“Everything Remains New” – A New Work Revolution
Strict hierarchies? Fixed structures? Static performance targets? Benchmarks that were taken for granted as standards in companies just a short time ago are being questioned more than ever in the post-Corona world of work. We have been forced to learn what constitutes greater autonomy and flexible working models. Reinforcing this is the question of meaning, of the “why“. Amplified by the collective experience of crisis, through which we have been reminded of what really matters to us. This trend is now making a presentable appearance in the business world: New Work – the counter-design to the old working world – come to stay!
New ways of working, new perspectives and a new entrepreneurial culture. When we talk about “New Work”, we are not talking about a one-dimensional development, but rather a structural change in the forms of work that have been common up to now. The effects can be seen in organizational forms and methods, in sharing culture, (self-)organization, diversity, working spaces and leadership. At the center of all changes is again the human being, with the desire for more self-determination and potential development, which received an (involuntary) boost during the Corona crisis. Our classic career model is being questioned and the definition of “success” is being rethought. Appreciation and working as equals are prioritized, work-life balance comes into focus, digital nomadism becomes possible. At the same time, the balance of all interested parties has to be considered. A balancing act or even a dance on the tightrope?
Makes sense – value-oriented work moves into focus
New Work describes a working world in which employees develop freely and enter the working world with a kind of “personal branding” – and continuously sharpen this personal brand. Processes become more flexible, agile and digital. The power of innovation increases. Fixed working hours and locations are becoming obsolete. Future-oriented, meaningful work is becoming the maxim, especially for Generation Y (=why) and following Gen Z and Alpha. Favored by the possibilities of new technologies, demographic change and global networking through advancing digitalization.
How do we breathe life into the concept of New Work? The development of a New Work model for your company is not exclusively about individual measures that together result in a major change. Rather, it requires a clear concept in which people, technology and organization interact in a triad. In essence, it is about making a progressive contribution to corporate strategy. “New Work” is not an instrument or a program that is implemented with a big bang, but rather a change process that is carried out carefully in a realistic period of time; in which a continuous learning process is integrated and which is enriched with an adaptation of the corporate culture, a clear attitude and a Leadership 4.0.
Tomorrow is better?
There is no question that New Work is geared to the needs of employees. The goal is to design workplaces of the future. To give employees everything they need and to have the confidence that they will optimally master the tasks assigned to them. Does this necessarily disregard the needs of the market? The purpose of an organization is still to satisfy customer needs. In order to remain competitive, the development of the market and the positioning of competitors should by no means be disregarded during the change.
All that glitters is gold?
So does New Work mean a shift from “the customer is king” to “the employee is king“? The merging of private life and work is increasingly causing unrest within the company, and the autonomy of employees can lead to a feeling of loss of control among managers. The key to a successful introduction and company-wide integration of New Work lies in the individual design of the working environment for each individual company and a suitable and open mindset. There is no universal “right”, but rather a tailor-made concept that creates a balance in each case between unique market development and the design of new internal processes. Of course, the industry in which the company operates also plays an essential role.
New Work can and will succeed as soon as it is dovetailed with open and transparent corporate communication. Communication, both internal and external, plays a central role in this process in reshaping the corporate culture. Open communication within teams is also essential in operational activities. This creates trust and dialogue within the entire team.
Doing the right thing at the right time!
If the disruptive processes are implemented effectively and in a meaningful way, New Work offers many opportunities to increase the success of a company – economically and in terms of a profitable HR.
In most cases, this harmony requires experienced, professional companions. We would be happy to advise you during your tailor-made change process.
Melanie Lammers, 05.11.2021