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Introduction[Bearbeiten]

Have you ever seen the vision of Walter Cronkite of the future work from 1967 - Home Office?

Nowadays Futureworkplace says that the mobile phone in 2020 “will become our office, our classroom, and our real-time concierge, helping us manage both our personal and professional lives”.

The development in technology and the resulting new IT solutions make it possible that people could create, communicate, and connect anytime and anywhere. Experts have the idea that in a few years more than 1.3 billion people will do their work virtually. That means global knowledge worker won’t travel and communicate as much as in these days, they are able to shift their working habits. Information and communication technologies made it possible to work at any location at any time. That has caused a fundamental change in our Ways of Working (WoW).

The following text considers changes generated by the New Ways of Working. We have looked into the following key questions:

  • What is our understanding of WoW?
  • What are the benefits and challenges?
  • Work is not a place you go – really not?
  • What are the main approaches regarding Human Resources?
  • Which companies are already leading the way into the future?
  • How do outperforming companies differentiate from their peers?

We will sum up this different points and will give another outlook regarding brand new tec and possible influences on future work habits.


Taking a look at what has happened[Bearbeiten]

The term New Ways of Working came up with the innovation, dissemination and use of modern information technologies in the eighties. It describes the change of the traditional workplace into a dynamic work environment. To distinguish the differences between the Old and the New Ways of Working, we have to consider the conditions of place (where), purpose (what), modality (how), participants (who) and concept of the work process.[1]

The characteristics of the traditional way are as follows:

Old Ways of Working
Place One location: Company building
Purpose Information exchange, easy way of management and control, efficiency (furniture and fixture are at the place where they are needed)
Modality Hierarchical and direct command and control
Participants The orgnization (employer and employee as a unit)
Concept Dependency between employer and employee, individual expertise is dominant, fixed daily duty cycle (time set and place are fixed), separation of work and private life (physically and mentally)
Further aspects Social interaction with colleagues, company takes care


The characteristics of New Ways of Working are:

New Ways of Working
Place several locations: company building, private place (e.g. home office), public place (e.g. coworking space)
Purpose stimulate creativity and productivity by allowing the employees more freedom and self control, exchange of information
Modality flat hierarchy, negotiation basis, networks
Participants employer, employees, externals (e.g. freelancers, network community)
Concept dependency between company and network community, “team is the expert, emphasis on collaboration”, flexible time set, the daily life is a mixture of private and professional life (no clear separation)


The change from the Old to the New Ways of Working is not a continuous development, but it is very dynamic. The progress of change differs from region to region, from industry to industry, from company to company and even within the company it may vary from department to department. Common is that the changes primarily effect the range of knowledge work. Knowledge work is “thinking work”, it is not tangible, not standardized and hard to control from external. It relies on the communication and information exchange between different knowledge workers and it is dependent on shared experiences and a single worker’s motivation to contribute to a particular task.[2]

How did it all happen? For a closer historical perspective we pursue the idea described by the Harvard Business Manager (March 2013)[3]. It states that the development of the New Ways of Working has taken place in three waves.

The first wave began in the eighties and lasted until the late nineties, and was initiated by the upcoming linking via electronic mail. This was the first opportunity for employees to work beyond the office space of a company while remaining easily connected with the company. At first it was adapted especially by freelancers and later on by businesses that benefited from the possibility of hiring qualified external staff on short contract.

The second wave was an evolution of the ongoing process, and was driven mainly by corporations using the increasing virtualization and cloud computing. The traditional office space has been partially replaced by the home office. Incumbent did not have to come into the company building, but got necessary instructions via information technology devices and also delivered their working results with these devices. For employees, it was possible to better organize their private and professional lives. The purpose of business was to create a flexible work environment that makes it possible to do business around the world at any time. Furthermore, an attractive environment for qualified employees and external contractors should be created.

The third wave can be described by the implementation of co-working spaces. Companies and employees wanted to combine the New Ways of Working with some advantages of the traditional office space that had got lost by introducing the home office. These advantages were teamwork, the exchange of ideas and thoughts that stimulates creativity as well as the social interaction with colleagues as well as the creation of a common corporate culture and team spirit. As consequence, many employees headed back towards a fixed location to do their work. Not necessarily into a traditional office, but into co-working spaces. These areas are technically well equipped, open accessible to anyone, offer a creative environment and make interpersonal exchange of ideas possible. They are either set-up by independent individuals or by corporations themselves. Companies often hire some rooms in a coworking space to offer a creative environment for their employees. In following this part of the New Ways of Working will be discussed.


