New work as a mindset
Technical change , changed structures in organizations and a new mindset among employees are reinforcing the megatrend: We are talking about New Work.
It is a concept for a new world of work with more self-determination , greater freedom and the development of individual strength and passion . This includes changed cooperation , new leadership and setting and achieving corporate goals together.
New Work is more than the flexible workplace
If you have ever heard the term New Work or dealt with it superficially, you often think of flextime, home office or whiteboards and a table football game . But just because the office is equipped with supposed New Work utensils does not mean that you and your team are working “new”.
First and foremost, New Work happens in the mind . It is the mindset that changes – not directly the new working methods. Because the “new work” includes new values , necessary changes in everyday work and aids such as digital tools . The corona pandemic was the main driver in companies recently, as creative processes were necessary during this time in order to be able to continue working well.
1. What is new work?
You hear the term New Work quite often these days. Changed ways of working – completely the opposite of classic corporate structures – first came from Silicon Valley to attract public attention. Facebook led the way and many companies are now trying to organize their work in a more modern way .
New Work: Definition
New Work describes the structural change in the world of work that results from a new focus on people as well as digitization and globalization. And companies have to adapt to this change in order to be sustainable.
2. Values of New Work
The central values of New Work are characterized by more co-determination rights, freedom, independence and a better work-life balance , or rather work-life blending , i.e. the seamless merging of work and private life.
These requirements, demands and concepts are the leading drivers, especially in the so-called Generation Y. Companies that adapt their work structures or change their organization in the spirit of New Work are much more attractive to young professionals .
The human in the center
They no longer want to work rigidly and classically. They want more freedom , more personal responsibility and more opportunities to contribute and be creative . The new work breaks with conservative structures and becomes more flexible and digital . With New Work, the focus is on people. It is about aspects such as self-realization and constant further training.
Organizations are increasingly realizing that the demands of Generation Y can no longer be met by money or status. The consequences are high fluctuation and reduced productivity and innovative strength . Finding and keeping good employees is a major challenge. The solution: New work organization and working methods .
New Work not only changes the everyday work of employees – managers also need a new type of leadership or new leadership skills. Strict hierarchical management styles are no longer up to date and are being replaced by a culture of trust . The exclusive delegating falls away and is replaced by enabling personal responsibility and promoting the individual strengths of the team members.
Employees should contribute ideas, develop skills and passions – regardless of structural conditions such as a title or belonging to a department. The only decisive factors are interest and skills .
World of work 4.0 stands for the knowledge society
One of the most important factors of New Work is the change in society from an industrial to an information and knowledge society . The determining element is data and knowledge: about customers, orders, opportunities, relevance or earnings. Information has become a virtual raw material and drives big data and future technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The world of work 4.0 is more networked, global and data-oriented. However, the change to a knowledge-based society also means that knowledge must be continuously examined and expanded . The status quo is becoming ever more fast-moving and may already be outdated tomorrow. Nowadays, on the other hand, you need much more extensive skill profiles and a corresponding mindset.
Community and participation
Working together – also an important point in the New Work idea. According to the motto “Together we are stronger”, the community or the networks are of central importance. A community in which all knowledge is shared and everyone helps each other also has an effect on the feel -good factor in the company.
Work & compete together
Is Competition and collaboration mutually exclusive? No, they don’t necessarily have to. Ultimately, both offer added value for working together. A new kind of market relationship develops through the implicit cooperation and ongoing competition at the same time . These thoughts and attitudes must be anchored throughout the company so that “new work” becomes possible.
Competitive advantage New Work
In today’s time of constant change and technical possibilities, classic structures can often no longer keep up. New Work opens up a number of advantages for companies because it simply fits in better with the times:
- Increased productivity through more passion
- Higher employee retention
- More innovations
- Market advantage through customer-oriented service and continuously developing employees
- Increase in customer satisfaction
A conversion to alternative organizational structures is not only more attractive for the employees, but also offers the company competitive advantages . This creates a win-win situation for the organization and the employees.
Increased ability to innovate
Innovations – a strong word and very important for companies – especially for start-ups and founders . Above all, New Work should also make people think differently – get out of familiar structures, get creative and try out new things. The New Work idea requires an active culture of innovation. New ideas or approaches should be encouraged. The outside world can also be involved in strategic innovation processes. The core: using shared knowledge .
Criticism of the concept of New Work
- Very good time and self-management is required
- Without adapting the management style, the “New Work” project can quickly fail
- Boundaries between work and private life can dissolve – keyword work-life blending and the pressure to be constantly available
- High technology affinity is required
- Highly individualized, digital form of work that can quickly become lonely
- Data protection requirements are increasing due to modern and increasingly digital work
3. New Work and agile working
When talking about New Work, the concept of agility is not far away. But what does it exactly mean?
Agile working methods
In connection with a changed corporate structure, new working methods are also emerging. Agile working moves you away from classic methods such as the project structure tree or the waterfall model , and you become more flexible and dynamic .
The best known agile methods are Kanban, Scrum or Design Thinking . These have established themselves particularly in creative areas and development. At the same time, you are also penetrating more and more traditional industries. The two agile working methods fit New Work because they rely on self-determination, flexibility and iterative progress.
- Advantages of agile working
- Increase in efficiency through short intervals (“sprints”)
- Opportunity to experiment
- Rapid prototypes and beta versions
- Continuous optimization
- High customer orientation through feedback culture
- Faster collaboration
4. New Work Tools
Flexible work organization. Cross-departmental or cross-location teamwork. Agile project management. Without modern technologies , New Work inevitably reaches its limits. Working methods in the sense of New Work can be significantly simplified with the right tools. The employees are able to network, at the same time they are relieved of administrative work. This creates more flexibility and free space for the actual core business .
Software for the world of work 4.0
Special programs make collaboration possible – regardless of location or time. Chat rooms, comment functions or options for (video) calls can be used to communicate with all team members and exchange information about the work. The subject of communication is also collected centrally for everyone to see – relevant information and documents .
Everyone is always up to date and has the materials they need for their work. Such a tool can also be used as a knowledge store . Below we present digital tools for New Work.