Welcome to the New Way of Work
Buzz words and expressions like New Work, Flex Work, the Future of Work are ubiquitous. But what exactly do they refer to?
We have attempted at outlining our vision of what the future work life is going to look like. For some of us, this is already reality whilst others are still waiting for circumstances and external factors to make it happen. In any case, we strongly believe that our work environment is going to change, and we are going to explain you how.
1. Towards a more digital world
Okay, fair enough, digitalization is nothing that new really. We have heard, discussed and read about it in the past two decades at least. Still, especially the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend and even more jobs benefitted from increased digitalization in the last year. It is simply no longer necessary to physically show up in the same office building every day!
2. Towards a more flexible work-life balance
Seriously, who hasn’t done their washing during a day of home office. Or a quick run to the supermarket in the afternoon because you were missing some ingredient for dinner (or chocolate). And that’s completely okay! We are sure that 9-to-5 working days will, at some point, be a matter of the past. It is all about working where and when you are most productive.
3. Gen-Z needs
With Gen Z joining the workforce, their needs and requests towards their employers play an increasing role in designing the work day of the future. So what exactly are those needs? As we see it, Gen Z employees are looking for meaning in their work. In addition, a strong work-life balance, positive relationships, transparency and open communication are crucial to attracting and retaining this growing segment of the workforce.
4. New Leadership
New Work also means New Leadership. Flexible work structures require agile working and leadership methods, empathy, trust and good relationships. Today’s (and tomorrow’s) leaders ought to be capable of empowering their employees, providing them with responsibilities and opportunities to show themselves responsible likewise.
5. New Work Locations
In the future, working from somewhere else than traditional offices will be the New Normal. Be it working from home, using coworking spaces or coworking cafés, travelling the world as a digital nomad, practicing coworking and -living or in any other form, we are convinced that the spots where we open (and close) our laptops will be more diverse than they are now. Flex Work also implies that these forms may be mixed and matched just like frozen yoghurt toppings!
6. Change, change, change (& more change)
We don’t see the future of work as something we will one day achieve and retain. On the contrary, the concept is inherently flexible and continues to change all the time. One variable will be people themselves: through continuous development, strengths are fostered, and weaknesses are worked on. Training and development will be increasingly important. Furthermore, external variables such as workplace environment, digital tools, work processes etc. will continue to develop and change.
It all points towards a new reality of work. But what do we mean by New Work?
New Work – A definition
The expression “New Work” was introduced by Frithjof Bergmann in the late 70ies. Prof. Dr. Bergmann, an Austrian-American social philosopher, aimed at describing the structural change in our working world.
Today, the term New Work includes all changes in this realm, ranging from job elimination due to process automation to new opportunities thanks to digitalization and flex work. Every company faces different challenges related to New Work, depending on their customers, competitors, products or services, employees, work processes – but also their own attitude towards the future of work.
Many companies already undergo changes in order to become a future-proof employer, others are only starting todo so. Some are miles away from what we would call a flex work environment, some are very close. But wherever you might be, we believe that New Work is first of all about the mindset that at the core of success, there are employees. In order to find, hire and retain the best ones, it is an opportunity and challenge likewise to change towards New Work.