Create the New Working World

The working world is changing in a breathtaking speed. According to Dr. Thomas Vollmoeller, CEO by XING AG, the change in the world of work concerns all sectors and implies risks as well as possibilities for employees and companies. Particularly the value of employees has changed during the last years. Whereas in the former time a high income, a big office and a fast company car were the most important status symbols, this situation nowadays has completely changed. Especially young employees are searching for other values like flexibility, meaning of the work, working atmosphere and self-realization. A sabbatical for example nowadays is more important than a new company car. How could a new personal life-cycle-balance be successful? What do workers want, what do they need? And how companies have to be changed for the new working world?

 

Two different kinds of workers

If young people talk about their daily work routine with their parents or grandparents it may be very funny but also tricky because the working world has changed enormously during the last half century. In Germany people are currently working 35-42 hours per week on average.[1] The average working-time dropped in the last two decades by 2.5 hours.[2] And our grandparents can only laugh about such low working hours.

Trend of working hours in Germany

But the problem persists: While we´re at work our well-being drops. According to some scientists-worker´s well-being drops by 8 % if we can trust in this British study.[3] So let´s have a look at the employees; even though there is no prototype because every worker is unique, the fact is that numerous workers a thinking and feeling similar. And therefore Douglas McGregor developed a theory about two different kinds of workers in the 1960s.

The economic scientist McGregor described his idea of a man as theory X. Therefore the average human has congenital aversion against work. Due to this aversion humans have to be forced and controlled for making their job. In addition the average human doesn´t want to overtake responsibility and is only searching for security.[4] In summary the human seems to be lazy, work-resistant and only motivated by external incentives. A lot of companies get obviously caught in the 1960s and treat their employees like the theory X pretends it.

Fortunately there is also a second theory Y. Therefore the physical and cognitive overspending by the employee is also possible without threatening a punishment. As long as the humans get targets which they may feel obligated to they will do their work with exemplary. The most important reward is the possibility to develop the own character and to fulfil the own desires. [5]

 

Generation Y and Life-Cycle-Balance

For some years the dictum “generation Y” is used more and more frequently. These people are about 30 years old and are living in an everything-is-possible-world. They want to have anything, a job, happiness and meaning by their doing. And they expect that the companies offer exactly these possibilities.[6]

There is an initiative of some people who want to create the new working world and designed the model called “Life-Cycle-Balance”.[7] According to the concept of new work – developed by the social philosophe Frithjof Bergmann – the life takes place in cycles and phases, not linear and fragmented.[8] The Life-Cycle-Balance tries to include work, lifelong learning, time for family, realization of life-dreams, society commitment and thereby it´s another way than the concept of Work-Life-Balance. While Work-Life-Balance wants to separate the areas work and life, the Life-Cycle-Balance wants to bring both areas together in harmony.

“Life-Cycle-Balance” by newworkblog.de

Thereby also the working places have to be changed. First the working time and working place will be more flexible. The communication will be more partner-like and the employees will be more motivated. These obvious improvements for the workers also result in benefits for the companies. Workers in such a world would be more motivated, innovative and creative.[9] Hence they are satisfied and thereby the company will be successful.

 

Crowdworking and steps for companies

This is not the only way how the new working world generates chances for companies. Another good example where companies could profit by new work approaches is the so-called “Crowdworking”. Crowdworking means to source out in-house tasks and projects by online-platforms to external workers who edits this orders against payment.[10] Almost 80 % of the companies in Germany know about Crowdworking. But less than 5 % of the companies are currently using Crowdworking. The highest usage of Crowdworking is in the sector of media service provider.[11] Crowdworking is a good example how companies as well as employees could benefit by new ways of working. Of course there are some things that companies have to consider before they offer such new working ways.

 

“Working places” by newworkblog.de

The new working world may offer several tools and possibilities to the employees, in order that they could get the necessary flexibility. Concrete methods by companies or the government could be more part-time jobs, educational money, potential-analysis at the end of school or internship days for experienced workers.[12]

 

The international spreading

The attitudes or rather approaches of the new working world had been developed in several western states in the last two decades. Meanwhile this trend also achieves other areas, for example South-Korea, a state where family, groups and work traditionally are more important than the individual person.[13] But more and more people in South-Korea change their view; they want to find out who they are and what they really want to do. Since the 1960s the economy of South-Korea has been developed extreme favorably. But now South-Korea doesn´t only want to be a successful state, but also a happy society.[14] Otherwise not all that glitters is gold.

 

Suspended people

Next to the “generation Y” and the conservative “generation X” there are also much people who are not at all integrated in the job market. They can´t join the well performed job market and have difficulties to find an appropriate job. Even for those people the European Union established the European Social Fond (ESF) which now consists for approximately for 60 years.[15] This fond identified three thematic focuses until 2020:[16]

  • Getting people into jobs
  • Social inclusion
  • Better education

The involved persons certainly don´t think about flexible working time and working place. They are happy if they get a job, any job. Even though it´s a good initiative by the EU these people could get further problems in the future working world. Even if they get a new job it would be probable that this kind of jobs gets lost due to the Industry 4.0 trend or rather working robots.

 

Every player has to cook his own soup

In summary, every player has his own challenges. The government has to create the framework for the new working world. Companies ought to think about their desired future, maybe including robots, maybe including demotivated workers or including motivated, innovative and creative workers. And at last the workers itself which are very unequal. Some workers are still living in the last century; they will probably get problems in the future. But especially many young workers like me want to create a new innovative working world. And one of the most important things for young people like me is helping the other people into the new working world, too, without having anxiety. Then the new working world might be a better world. Let´s create the new work together.

 

[1] Arbeitszeitreport Deutschland, BAuA 2016 (2016) page 9

[2] WSI Report in der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung (2014) page 5

[3] Psychologie Heute, Ausgabe Juni (2017) page

[4] Väth, M.: Arbeit – Die schönste Nebensache der Welt, Gabal Verlag GmbH (2016) page 82

[5] Väth, M.: Arbeit – Die schönste Nebensache der Welt, Gabal Verlag GmbH (2016) page 83

[6] http://www.zeit.de/2013/11/Generation-Y-Arbeitswelt

[7] https://newworkblog.de/

[8] https://newworkblog.de/2015/12/09/reality-check-10-thesen-zur-entwicklung-der-arbeitswelt/

[9] https://newworkblog.de/2015/08/11/new-work-das-ist-der-arbeitsplatz-der-zukunft/

[10] Nutzung von Crowdworking durch Unternehmen – Forschungsbericht BMAS (2016) page 3

[11] Nutzung von Crowdworking durch Unternehmen – Forschungsbericht BMAS (2016) page 5 and 6

[12] Väth, M.: Arbeit – Die schönste Nebensache der Welt, Gabal Verlag GmbH (2016) page 155 ff

[13] Die Zeit, Ausgabe 19, 4. Mai 2017, Ein Land sucht sich selbst (2017) page 9

[14] Die Zeit, Ausgabe 19, 4. Mai 2017, Ein Land sucht sich selbst (2017) page 9

[15] ESF-Programmbroschüre, ESF Förderperiode 2014-2020 (2017) page 4

[16] ESF-Programmbroschüre, ESF Förderperiode 2014-2020 (2017) page 13