New work, classic office – or both? Three issues that will shape tomorrow’s work environment.

August 2022

The modern office world

The world of work is undergoing change. People have been talking about concepts such as remote working, shared desks, collaboration spaces or communication areas for quite some time. But what is exactly behind them all?

The flexibility issue

The issue of new work flexibility means greater freedom for the individual – and therefore a farewell to rigid structures and hierarchies. This applies especially to working hours. In future, more and more people will be able to arrange their working hours flexibly, while fixed core working hours will become less common. At the same time, working from home and mobile working are already playing a major role today. And even if the pandemic certainly accelerated and supported this development, the trend towards hybrid working models seems irreversible. At the same time, the last few years have shown that the future working world will not get by without offices entirely. Direct communication with co-workers is too important for the working atmosphere in which identities are created and therefore an atmosphere that binds employees together in a shared workplace.

The responsibility issue

Rethinking leadership is also a central aspect of new work. Essentially, individual employees will have more personal responsibility and will be involved in taking key company decisions in future. Employee surveys have been an established tool for a long time, such as when making decisions about changing location and/or planning new spaces. Today, this development is going one step further, as more and more companies are choosing to involve the relevant teams directly in the decision-making process right from the start. Transparency and relevance – these terms characterise the strategies of the new work approach. In times of increasing digitalisation and increasing mobility, employees can determine the kind of connection they have with their company themselves. Or it is part of the strategy that each staff member receives the same salary.

The collaboration issue

Sitting by the window on Mondays, next to the kitchen on Wednesdays – the workplace of the future is no longer tied to a fixed place with your own desk. In view of the development towards hybrid working hour models, more and more companies are doing without their own offices for each employee and are opting instead for open-plan spaces based on flexible arrangements. The furnishing of office space is also changing as comfortable seating areas or open-plan lounges alternate with zones for concentrated work. The kitchenette as a meeting place has had its day, the entire office is becoming a meeting place, a place to communicate and get together. Plus, soundproof phone booths and meeting rooms are available for confidential discussions.