The physical presence at sessions used to be completely normal. Nowadays the connection via video is completely normal. This is a small example of change in the world of work, it faces far more challenges than personal contact: The ageing of society, a lack of young talent, the struggle for urgently needed skilled workers and the strong mixture of different cultures due to globalisation. All these aspects put companies under enormous pressure, and they are huge challenges for workplace culture. Is there a simple solution? By no means! But there are exciting approaches to dealing with these challenges and developing solutions; for example with New Work.
"New Work has to do with movement, flexibility and networking".
But New Work means more than slides in offices and home offices. Claudia Giorgetti, head of Mobiliar's Competence Center for Organizational and Cultural Development, describes it this way: "New Work has to do with movement, flexibility and networking. The breaking open of silos for more transparency and better communication. A central element for the physical working environment. Because a new modern working environment meant the first big step towards New Work for us in furniture, too."
New Work is the goal, agility the boat
Flexibility also means changing old management structures. In formerly hierarchical companies, teams and employees reorganize themselves; the keyword is agility. But an agile setting needs a cultural foundation in which the corporate values are (pre-)lived, employees trust their managers and colleagues, and a high level of leadership quality prevails. In this way, a trust-based workplace culture can be created - and thus the basis for an agile mindset. If New Work is the goal, then agility is the sailing boat, trust the sails and the culture of error and learning the wind.
Maximizing the potential of employees
New Work is identified as a driver of change, beautiful and good. But what can companies do now to survive the change to New Work? You have to invest in your employees and your managers! They invest in managers so that values are exemplified, so that credibility increases and there is a respectful attitude towards employees. And they invest in their employees so that the (still) untapped potential of all is maximized. If employees work in a workplace culture based on trust, the innovative strength of the employees and the added value also increase. Because employees feel taken seriously and valued in such an environment, they contribute improvements and suggestions. Secondly, they increase added value because they optimize processes or manufacture or sell services and products with more dedication.
Step by step to New Work - because no stone is left unturned anyway
The complexity of today's world calls for much more teamwork and networked thinking: "The right combination of the various skills and experiences is used to work together on topics; this automatically promotes the movement and attitude of each individual and his or her potential," reports Giorgetti from her experience. But without concepts and test phases New Work is not possible. Structures are only changed step by step in order to first observe newly emerging dynamics. In the case of furniture, for example, individual offices have been consistently eliminated - and positive changes are being looked at: "Open, transparent and networkoriented multispace landscapes allow a versatile use of workspaces and thus offer employees a motivating, creative and innovative working environment. In addition, they actively promote cooperation across departments and teams," says Giorgetti. "The way people work together in many places has survived. Changing customer needs, the progress of digitalization, a shortage of skilled workers and the new understanding of careers among the younger generation are ensuring that hardly a stone is left unturned. It takes joint further development to move forward together."
The form in which the changes in the world of work will take in the future remains open. It is clear that the potential development of all employees is central. And who knows, perhaps this will require more physical presence at meetings.