New Work: Idea, Concepts & Tips
New Work has been a frequently quoted term not only since today. For supporters of the concept, New Work brings the long-needed change towards a modern working world. For sceptics, it is just another theory whose approaches do not stand up to practice. With the outbreak of the Corona crisis in 2020, many approaches of the New Work concept suddenly became reality. Since then, the question of how we will work in the future has been discussed more intensively than ever. Many see the current phase as the time when New Work will finally be implemented across the board. So what exactly is behind the term?
What does New Work mean?
Components of the New Work concepts
- flat hierarchies
- Digitalisation and
- Individuality is combined with
- new office concepts
Due to the Corona crisis, the topic of flexibility gained enormous importance when numerous companies had to send their employees to home offices. While in some companies, such as start-ups and tech companies, location- and time-independent remote work was already the order of the day before the crisis, others were faced with the huge challenge of implementing decentralised working in their organisation from one day to the next. The benefits of flexible working soon became apparent, while many of the fears proved unfounded.
The discussion on how flexibility in the company can be made possible for employees is currently being discussed under the term "hybrid work". From the point of view of both employees and employers, there will no longer be a return to the status quo that existed before the crisis. Various studies show that the majority want more flexibility at work in the future. Nevertheless, most companies are still searching for the right hybrid model for their organisation.
The world is in a state of permanent and ever faster change. This applies not least to the economy. Companies must therefore be able to react quickly to new and/or unforeseen requirements. Agility involves redesigning structures and work processes to make them adaptable for the future. Technological progress and digitalisation are the drivers of change on the one hand, but also form the basis for more agile ways of working.
One factor that is often underestimated is digital competence. Only if employees are enabled to deal productively and efficiently with technology and applications can digitalisation succeed.
New office concepts
A new way of working also changes the demands on the working environment. Besides flexibility, the design of the office of the future is the second essential aspect of the debate on hybrid work.
At the same time, home offices, workstations and variable workplaces complemented by free time management ensure a good work-life balance, which makes employees more satisfied and motivated.
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What are the main advantages and disadvantages of New Work?
The major benefits for companies include not only improved teamwork, indirect training of employees in new subject areas and increased satisfaction, which brings lower absenteeism and more motivation, but also the performance strength and speed with which upcoming demands are dealt with in daily work with customers, projects and work assignments.
The new work structure only has disadvantages where strict hierarchies make it impossible to implement the necessary flexibility and short decision-making processes. The implementation also requires some preparation by the company, for example in the form of extended office equipment (modern technology, adaptable furniture in the office, creation of retreat areas and team workplaces in the company premises, etc.) and not least the necessary openness and willingness of the employees to see the new concept in the New Work culture as an opportunity for great changes.
How does the introduction of New Work succeed?
In many companies, the introduction of a New Work concept means a radical break with previous structures. Logically, change cannot be achieved overnight. Rather, the implementation requires
- careful planning
- Continuously checking the status and
- Regularly adapting and discarding approaches and processes.
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