The concept of New Work describes the new way of working in today’s society in the global and digital age. The term was coined by the German-American social philosopher Frithjof Bergmann and is based on his research on the assumption that the previous work system was outdated.
The core values of the concept of New Work are autonomy, freedom and participation in the community. New Work should offer new creativity and personal development methods, thus contributing something essential to the job market. The main idea of New Work is to create space for creativity and self-fulfilment (or: The Pursuit of Happiness).
The new world of work
Even the experts don’t know how we will be working 10 or 20 years from now. What we do know is that New Work won’t get old. Meanwhile, the successive upheavals are already in sight. Automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics aren’t just setting new industry benchmarks. Knowledge-based work is also changing, as bots take over tasks that people still carry out today. At the same time, new jobs and career profiles are emerging daily. There is no way around it: we have to change our mindset, try out and accept new things. “Lifelong learning” is the name that companies like Henkel have given to the approach that familiarises employees with new technologies, processes and ways of thinking. The Group is making headway in this field with its advanced training initiative, “Digital Upskilling”.
Many organisations are also testing out flexible forms of collaboration and breaking up hierarchies: short sprints are replacing long-winded, static processes. Sooner or later, all of us will have to bid farewell to workspaces in the form of a designated desk with fixed hours. Employers big and small are increasingly replacing these with open-space concepts in which teams can come together in new constellations each day. Those who use the technology to their advantage will still have lots of responsibilities but probably less work in the future.
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