The working world will change decisively
Digitization and the Internet will also change our world of work significantly - this became clear once again at re: publica 2014, the annual event that operates as Europe's largest web conference. A current trend: collaborative but flexible forms of work in which teams of freelancers only come together for certain projects.
The Australian journalist Joel Dullroy has worked extensively on these types of work and notes: "The big advantage is that specialists can complement each other perfectly for specific tasks."
Not only work together, but also live
In the project Blogville, initiated by the Italian region Emiglia Romagna and the blogger community IAmbassador in Bologna, bloggers work and live together in a WG. The project was so successful that it is now extended to Milan.
"It's inspiring to work with people from different countries," says blogger Simon Falvo, describing her experience, adding: "One is a good photographer, the other has technical skills that often give rise to unexpected synergies." Above all, Falvo values the opportunity to make contacts for the future, because the coexistence deepens the contacts.
Together against precarious occupations
On the other hand, she is not afraid that the job and the private will mix too much: "Everyone has their own room and can retire," she says. It's not always that easy. Especially with freelancers, the boundaries between work and private life often blur, in addition to poor pay and lack of coverage in periods of unemployment.
Joel Dullroy warned about these dangers at his re: publica event - and has one possible solution: "There are about nine million free-lancers in Europe," says Dullroy, who is involved in the Freelancers' Rights Movement. "We have to organize ourselves in order to be heard politically and so act together against precarious occupations."
Talk about the home office
Since Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer forbade her employees the home office a few months ago, there was a heated discussion worldwide about its advantages and disadvantages.
The homeworkers do not want to leave the family-friendly, self-determined working model and also Company are increasingly recognizing the benefits: Microsoft has just announced that its employees will be able to decide individually where they work in the future - and close three locations in Germany.
Flurfunk falls away
The IT giant is thus very trendy: A survey by Citrix Systems among IT decision-makers in 19 countries shows that they want to reduce their office space by around 14 percent. But the home office, as practical as it may seem at first glance, also has disadvantages for the individual.
Apart from the associated costs for employees and employers, communication channels are longer, the Flurfunk as a means of informal exchange falls away. Personal visibility, an important prerequisite for career in companies, is diminishing and the risk of isolation is great.
Do not neglect personal contacts
People who work at home and still want to be successful should not neglect personal contacts. An example of this is found in the Italian Emilia Romagna: the translator and interpreter Helga Schenk works in her house near Rimini.
Nevertheless, she regularly attends congresses, trade fairs and events in Germany, cultivates old friendships and has built up a well-functioning network on the ground, which constantly conveys her orders. Her conclusion therefore: "Working at home, even abroad, is possible. But you have to stay connected to the world - not just electronically. "
Change in the world of work offers opportunities and risks
The discussions about the home office show clearly the change of our working world away from fixed structures to more personal freedom.
However, home workers are now faced with the challenge of maintaining their personal network and remaining visible to bosses and colleagues despite spatial distance. This is precisely where the risks and chances of the new form of work lie.
How do Google and Facebook do it?
And how quickly these are exceeded can be seen especially in the area of occupational health management: That companies like Facebook and Apple take care of the health of their employees, make fitness rooms and healthy food available free of charge initially sounds positive.
Since it is known, however, that they are paying their women's freezing eggs, the discussion about how employers should interfere in the life and health planning of their employees is in full swing. Social Freezing is called the precautionary freezing without medical reason also here.
Smartwatches and blood samples
Especially because smartwatches make it possible to monitor health and blood samples are taken from applicants in Germany, the question arises:
How far may health management in companies go? How much can employers influence the health and lives of their employees?
Health management for employer branding
For Edenred Deutschland, which as a service provider helps companies to retain their employees, health management is also a means of attracting qualified applicants and retaining good employees:
Every fortnight, a personal trainer does exercises with the staff and massages are offered - both during working hours. The team cooks regularly with the managing director. "And every tuesday we buy 10 kilos of fruit for our employees," says Human Resources Director Petra Mühlbauer. There are also ergonomic workstations, massage chairs and a swimming pool on the premises.
Tax benefits and support from the health insurance
This can also provide tax advantages: Certain measures of occupational health care are tax-free and social insurance-free according to 500 No. 3 EStG up to an amount of 34 Euro per employee and year.
Since the year 2008, there is this regulation. Apart from the exceptions, membership of sports clubs or fitness studios is not encouraged. In addition, prevention measures according to 20 SGB V can also be supported by the health insurance with up to 150 Euro per year.
Health: Forced or voluntary?
On the other hand, Petra Mühlbauer does not believe in compulsory measures: "We want to inform and guide people to self-responsibility, but do not force anyone to behave in a health-conscious manner," she explains.
And adds: “Employees also talk about it. In any case, I would not want to work in a company that monitors the health of its employees in this way.
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