What is New Work?

New Work is on the tip of everyone’s tongue and in recent years it has become the epitome of a completely new understanding of work. But what exactly is meant by New Work – there are still very different ideas about this. Some people think of New Work as a new chic office with designer furniture, high-tech equipment and a roof terrace. Others associate New Work with a completely new mindset, which is reflected in a changed work culture and a new way of working together. But some are also convinced that New Work is nothing more than a buzzword describing a passing trend. So where does the truth lie?

So that you don’t lose your way in this New Work jungle, we would like to share our knowledge and experience with you.

Where does the New Work trend come from?

As early as the mid-1980s, social philosopher and later founder of the New Work movement Frithjof Bergmann was intensively concerned with the question of “human freedom”. He recognised the effects of our economic system, which is designed to maximise profits, on people and the world of work. Nothing seemed to make people feel less free than work: rigid hierarchies, fixed working hours, predetermined processes and bleak working environments. Dissatisfied and unmotivated employees who increasingly questioned the meaningfulness of their work was a consequence of this work system. Bergmann was certain that three values have a particularly great influence on people’s satisfaction and motivation: first of all, personal freedom – more precisely, freedom of decision and action; secondly, the meaningfulness of the activity and thus transparent strategies and goals; and finally, people’s participation in design and development processes.

With his New Work movement, Bergmann initiated a practical realisation of his theoretical considerations, which numerous consultancies and think tanks continued. Today, New Work is the collective term for a human-centred understanding of work in times of globalisation and digitalisation. Reinforced by the Corona pandemic, New Work has currently established itself as one of the driving forces of change in our society and the economy. The question of how and where we will work in the future is now the focus of many companies.

Why is New Work important?

One of the most important goals of New Work is loyalty and the recruitment of good professionals. Generations Y and Z, for example, are no longer exlusevily motivated by money and status. They want a workplace where they can develop personally and professionally, constantly grow and be appreciated. In addition, an attractive working environment and state-of-the-art technology are decisive for these generations when choosing an employer. Properly implemented, New Work therefore represents a win-win situation for companies and employees.

New Work also plays a major role in the area of innovation. Companies that promote freedom, personal responsibility, flexibility and a climate of new thinking can establish a genuine culture of innovation. Of course, here, too, spaces and technologies should optimally support this new work culture and the processes that have changed with it.

Another important goal of New Work is sustainable, ecologically and socially responsible management. This includes both sustainable office design and equipment as well as an overall ecological office operation, technological aspects and also flexible and agile working methods and processes.

How can New Work be successfully realised?

Since the needs and realities of employees’ lives and external influences are constantly changing, New Work is not a final state. Rather, New Work is an ongoing process in which the understanding of work and cooperation should be constantly put to the test.

In order to successfully implement New Work in a company, many aspects must be taken into account and the working world must be thought of holistically. This ranges from organisational structures and processes, work culture and leadership, space and technology to new forms of collaboration. At workingwell, we summarise these aspects in four essential areas: Space, Culture, Technology and Services. And we are convinced that when people’s needs and requirements are taken into account, they are in a perfect flow that makes them productive and satisfied.
In terms of space, for example, this means a feel-good atmosphere, a diverse range of workplaces to meet the different needs of employees and a modern design that inspires and stimulates creativity. In terms of work culture, appreciation, trust and freedom of decision are an important foundation that is lived out in cooperation and leadership. Technologies and tools should support work perfectly – be intuitive and functional. A good service offer can additionally support people in their everyday work – with healthy food, fitness and wellbeing offers or services that take the pressure off work and private life.

Conclusion: Change should take place as synchronised as possible at all levels – this also applies to the corporate strategy, structures and processes. A change process should be embedded in the corporate strategy, because this determines the direction and the degree of change. A stringent orientation towards the corporate strategy and a common vision is important so that employees can understand how they can contribute to the success of the company.

What do we do as New Work consultants?

Whether in agile project support or comprehensive, long-term consulting: we help companies to develop, accompany, realise and anchor sustainable workplace strategies and New Work concepts in the company.

We always put the people in the company at the centre of our thoughts and actions and create a good understanding and acceptance for the change project through constant support, active involvement and empowerment of employees and managers.

Because we believe that satisfied, motivated and highly productive employees are the key to long-term corporate success.

As a New Work consultancy, we provide you with concrete support:

  • Translate important trends, developments and learnings, including from the Corona crisis, into new requirements for your workplace strategy. We identify the right measures and integrate them into existing strategies, concepts and plans.
  • To understand how the integration of home office and hybrid working will affect the way you work together in the short and long term.
  • To review the current and future function of your offices and outline potential implications for space requirements, space utilisation and requirements for planning and fit-out.
  • To make recommendations on long-term real estate strategy based on the findings on collaboration, space requirements and use (central office versus satellite offices and/or co-working), if required
  • Review current technologies, tools and digital channels for communication, exchange and collaboration – with the aim of optimising them for the hybrid work situation
  • Identify measures and tools to strengthen team cohesion and identification in the company
  • Establish a healthy working environment that takes into account and promotes the physical and mental health of employees
  • To coach managers who want to learn and anchor an understanding of leadership and new competences adapted to the hybrid working world
  • To accompany change processes within the framework of communication and change management measures and to initiate cultural change

Inform yourself now about our benefits, processes & innovative Solutions.

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