New Work is definitely a buzzword of our time. It shows up in very different contexts. Sometimes it’s about technology, sometimes about the free choice of workplace and time, and almost always about digital transformation. But what exactly is New Work? And what can it do for companies?
What is New Work?
The concept of “New Work” goes back to the American professor Frithjof Bergmann, who describes New Work as an alternative to the prevailing wage-labor system. Bergmann’s thesis: The job system is at an end and people can thereby free themselves from the bondage of wage labor. According to Bergmann, the central values of “New Work” are: independence, freedom and participation in community.
So that’s the origin.
Today, New Work usually describes a very broad field and includes these topics:
- Flexible working hours (including part time, flextime, trust-based working, and job sharing)
- Job Flexibility (including home office and remote work)
- General flexibilization of structures, thought patterns, and habits
- Collaborative work (including networked work, mentoring, interdisciplinary projects, knowledge transfer, and WOL)
This wide range makes New Work very exciting because it allows for creative freedom. At the same time, it also causes the topic to be generalized and many companies think, “New Work? We can do that. We know a thing or two.”
But is that really true?
Opportunities for companies: “New thinking does not work with old patterns”
New Work can offer big business benefits, as it is an important prerequisite for successful digitalization.
The new environmental conditions and requirements call for new structures and fundamental cultural changes in companies. “Flexibilization” and “collaboration” are the most important prerequisites for holistic digitalization.
Only companies that make lasting changes to structures and working methods can survive in an increasingly complex digital market and still be successful, innovative and creative in 5 years.
Most companies already have everything they need to shape their digital transformation: their own employees. The required knowledge is already in the company, it only needs to be activated. And here again New Work comes into play, since it (again) puts people at the center.
So, what can be done concretely?
- Find a good balance between top-down & bottom-up, and between innovation & efficiency
- Provide areas where employees can really help shape things
- Create experimental and innovative spaces in which employees are allowed to try and develop solutions
- Try new things with the staff, set new rules – bottom-up!
- Promote communication, collaboration & networking
New Work can make you happier and more productive
Through successful implementation, the employees feel more effective. They can work more based on their needs and life stages. They can work more collaboratively with their colleagues and are happier and more motivated. And, therefore, more productive.
Flexible job opportunities lead to higher commitment. There is less fluctuation. Innovation AND productivity increase.
In addition, companies that live New Work have no need for expensive employer branding. The appreciation of one’s own employees and the design options are the best employer branding that exists.
Still need support in implementing New Work?
With our Tandemploy SaaS, we specifically support companies to catapult their working models and structures into the digital age – and match employees for all kinds of “New Work.” In addition, the employees create the often-proclaimed “future of work”: bottom-up, self-motivated, integrated into their daily work routine and suitable for the respective corporate culture. In a closed space, each employee can create a profile and easily find interesting colleagues within the organization by means of smart-matching. Through the targeted networking of experts and colleagues, knowledge transfer takes place naturally and efficiently. In addition, employees can get together on their own for projects, mentoring, job rotations or even job-sharing constellations – and thus jointly promote flexibility.