With the ever-increasing demands of the digital and globalised age, the challenges facing the labour market are growing. Constant adjustments and further developments are required to meet these demands. The trend is therefore increasingly moving towards New Work. Read on to find out what this is all about and what significance the theory has for the modern world of work.

New Work

With the constantly advancing demands of the digital and globalized age, the challenges facing the labor market are increasing. In order to meet these, constant adjustments and further developments are required. The trend goes therefore more and more to New Work. What it is all about and what significance the theory has for the modern working world, you will find out in the following.

What is New Work?

The question of the definition of New Work cannot be answered in a universal way with a generally valid explanation of the term. Rather, the term, which originated in the U.S., describes an overall concept that aims to modernize crucial structural processes in the context of work and adapt them to the requirements of the present time. Also important here is the general  digita­lization of society: Technical developments bring with them new work opportu­nities.

The New Work concept functions in this context as a collection of various contemporary work models, which are intended to bring about a mental and at the same time real change, especially among employees. For example, greater personal respon­sibility and the full utilization of existing potential are sought. Individual development and self-fulfillment are just as much in the foreground as a work-life balance and family-friendly working.

New Work: Definition of potential concepts

The idea behind New Work is primarily to steer towards a subjectively designable working day. In this context, both the employee's own creativity and his or her living circum­stances play an overriding role. Work from home models, for example, are becoming increasingly popular as well as:

  • Flextime,
  • Desk Sharing,
  • Crowd Working
  • Sabbaticals and
  • Coworking Spaces.

A further typical feature of the New Work concept is the reorga­nization of fixed departments into mixed work groups that ideally benefit from each other. The trend goes further toward agility. Hierarchies are dissolving and the focus is shifting to bundling different types of core competencies.

A man holding up his switched-on laptop and showing his screen to a colleague.

Advantages of New Work

For employees who find themselves in a New Work environment, there are numerous advantages. For example, there are opportu­nities to foster personal creativity and take on more personal respon­sibility. In addition, employees ideally keep their personal and professional lives in balance and, in the case of home offices, save themselves the commute between their home and the workplace.

Disad­vantages of New Work

Just like the advantages of New Work, the disad­vantages of the concept should not go unmentioned. Apart from the fact that independent time management can initially be unfamiliar to employees, the greatest risk is that they will no longer be able to separate their professional and private lives. Under certain circum­stances, the pressure to be permanently available to the employer and to work overtime increases. Furthermore, human contact is lost, especially in the context of crowd working or work from home projects, which is due in particular to the lack of personal communi­cation.

What are the requirements for employers?

When New Work is to find its way into a company, employers are first confronted with disruptive changes. These not only affect the fundamental work-related structures, but also often entail costly investments, without which the success of New Work can hardly be realized. For example, it must be ensured that the technology can withstand the reorgani­zation - especially in the area of IT. Here, for example, company partici­pation in a  IT Security Training can prove useful in ensuring that no security risks arise when working in the new digital environment.

Also, traditional management methods are being put to the test, and the working environment must be adapted to the new circum­stances - the key words being "remote" or "open-space working". The fact is, however, that New Work can have a positive impact on the success of a company, so that openness to change is always a sensible consi­deration for the employer as well.