New Work: Ideas, Concepts & Tips

New Work is a frequently cited term, and not just since today. For supporters of the concept, New Work brings the long-needed change towards a modern working world. For skeptics, it is just another theory whose approaches do not stand up to practice. With the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis in 2020, many approaches to 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 believe that the time has finally come in the current phase for New Work to 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 the breaking up of old structures.
Bergmann came to the conclusion that in future, the employee must be placed at the center of consideration. After all, when people see 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 traditional structures in the world of work, but reinterpret them:
  • Flexibility
  • flat hierarchies
  • Agility
  • Digitization and
  • Individuality with
  • new office concepts
in the working environment.


In the structure, flexibility not only means flexible working hours that accommodate employees' lifestyles, but also variable work locations and workplaces that enable effective work as well as rapid adaptation to new situations.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, the topic of flexibility became hugely important when numerous companies had to send their employees to work from home. 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 major challenge of implementing decentralized working in their organization from one day to the next. The benefits of flexible working soon became apparent, while many of the fears proved unfounded.

The discussion about the form in which flexibility can be made possible for employees in the company is currently being discussed under the term "hybrid work". Both employees and employers believe that 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 organization.

Flat hierarchies

New Work also involves replacing traditional management structures. New Work is based on a modern, democratic management culture that promotes trusting cooperation on an equal footing with employees through short decision-making processes.
Cooperation on an equal footing follows the "best idea wins" approach. It is not important whether the idea or suggestion for improvement comes from the intern or the managing director. The only decisive factor is what leads to the best result. This approach not only contributes to the company's success, but also has positive effects on employees in the form of participation and appreciation.


The world is in a state of permanent and ever faster change. This also applies 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 digitalization 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 coronavirus pandemic. Companies that had already become more agile in the past had a clear competitive advantage over others, while companies with rigid structures ran the risk of being left behind.


Successful digitalization is one of the most important prerequisites for the success of new working models. The provision of smart technology merely forms the basis for the digital transformation of the entire organization.
A digital infrastructure enables employees to access data and documents at any time and from any location. In addition, there are suitable tools for communicating and collaborating regardless of location.

One factor that is often underestimated is digital skills. Digitalization can only succeed if employees are enabled to use technology and applications productively and efficiently.


New Work allows employees to contribute their commitment and talents to the working world in a completely new context. Instead of just receiving orders, learning and performance targets are co-determined independently and employees are actively involved in strategy development and work process optimization. Mutual learning within the team and cross-team activities are supported by open communication.
Greater responsibility for and trust in employees are fundamental building blocks that lead to more freedom for the individual. As a result, the intrinsic motivation of employees increases, which leads to rising productivity and thus positive effects for the company.

New office concepts

A new way of working is also changing the demands on the working environment. Alongside flexibility, the design of the office of the future is the second key aspect of the hybrid work debate.

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 particular task and daily schedule. 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, working from home, workstations and variable workplaces supplemented by free time management ensure a good work-life balance, which makes employees happier and more 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 results in less absenteeism and more motivation, but also the performance and speed with which upcoming requirements are dealt with in day-to-day work with customers, projects and work assignments. 

The new working structure only has disadvantages where the necessary flexibility and short decision-making paths cannot be implemented due to strict hierarchies. The implementation also requires some preparation on the part of the company, for example in the form of extended office equipment (modern technology, adaptable furniture in the office, creation of retreat areas and team workstations in the company premises, etc.) and, last but not least, the necessary openness and willingness of 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 happen overnight. Rather, the implementation requires

  • Careful planning
  • continuous monitoring of the status and
  • Regular adaptation and rejection of approaches and processes.
To achieve this, it is important to involve all employees in decisions at all times. A system that is only dictated from above is doomed to failure from the outset. New Work can only succeed if it is lived by everyone involved on a daily basis. Simply redesigning the office and relying on digital tools can therefore only be the first step. Only the interaction between the people involved, the organization and the digital possibilities will make New Work a success for your company.
The support of external experts can often simplify the introduction of the New Work concept. Many agencies have specialized 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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