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?

The term New Work goes back to the social philosopher Frithjof Bergmann, who dealt with the philosophical question of the meaning of work and the human desire for freedom. Today, New Work is associated with a fundamental change in the world of work and a breaking up of old structures.
Bergmann came to the conclusion that in future the employee must be placed at the centre of attention. When people see a meaning in their work and feel that their wishes and achievements are valued, they are more satisfied, more productive and, as a result, more successful in what they do.

Components of the New Work concepts

The concept focuses on six fundamental factors that derive from classical structures in the world of work, but reinterpret them:
  • Flexibility
  • flat hierarchies
  • Agility
  • Digitalisation and
  • Individuality is combined with
  • new office concepts
in the working environment.


Flexibility in the structure does not only stand for flexible working hours that accommodate employees' lifestyles, but also for variable work locations and workplaces that enable effective work as well as quick adaptation to new situations.

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.

Flat hierarchies

The New Work also includes replacing traditional management structures. The New Work is based on a modern, democratic management culture that uses short decision-making processes to promote trusting cooperation with employees at eye level.
The cooperation at eye level follows the approach "The best idea wins". For this, it is not decisive whether the idea or the suggestion for improvement comes from the trainee or the managing director. What is decisive is only what leads to the best result. This approach not only contributes to the company's success, but also has positive effects on the employees in the form of participation and appreciation.


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.

The importance of agile processes also became apparent during the Corona period. Companies that had already positioned themselves more agilely in the past had a clear competitive advantage over others, while companies with rigid structures were in danger of losing out.


Successful digitalisation is one of the most important prerequisites for the success of new working models. Offering smart technology is only the basis for the digital transformation of the entire organisation.
A digital infrastructure enables employees to access data and documents at any time and from any location. In addition, there are suitable tools to communicate and collaborate regardless of location.

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.


The New Work allows employees to bring their commitment and talents into the world of work in a completely new context. Instead of just receiving orders, learning and performance goals are independently co-determined and employees are actively involved in strategy development and work process optimisation. Mutual learning in the team as well as cross-team activities are supported by open communication.
More responsibility for and trust in the employees are elementary building blocks that lead to more freedom for the individual. As a result, the intrinsic motivation of employees increases, which leads to higher productivity and thus positive effects for the company.

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.

The classic office landscape with individual or open-plan offices has had its day in the age of New Work. If distributed working becomes the norm, employees will in future choose the location that is best suited to their respective tasks and daily planning. As a result, the office will become a multispace. This enables concentrated work, offers not only space but also the right equipment for creative exchange, and promotes collaboration.

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.

We will be happy to advise you on equipping your hybrid workspaces.
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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.
To achieve this, it is important to involve all employees in the decision-making process at all times. A system that is only dictated from above is doomed to failure from the start. Only when New Work is lived by all participants on a daily basis can it succeed. Simply redesigning the office and relying on digital tools can therefore only be the first step. Only the interplay between the people involved, the organisation and the digital possibilities can make New Work a success for your company.
Often, the support of external experts can facilitate the introduction of the New Work concept. Many agencies specialise in providing employees and managers with the knowledge and tools they need for their daily work. As an expert in office equipment and management, Lendis supports you in making your workspaces fit for the future of work.
Lendis is an expert for office and home office.
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