Work changes in space and time[Bearbeiten]

Why should knowledge worker travel to participat on meetings or commute to go to the office if can use a virtual work place for communication and connection? The key main points to create such a virtual place is a web-based remote access and collaboration technologies, as well as training and a desire on the employees side to work more flexible. Based on a survey of Mom Corps, a staffing firm, 42% of 1.071 asked working adults are willing to get less salary in exchange to more flexibility at work. Another result of the survey was that the age group from 18-34, the Generation Y - digital natives was three time more likely to give up more than ten percent of their salary for more flexibility than the other age groups.[4] In 2020 the Generation Y will be the biggest one of the labour force groups with 50%. HR Management has to reflect their different needs and ideas. Ruth Arrich, a HR-expert at Motiv Personal Consulting concludes according to the Generation Y, "They don’t want to wait to enjoy life until their retirement. Work-Life-Balance and spare time play an essential role. […] They dislike nine-to-five-jobs and they don’t want to be controlled and supervised. The results are more important that working hours with permanent attendance."[5]


(source: own graphic as Deflection of Kovarik, Maria: Der Ruf der Generation Y nach "Easy Economy" 2013 Hamburg, Diplomica Verlag GmbH, S.21.)

The advantage for the companies of the new working concepts lays in the possibility to streamline the infrastructure and travel costs. Moreover they have the chance to hire the best talent independent of its location. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption is another advantage for the environment and therefore for the “big” future work place – the world.[6]

The negative side of this flexibility is that a lot of the employees missed the team atmosphere while working by themselves. They miss as well the feeling of being part of a big team with known peers. They need more than flexibility. This need is already part of the analysis of Maslow who created the well-known hierarchy of needs. The first parts of this hierarchy are the physiological and safety needs, which are for example satisfied by a safe and good paid job making it possible to live in the desired comfort and to fulfil the main materialistic desires over a certain period of time. In these parts, the main point is not the satisfaction caused by the content of the work, the main point is the condition of work like salary adjustments, enough spare time, a safe and structured work place and in general a job which is not at risk.[7][8]

After those physiological needs which can be satisfied by labour contracts and provided working space, the third need comes up: the need for belongingness and love. This need describes the desire for social contact, acceptance by a team or a work group. The work environment gives the human beings another chance to build up fellowship and friendship. Therefore it is important for the managers to create workplaces where the employees have the possibility to have contact, conversation and collaboration with sympathetic people.[9] Further needs of the hierarchy of Maslow are the need for Esteem, Self-Actualization and Self-Transcendence.[10]


Workplaces[Bearbeiten]

“As much as we would like to think that we can separate ourselves and evolutionary past, we are still creatures of place. We are still creatures who naturally use all our senses: tactile, visual, aural, kinaesthetic to relate to each other” said Joe Ouye during the 8th Symposium of the New Ways of Working Network in California (February, 2009).

A workplace has three different elements which create collaboration and as result workflow: social, virtual and physical. In this knowledge creation process different workplaces have different meanings based on research made by Design Probe. As you can see in the following illustration the physical workplace is really important to fulfil the demands of the creating process.[11]


(source: own graphic as Deflection of ProWork, 5. Physical, Virtual and Social Workplaces for Knowledge Work, 2006-2009,http://www.proworkproject.com/prowork/final-report/, seen: 14.03.2013)

ProWork surveys showed that knowledge workers are working 50% in individual and 50% in collaborative tasks. The collaboration with colleagues has a significant influence on the work productivity and therefore social places have to be part of the workplace construction. These places give a company the possibility to make the workers' roles and activities visible and transparent, to increase the formal and informal interactions and to priorize work practices and processes for the project members. The management has to reflect and to re-thinking the different touch points for e.g. in the way of collaboration, communication and motivation. Different studies observed that the proximity of people is important and that there exists a strong correlation between the proximity of co-workers, content, products and the level of productivity. Social work places are important to handle the work and information overloads which knowledge workers must face. Further, they help to understand the differences in location, in access to information and resources and in work practices and processes across time, space, and cultures in geographical separated work teams. With a social work place you can build up and maintain work relationship between the members. But it is a great challenge to create informal social communication in a virtual context between different generations in one work place. The heart and the source of a social place is the mobile character which should be supported by physical meeting points and support areas like cafeterias. The needs of the New Way of Working are learning, identifying, using and designing social places to physical and virtual platforms.[12]

