Emerging into a new work culture
The world of work is in a state of transition: Today work is more global, connected, mobile and intensely knowledge-oriented than it was just a few years ago.
In the future, companies will do less administrative work and more design work.
Quotation from: acatech (Ed.): Die digitale Transformation gestalten – Was Personalvorstände zur Zukunft der Arbeit sagen, Munich: Herbert Utz Verlag 2016
The elements in demand are quick action, networked thinking and a wealth of ideas.
Birgit Gebhardt, trend researcher and author of the New Work Order studies
The drivers of change
- Global networks are accelerating communication and competition.
- Automation, robotics and algorithms control merchandise management and are taking over aspects of human work performance.
- The communication media make it possible to access information at any time and to personalisation.
- The demographic transformation requires a flexibilisation of work processes.
- Participation and social reponsibility at the social level require corresponding participation within companies.
New types of work
Communication is becoming employees’ most important activity
New tasks require new methods, a better understanding of customers and a broader range of expertise. Today consumers expect products that are adapted to their individual needs rather than standardized off-the-peg solutions. That means manufacturers and service providers must be flexible and adaptable. As a result, communication and cooperation have to function effectively across teams and departments, and often across companies as well.
The new role of the office
Social contacts and identifying with the company
What factors motivate employees to work in an office? One motivation is the opportunity to meet up with colleagues.
Offices are gaining in importance as places where people can have valuable personal encounters with their coworkers.
Dr. Josephine Hofmann, Head of the Competence Centre Business Performance Management, Fraunhofer IAO, from: New Work Order study, 2012
It's the soft factors that determine the quality of the work - who do I meet, how am I welcomed, is my boss there to support me. Real estate can support that to happen. But it is the soft factors that bring the added value.
Jöri Engel, CEO of Swisscom Immobilien AG
Switching to the right work mode
In addition, employees will only choose working at the office if it’s the right environment for the task at hand. Consequently, the office design has to match the current task not only functionally but also emotionally. In other words, the New Work office is designed like a small town. It combines places for spontaneous meetings, rooms for concentrated individual work, areas for teamwork and so on, whose design can be modelled on different kinds of public and private spaces. However, every company must decide for itself which combination it needs.
A healthy work environment
Moreover, offices still have a very traditional function: offering employees a work environment where they can work without having their health impaired by noise, glare or a shortage of movement.