What does New Work look like after the Corona pandemic?

Employees and managers will have to adapt to different ways of working in the future. A chat in the kitchen must be planned and the lunch break announced.

Working where you want and when you want. Just a few years ago, this sounded absurd and far removed from reality. Today, it has become the norm. The Corona pandemic has changed a lot of things, but above all it has changed working life. Instead of going into the office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, many people now work from home and time it to fit best into their daily lives. The pandemic situation is now slowly easing and normality is returning. Nevertheless, the new working reality will remain, as Handelsblatt writes.

The new magic word is asynchrony and describes exactly that: independence of working hours and location. The technologies with which work is done are changing, but so are the criteria with which careers are made from now on. Handelsblatt has summarized what the future of the new working world will look like in six points:

1. No fixed workplace

Flexibility is the keyword. While home office became mandatory in lockdown times, not only employees recognized the advantages of remote work, but also managers. According to a survey conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering, 90 percent of 500 HR managers stated that mobile work had no disadvantages for the company during the lockdown.

This means that the option of remote working is likely to continue in the future, at least for one or two days a week. However, this could become problematic for the part of the population that works in an area that does not allow the home office privilege. This includes, in particular, so-called non-desk workers, i.e. employees who do not have a desk. This could lead to "tensions that endanger cohesion," warned Bosch chairman Volkmar Denner in the Handelsblatt.

2. Flexible working hours

The new flexibility does not only affect the place of work. Those who work in a home office can also adapt their working hours to their own daily schedule. Early risers can start their workday at the crack of dawn. Night owls can sleep in and start the workday later. Young parents can adjust their working hours to suit their children's schedules.

With this newfound variability, however, the lines between work and home life are blurring. For example, even before the pandemic, a study in 15 EU countries showed that while remote workers spend more time with their families, they often accumulate more overtime. For this reason, some countries, including France and Slovakia, are already enacting the first laws regulating the right to be unavailable. This does not yet exist in Germany, but some companies, such as Bayer, Allianz and Deutsche Telekom, have already introduced internal company regulations that prevent constant reachability.

3. Decelerated communication

With the asynchronous nature of everyday working life, communication within the team is also changing. Not all colleagues work at the same time. Requests are not always responded to immediately, despite the expectation of having to be permanently available.

Tools that can provide the most important information quickly and tailored to personal needs are helpful. SION, the collaboration platform, for example, offers personalizable news feeds or gives you the option of muting notifications, such as for specific work groups.

4. Good leaders are the key to loyalty

"The Big Quit." This is the name given to the ongoing trend of employees voluntarily quitting their jobs in response to the pandemic. According to one of the world's largest employee surveys, the Gallup Engagement Index, more than one-third of German workers have considered quitting their jobs this year. That represents a new record high. A wide variety of industries are affected: from truck drivers to highly qualified specialists in science and business.

According to HR consultant Andreas Knodel, this is due firstly to the fact that people can easily change industries and go to a crisis-proof company. Second, he says, demand for good professionals is particularly high at the moment, causing many employees to rethink their current relationship. And third, "more and more employers are allowing a flexible choice of work location," Knodel told Handelsblatt. For companies, this means that their offer of remote work is not special and therefore does not ensure lasting loyalty.

Good managers are needed to counteract the wave of resignations, explains Marco Nink of the Gallup polling institute. Key needs in the workplace must be met. "A manager who does this clarifies expectations, defines clear and achievable goals together with employees, sets priorities, defines responsibilities and ensures that everything is in place to enable effective and efficient work," Nink told Handelsblatt. "The key to loyalty is the managers."

5. Automation does not replace all jobs

The pandemic situation has fueled the automation of diverse work processes. In industrial companies, robots have taken over individual work steps so that clearance regulations could be observed in production. But it's not just in that sector; technologies are increasingly taking over tasks originally done by humans in knowledge businesses as well. For example, job application processes sometimes rely on artificial intelligence, chatbots or virtual reality.

Nevertheless, very few employees have to worry about their jobs. According to an analysis by the consulting firm Deloitte, two-thirds of the activities performed by employees in their day-to-day jobs will still not be replaced by technical alternatives by 2035. In addition, more jobs will be created than will be eliminated due to technology.

6. Planned spontaneity

It is not only communication that is important for a career, but also visibility. If you want to be successful, you have to be present. According to a survey by a Stanford research team, the most popular home office days are Monday and Friday. Tuesday through Thursday are more crowded in the office. The most popular office day is Wednesday.

If you want to chat briefly with the boss or make new contacts, you can hardly do that spontaneously these days; you have to plan your conversations strategically. The best thing to do is to coordinate your own office days with those of your colleagues. That way, spontaneity can be created just as intentionally.

Source: Gründerszene

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