The virtual places have to be available and able to use by the employees. Therefore the connectivity to the network and to social communities is important and has to be anywhere, reliable and fast. Through mobile hardware the employees can stay constantly connected to people, content and work which has to be supported by company norms and policies and constantly trainings such as “How to behave in virtual places”.[13] An important point is the different usage and age segments which have to be served differently. The personalisation of the the team members to have access to share, search and retrieve projects and experience on a virtual sharing system e.g. clouds for a constant transfer of knowledge. The main task of the work management is to provide the access to the virtual workplace at different physical workplaces. They could be inside and outside of company buildings. At inside company buildings you can find a high range of different ones including dedicated workstations and not dedicated workstations. Further there exist meeting rooms in different varieties from specialised to standardized solutions depending on the topic. New conference technologies like teleconferencing can be possible in halo-rooms. Quick meetings can take place in open offices and their topic can be identified by a separated design and colour like a marketing area in red. Another workplace trend is to outsource the office space by using co-working areas.[14]

Co-Working[Bearbeiten]

Brad Neuberg[15] used co-working to describe a physical work space. He was the first one who created in San Francisco a live-work loft where three technology workers worked and lived.Moreover, he was one of the founders of the first “work only” co-working space.[16] In these days, all over the world co-working locations exist and the market is growing rapidly, as well in Germany and in Berlin, the Start-up city. People all over the world are coming to Berlin to creae and to work. Knowledge worker who are able to do their job anywhere in the world need room to be creative. They are looking for space where they can work in the best way with other people who work similarly on things.[17]

One of the co-working offices in Berlin they can use is mobilesuite in Prenzlauer Berg which opened in 2011. Mobilesuite offers flexible offices for freelancers and entrepreneurs. The offices can be hired on an hourly, daily, monthly and anual basis with a reasonable price between around twelve Euros per day, and between 60 to 120 Euros per month. On urban signature Vincent Kompier concludes the task of co-working offices with „Co-working offices give the virtual world of twitter, facebook, myspace and youtube a physical presence again. These commercial but also idealistic platform organisations offer digital bohemians, urban knowledge workers and creative professionals a good place to work“. [18] The big advantage of using co-working offices instead of home offices and coffee shop offices is the highly concentrated and productive work culture with like-minded and talented people. And furthermore the user is part of the co-working community: he connects, collaborates and creates with others.[19]


(source: JUST™ Creative2013, http://justcreative.com/2013/02/26/coworking-explained-how-to-make-it-work-for-you, seen 15.03.2013)

The concept isn’t just made for freelancer and creative thinkers, it is also a chance for big companies to try and to check if this could be an attractive alternative working space for their growing up high potentials. For example Otto Group is working with the betahaus in Hamburg to experiment how the two worlds work together and how to create more satisfaction, creativity and innovation thereby.[20]

In the following part you will find the challenges companies have to face in this work together and there will be show two good practise examples.


Coping with a new WoW[Bearbeiten]

The working environment has been changing rapidly and dramatically over the last few years – and it will continue to change at a fast pace. Those changes will not only affect one aspect of our working environment, but all: Changes in the technology, communication, learning and even office space pose a challenge not only to the companies itself, but also to their employees. We are seeing two major trends at the moment: care companies vs. the cloud workers. The demographic changes and the shortage of skilled employees are forcing executives to think in different ways – either they are trying to keep their employees in a permanent contract – as loyal as possible – or they are completely focusing on project related work, hiring freelancers according to the special requirements of that specific task. During the part “Coping with a new WoW?” I will be taking a glance on the numerous challenges the new WoW will bring – both from the eyes of the employers as well as on the side of the employees. Following that part, I will be examining best practice examples of companies that are already leading the way into the future – the airline JetBlue and the German company Volkswagen.


