Mobile working will become an integral part of 'New Work'. In the future, more than 50% of employees expect to have the opportunity to work from home in a home office at least 1-2 days a week. Thus, it is all the more important to develop a uniform approach to remote working as well as the associated change processes in the company. It is also important to start the individual implementation so that the new principles are lived in the company culture.
Birgit Loeflath, Senior Consultant, CANZLER GmbH
Since Corona, hardly anyone doubts that work also works well in a home office. However, there is no uniform understanding of the terminology of this new work culture and what it means for us and the companies individually. Terms such as 'mobile work', 'hybrid work' or 'remote work', to name but a few, are in circulation.
Therefore, it is high time for a comprehensive definition, because there is so much more to the topic of remote working than just working from home! The home office was an easy-to-implement way of delivering work outside the office during the pandemic. However, remote working is a form of location-independent working. Employees who work remotely no longer have a fixed workplace in the office. They perform without their workplace being predetermined. So they can work just as well from a café, a co-working space or a park.
Concerns of employees
When introducing a new workplace concep the main fear of employees before Corona was that a flexible and open design would be synonymous with the old open-plan office, only more or less spatially divided. The major concern was that the noise level in the office will be too high and that individuals will no longer be able to concentrate on their work. Und diese Sorge weicht gerade einer neuen Befürchtung: Ich finde keinen freien Platz! Oder: Habe ich überhaupt noch einen Arbeitsplatz?
The experience of the pandemic period has ensured that employees appreciate the positive effects of greater flexibility. But few can imagine anything other than their own desk in the office.
Many surveys conducted by the International Institute for Facility Management (IFM) summarise the wishes of many respondents very succinctly:
"Flexibility in where work is done, but continue to have a personally dedicated workspace in the office and please more meeting rooms."
The top 3 concerns of employees and managers are:
- Concern about finding a suitable free place - 41,7%
- Doubts about the consistent implementation of strategies (E.g. does a desk-sharing principle really apply to everyone afterwards?) - 36,7%
- Will a flexible working environment and corporate culture really meet? - 35,4%
Corporate culture as an anchor
These results highlight that the pandemic will not turn the acceptance of forward-looking work methods into a no-brainer when it comes to implementing new workplace concepts! Joint and company-wide agreements regarding the desired implementation of new workplace concepts are helpful here. These must be embedded and manifested in the corporate culture and exemplified by the management level. Companies developing a 'new work' strategy early on, considering how their organisation will work in the future and what kind of spaces it will need, will be among the winners. Transparency in acting and a clearly defined vision are key factors for a successful implementation.
Read more about this in the current study by PROOF (German only) and the accompanying interview.