierarchical management styles are increasingly rejected; instead, managers tend to act more sympathetically as coaches and facilitators, involving their employees in decisions at eye level and promoting their individual strengths.
In view of the prevailing shortage of skilled workers, New Work is more topical than ever. Flexibility in the workplace increases interest in the job and encourages greater commitment to professional growth and productivity.
New work ushers in an array of unprecedented employee needs, shifting values and preferences, and thereby impacting how companies should orient themselves. Aligning the organization’s identity with what is desired by the workforce fosters engagement and drives firm success.
At Glasford, we have identified the needs most relevant in the realm of new work. First and foremost, quality of life assumes increasing importance for most employees. This often compromises work dedication, as leisure time is seen as a vital component of an employee’s time. In addition, workers also strive for flexibility in their work flows, rather than having to follow strict orders. Closely linked is the value of freedom. In that regard, individuality is also on the rise. Employees want to be individually fostered and challenged — the focus is on self-fulfillment. The most popular concept is work life balance, having become a buzz word for most new work related topics. As a result, home office and co-working is gaining traction, along with flexibility of time and place, also fostering self-initiatives, inclusion, and the consideration of one’s health.
Home office has become very prominent in times of the Corona pandemic, and we saw the need to adapt our office space to this change. Home office has many benefits for employees, but also for employers, so why not make use of it? We don’t need as many desks anymore, since most people work from home, but when someone comes into the office, we want to make them feel welcome. Now we have a cozy corner where colleagues can comfortably sit and share ideas, and a nice cafeteria-like space where we can spend our breaks together. It’s not just about working together, it’s about being together.
Ulrich Ritter, Geschäftsführer
Author: Glasford International Deutschland