Company Strategies[Bearbeiten]

Companies will face numerous challenges in the future, and they will have to start preparing now to be able to cope with the fierce competition and also the demographic changes to come. One major pillar of the future strategy will clearly be HR, the Human Resources.

There are two main strategies that executives may follow: either they are trusting in a strong employer reputation and try to attract the best workers by offering them a large compensation package that does not only include a reasonable salary but also many extras which lead to a better work-life-balance. On the other hand they can rely on many freelancers being available for project work in the cloud - there will most likely be various rating methods so companies can be sure to hire the best possible candidates for the specific assignment. Those main strategies will not be mutually exclusive, but can exist in the same company at the same time. There will be certain job profiles that require a more long-term approach, like executives, their assistants or specialists for core competencies of that certain corporation. Other tasks will not be required on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis or they will not take as much time as a full-time job. Those tasks could be fulfilled by cloud workers that work for different companies concurrently.


The "Care Company"[Bearbeiten]

The "care company" strategy includes huge efforts being made from the employer side. Even today, large companies that can afford it, offer various goodies to earn a good reputation as an employer of choice. From fruit baskets, free coffee & soda to price reductions for special products and so on - there are already existing many different ways of looking for the well being of the staff. In the past, that was one huge advantage of larger companies, but now, start ups as happystaff.de have emerged, offering the same services to smaller and medium sized companies at a reasonable price.

Another way to win the loyalty of qualified, motivated staff is offering a more flexible working style: working from home is seen as a huge benefit and also flextime programmes that allow oneself to start and end the working days according to one's individual needs are very much in demand. The study "A qualitative analysis of facilitating conditios for work-family enrichment" conducted by the University of Navarra shows that "Employees working for organizations that encourage a healthy work/life balance say they are four times more committed to their work"[21]. This should be a good motivator for companies to introduce a more flexible approach to working time. In the US, internet companies such as Yahoo have always led the way in this regard - now, Yahoo has announced publicly that they won't support this working-style anymore. Ms Mayer, the company CEO, has abolished the work-at-home policy and ordered everyone to work in the office, which has caused a lot of press lately. In the article of the New York Times, an expert states the following: "Studies show that people who work at home are significantly more productive but less innovative [...] “If you want innovation, then you need interaction,” he said. “If you want productivity, then you want people working from home."[22]

The "Cloud Workers"[Bearbeiten]

In the future, freelancers, the so-called "cloud workers" will be available for project-related work online. A lot of companies will not be looking solely for people to hire on a long-term basis - they have various projects and can hire the best fitting specialists to work on single tasks. There will be rating platforms for freelancers, such as cloudfactory.com, where executives can look for the CVs and evaluations from previous contractors. Picturing this scenario does mean great flexibility and the disappearance of local borders - but also fierce competition amongst the freelancers. People with limited professional background or even mediocre ratings from previous employers will have only one instrument to stand out: the price for their work. Networking will gain even more importance and the digital aura must be maintained constantly and carefully. Many people will have a similar professional history and focus and the need to stand out of the crowd will be immense. Professionals with a lot of good ratings and great working experience will certainly have no problem in finding jobs, but without a doubt there will also be cloud workers that will have to cope with low income.


Leading the way into the future: Best practice examples[Bearbeiten]

The following best practice examples are illustrating companies' approaches in dealing with the future way of working.


JetBlue[Bearbeiten]

Discount carrier JetBlue has established a new way of dealing with pressure from investors to cut costs and at the same time pressure from politics to keep jobs in their home country.[23] This example shows you one new WoW that would not have been possible a few years ago and that will certainly be copied from the competition. Usually call agent jobs are linked to call centers on home soil or even offshore locations such as India. JetBlue has found a way to keep the jobs in the USA and still cut costs to a reasonable level. In 2004 JetBlue employed 700 reservation phone agents that worked at their very home. Their company computer is connected to the company's reservation system and thus reservations can be done from anywhere within their homes. Next to cost benefits there are reported advantages in employee satisfation visible in low turnover rate of 4% and easy recruiting of new employees. Customer satisfaction is also higher than in industry average. Effects of the employed can be regarded as severe compared to their usual peers. Not only can they take care of their families and homes while being "at work" but also do not need to invest in transportation and dress code. Wasting time on long commutes is not known to them as is exposure to weather conditions. Of course working home also demands other qualities such as commitment while not constantly supervised by a boss or co-worker. Also when aid is needed with certain customers or issues a manager is now always near causing friction in customer handling. This is overcome by regular training.


