New technologies open up new possibilities
Laptops, smartphones, fast Internet - modern technologies open up new possibilities to organize life, and also work. This is why employees are increasingly demanding that the job adapts to their lives, not vice versa, both spatially and temporally. Home Office, Sabbatical, flexible working hours are often expressed desires.
But many executives fear losing control. Giving one employee liberties and the other does not create the envy and disgrace is another fear. Therefore, they shift the change. This is dangerous, however, as employees are increasingly expecting companies and executives to come to terms with their desires.
Right to Home Office?
Where the economy hesitates, politics now wants to intervene. The Christian Democratic Workers' Union (CDA) recently demanded that the German Working Time Act be extended to include a right to Home Office, just as the Netherlands has already done. In some companies, this has long been a reality and part of corporate culture. Many German companies are faced with huge changes.
Markus Klups, Strategy Consultant and CEO of Zukunftsagenten, sees this proposal as positive: "The models for working time and place will be different in the future than today, project-based work will increase sharply." As Germany's importance as a production location shrinks, knowledge work becomes more and more important And this will no longer be tied to time and space - innovations can not be forced into the rigid corset of traditional patterns - companies need to be faster, more flexible and more innovative in order to keep pace with development together."
Respect personal life designs
However, far-reaching changes in corporate governance would require a well thought-out strategy, by means of which individual measures are examined and implemented. What does it bring, what is the risk? Markus Klups explains: "The digitization of the world of work goes far beyond handing over smartphones and laptops to employees and calling this flexible work, based on the needs of the company and the personal life plans of its employees - a successful change Process first requires a future-proof framework, before, in the next step, the work environment is adapted to the individual needs of the employees. "
A statutory home office regulation would also mean that significantly fewer employees are on-site in the companies. The more flexible and individual the work is designed, the more difficult it is to build and maintain a culture of identification in the company. Business culture is essentially the way people deal with each other, and this often happens in the middle of the day - eating lunch together or making coffee breaks, exchanging information about the private. The management personnel of a company also play a central role. But they must also be tangible. If employees are spatially distributed, it is more difficult to maintain a corresponding corporate culture.
Success Factors Trust and transparency
"When working flexibly, care must be taken to combine the greatest possible freedom with physical presence and maximum exchange - this requires guidance, otherwise the company may collapse into a loose collection of situationally interacting people, who hardly even have anything in common," says Markus Klups to the point. That calls for a completely new leadership style. "Managers are less likely to be measured by their professional qualifications in the future," he predicts. "Their task will instead be to form a team from a 'buzzing cooperation', to bind and thus to shape the culture."
Finally, executives will be responsible for creating trust and transparency. Transparency is particularly important when different employee options are used differently. For an employee in marketing it is easier to do his home office tasks than for someone in research or product development. To justify these differences is important for a trusting business climate and is one of the tasks of leadership.
Hercules task for management
At the same time, objectivity should be guaranteed. Decisions on working models must always be comprehensible for the persons concerned. If employees have the impression that privileges are distributed according to gusto or even sympathy, this leads to dissatisfaction and a bad climate.
All this shows: The control of modern work models is an extremely demanding management task, almost one could speak of a Hercules task. Corresponding initiatives up to New Work structures should therefore be anchored in the management of the company and be consistent with strategic objectives. The impetus from politics makes it clear that companies can not escape this discussion. Whoever anticipates change so bravely can benefit from it.
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