Volkswagen AG[Bearbeiten]

The German company Volkswagen has taken a major step in ensuring a healthy work-life-balance for their employees. In 2011, it was decided to stop its Blackberry servers sending emails to some of its employees when they are off-shift.[24] [25] The blurring of boundaries between professional and private life is generally becoming a problem - VW has identified that and is reacting proactively to protect their employees from the stress of being available 24-7. The red lamp, telling the user that unread e-mails are waiting to be processed in the in-box is causing stress that can eventually lead to physical and psychological illnesses. This method ensures that VW workers do not have to read e-mails during their leisure time but in case of emergency they can still be reached via phone, because only the e-mail function is being switched off.

But what is it what makes these two and other companies to outstanding and successful companies, not just regarding their HR Management. The following part will give us an idea.


Smarter Ways of Working[Bearbeiten]

Smarter Ways of Working[Bearbeiten]

A typical company deals with millions, if not billions, of events in a single day, and most of them are still handled manually by people.[26] It is obvious that things have to be done in a competitive and efficient way. Work Paradigm Shift is the natural consequence in the increasingly complicated business environment. Organizations that are significantly outperforming their industry peers also happen to be making more headway on newer approaches to work. They are using dynamic, collaborative and connected ways of working, which are smarter working practices.[27] The focus nowadays lies on how to work smarter not harder. The way of smart working falls into three main categories according to a recent study by the IBM Institute for Business Value.

•Dynamic – adjusting rapidly changing business conditions

Collaborative– bringing together resources, both internal and external, to share insights and improve the speed and quality of decision making

Connected– enabling access to information not bounded by time zone, coworker proximity, or organizational silos.[28]


(source:IBM Institute for Business Value,A new way of working, 2010,USA)


IBM also found out that outperformers use smart working practices more extensively than others. The outcome is that smart working not only drives efficiency but also expedite the growth.

As we can read from the above figures, significant outperformers are not focused on improving operational efficiency. Their focus lies on expansion into new markets and geographies and developing new product and service offerings.


How outperformers differentiate themselves from others[Bearbeiten]

Competence[Bearbeiten]

The first major category of smarter working is the competence of the workforce. According to Harvard Business Manager magazine (March 2013), one top performer over all jobs is four times more productive than the average workers. High performance working requires a workforce that possesses the appropriate level of knowledge and skills. Moreover, the capacity for the highly skilled workforce to continue to acquire new skills and knowledge will give the outperforming organization a competitive human capital. For example, it took only two years for 600 Apple engineers to completely redesign the OS X computer operating system including development, testing and utilization. In contrast, it took five years for 10,000 Microsoft engineers to develop Windows Vista and to bring it to the market and eventually to withdraw from the market. There is no point in acquiring or training a highly competent workforce unless the resulting knowledge and skills are used to the full. The failure to do so will lead to a waste of investment in the work force, the degrading of competence, dissatisfaction among workers who want to use their expertise. Outperforming companies identify and engage people with skills to address the dynamics of business today.


Effenciency[Bearbeiten]

Stop multi-tasking, prioritize, delegate, stay flexible and planning ahead are quick remedies for smarter working we can find on the internet easily. We can only be competitive by working efficiently in this complex business environment. Working smarter will lead us to become efficient as efficiency is one of the key elements how to work smarter. Working ridiculously long days or multi-tasking to madness will neither create more efficiency nor put your business to growth. To win consistency and result, everything in the business should be done in the same way, every time. That means having a right process and skilled people at the right position. Another example of high performing individuals’ efficiency from Harvard Business manager magazine (2013) is in a racing pit crews. The six-member team of Kyle Busch is considered the best of the best in NASCAR world. Here, everyone is seated at the right place: the fuel rig mechanic, the man who operates the jack, the tire carriers and tire changers. The team members train together all year and have only one goal in mind: to allow Busch's race car number 18 within a very short time in the box in and out again. The crew creates a standard pit stop - 73 different maneuvers, including refueling and changes all four tires - in 12.12 seconds. If Busch would take only a single employee on average (kind of a normal tire changer) in the crew, the time would be doubled to 23.09 seconds. With two average players the pit stop would take about half a minute.[29]


Collaboration[Bearbeiten]

Most leaders believe that companywide collation is essential for successful strategy execution. Morten T. Hansen described a good example of Apple iPod and Sony Walkman, showed how collaboration can decide about success or failure in the business. Apple had a task of resolving complicated issues which required many interactions between the hardware and software; Apple had to figure out how iTunes was going to sync the content onto the iPod, who the iPod was going to access that information, how they could do a database on the device that was incredibly simple to use. Jeff Robbin from iTunes division said, “We were all working together late at night, and it was highly energized, it was just an incredible team project. There were no boundaries. The software guys, the hardware guys, the firmware guys, everybody worked together. It was a pretty amazing experience. And all the collaborations paid off. Apple’s sales exploded. Meanwhile, at Sony, Howard Stringer tried to connect the parts of the company, a culture of collaboration among Sony’s various divisions. “Sony has long thrived on a hyper-competitive culture, where engineers were encouraged to outdo each other, not work together,” said Wall Street journal reporter Phred Dvorak. Connect was not a stand-alone product. It required collaboration among five Sony divisions; Vaio Headquarter in Tokyo; Walkman division; flash memory players division; Sony Music in US and Sony Music in Japan. Stringer complained, “It’s impossible to communicate with everybody when you have that many silos.” It was a mess. WSJ wrote a product review on relaunched Walkman MP3 player: The Walkman’s biggest weakness is its lousy user interface, which is dense and confusing. The proud Sony had been beaten by Apple in a way that recalled a great Muhammad Ali knockout.[30]


How technology helps working smarter[Bearbeiten]

Technology is the trigger and it is in the middle of the change in the way of working. Technology enabled all smarter working practices. Information and communication technology enabled home-based jobs. I do not have to go far to find an example for that. In fact, my way of working has changed through technology. ‘Work’ is also no longer bounded by coworker proximity or time zone. My business partner sits in Weybridge, England. I have a weekly video conference with Tokyo to discuss TV business. When I need to finish up something and do not want to be interrupted by other things, I work from home, logging into an intranet. When I connect to AT&T Global Network Client, I can access all the necessary information, be in the collaborative spaces such as conference call using MS Office Communicator, desktop video conference. Especially the desktop video conference, a high resolution video conference tool introduded to staff recently in Sony, was to reduce travel cost and to enable the speedy collaboration between Tokyo, Weybridge and local sales companies. According to IBM Institute for Business Value, nine times more of most dynamic, most collaborative and most connected organizations were using service-oriented architecture extensively. Nearly four times as many of these companies had widely adopted collaborative spaces. As you can see the Figure below, all technology areas are adapted to the smarter working organizations.[31]



(source:IBM Institute for Business Value,A new way of working, 2010,USA)

Rapid change and continuous innovation is the baseline for success on today’s smarter planet. The ability to deal with the complexity of increasingly interconnected organizations, markets, societies and governments greatly contributes to the success.


Benefits and Challenges[Bearbeiten]

Knowing that the New Ways of Working bring a lot of changes to businesses, we want to take a closer look at the benefits and challenges of this development. Therefore, we take the last wave –the establishment of co-working spaces and the, kind of regular, usage of home offices- into consideration.

Firstly, we take a look at the advantages: In general, the New Ways of Working enable corporations to do business almost anywhere and at any time. Companies can hire qualified personnel from all over the world. By those employees, they may get access to a vast information network and sources of creativity. Looking at the costs, companies have fewer costs for office space, facility services and fixed installed IT hardware. From the employees point of view, coworking spaces, home offices and flexible working hours have got a positive impact on their work-life balance, saving time and money by avoiding traffic jams as wells as on being more productive.[32]

Secondly, we consider the challenges businesses are facing: From a management perspective, coworking spaces and home offices are hard to manage and control. The work process is intransparent and managers must rely on trust to their subordinates and their working results. In addition, some employees are not as technic-savvy as others, but the management has to take the entire workforce into account .[33] Therefore, the management has to implement certain rules and KPIs for being able to manage the work process. Furthermore, it is difficult to implement a corporate culture and team spirit, which motivates employees to perform for “their” employer. On the one hand, independent freelancers will never adapt a corporate culture, but on the other hand, contracted employees, who are working in co-working places, at home or somewhere outside the company’s walls, are hard to put on line with the corporate culture as well. Mainly, the exchange of ideas and solving problems together with its co-workers is more difficult, because employees could not directly talk face to face to their colleagues, but need to wait for a reply appearing on their electronic device.[34] [35]

An additional aspect is, that companies as well as individuals have to consider some legal aspects for using the home office, for example how valid is a compulsory employees accident insurance for home offices, how should businesses secure and exchange confidential data and who pays for the furnitures and fixture of a home office? Another major challenge is that a separation of private and professional life is not possible any more, because we always stay connected with our work tasks via our mobile assets. In addition, we do not stick to a particular work schedule, but strech our working time into the evening, night hours and to the week-end. “The technology enables that by taking away the limitations of time and space.”[36]


Summary[Bearbeiten]

The New Ways of Working mainly affect knowledge work and are a technologically driven change of our working environment. They empower employees to work independently from outside the company’s walls at any time and with whom they want. Employess are enabled to work as most efficient, effective, creative, flexible and independent as possible, to create the best results for their employers. This leads to changes in workspace, technology, management and work culture. Workspace and working hours have to be flexible and should suit the work task and the employee’s attitude. Technology has to provide the employee with a permanent link to his co-workers and his online (work) community. Management has to “trust the employee, focus more on output instead of presence at the office, and provide them with more autonomy by stimulating own initiative”[37]. Work culture must be an open one and ready for information sharing and collaboration.

The advantage of this development is an increase in productivity through greater employees’ satisfaction, which is caused by a good work-life balance and an increase in creativity and exchange of information.

The challenges for businesses are the need for an intensified management effort and the dependency on results to measure work performance. This comes along with the potential hiding of no-performers.[38] Further challenges are the loss of a corporate culture, potential miss communication, because problems could not be resolved face to face. Facing these challenges, some enterprises may decide to step back to a more traditional way of working like Yahoo! has done it in February 2013 with its memo banning working from home.[39] [40]

Nevertheless, the New Ways of Working have become accepted. The current and future task for management is to make knowledge management productive and to use the New Ways of Working in an efficient and effective way to achieve the company’s goals. The trend will be the further reduction of office space and the increasing use of mobile devices in the way of the so called “consumerization”.

“Consumerization” is the utilization of private (employee owned) technology and expertise in the performance of work tasks. It can be described by the term BYOD – bring your own device. While operating BYOD, employees are choosing their mobile device they want, and use it for work as well as for privat purposes, e.g. the new Blackberry Z10 is especially designed for being used simultanously for private and professional purposes. This will lead to a higher employees' satisfaction and motivation, but may cause additional security problems.[41]

From the technology developement we can derive what could be the next stepp in the way of working. Pretty interessting is the Google Glass as potential future mobile work technology and the idea that work elements are getting every time even more comfortable and invisable.

Videos[Bearbeiten]

  1. Working Environments 4.0 - How we will work and live tomorrow
  2. Co-working for Dummies
  3. The Workforce is Changing rapidly - How Will You Manage?

References[Bearbeiten]

  1. Stamm, Bettina von: Innovation through New Ways of Working, 11th NewWOW Symposium, Utrecht (NL), August 2011)
  2. Spath, Dieter et al.: Information Work 2009 - Über die Potenziale von Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien bei Büro- und Wissensarbeit, Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswissenschaft und Organisation AOI, Stuttgart, 2009
  3. Gratton, Lynda et al.: Die Zukunft der Arbeit, in Harvard Business Manager, Hamburg, March 2013, p. 23-31
  4. Mom Corps, Labor Day Survey release, 2011,http://www.harrisinteractive.com/vault/Mom%20Corps_2011%20Labor%20Day%20Survey%20release%20FINAL.pdf, seen: 14.02.2013.
  5. Kovarik, Maria: Der Ruf der Generation Y nach "Easy Economy" 2013 Hamburg, Diplomica Verlag GmbH, S.21
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