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            Designing News Work in the Context of New Working Environments

            New Work and the manifold effects

            New worlds of work are often mentioned in connection with New Work. These are basically "changed focal points" in everyday working life or in corporate management.

            Characteristics of New Work:

            • "Multi-space" offices design living spaces for different needs
            • Attitude "Y" has confidence in people to be intrinsically engaged, motivated and performance-oriented
            • Multiple organizational forms that allow for the best operating system within an organization to create value in each case
            • New forms of work and cooperation, such as freelancers, interim managers and temporary employment agencies
            • Creativity and agility via network structures and cross-functional teams creates a lot of room for creativity and innovation

            These principles provide an additive framework:

            • Freedom (creating free spaces, fear-free culture, strong networking within the organization).
            • Self-responsibility (promoting self-organization, adapting budget authorities, establishing participation models)
            • Meaning ("work you want", adaptation of structures and processes)
            • Development (collective learning, self-reflection of the organization, establishment of joint decision-making structures)
            • Social responsibility (ecological and social sustainability, regional commitment, principle of the honorable businessman)

            We call this context "Workplace Change".  This is a holistic approach to the interaction of the spatial design of working environments with good and new forms of collaborative working from "New Work" and the Healthy Organization.

            The move to a new building or another part of the building, newly formed teams or the establishment of completely new business units are occasions to rethink the space situation.

            Thinking about the use of space quickly leads to thinking about the general use of space. What should and can take place in premises? Space has an effect on the organization and on the people in it. It promotes or blocks good processes, communication and cooperation.

            Work-Place-Change / New Work

            Why New Work?

            Scrum stand-up in the morning, then a video conference with the customer, a staff meeting in private, a design thinking in the team until the early afternoon and then return again to work on a concept .... this is how formats of work and collaboration quickly alternate.

            And the demands on the space are just as varied. Rooms today all have to meet these different work formats, offer the possibilities for them and be able to be used flexibly.

            The reality, however, is different. Spaces are very often shaped by economic rationality and override the quality of life and work of the people who work there. This leads to friction losses and is more a hindrance of potential than a potential development.

            Indicators of this are internal resignations, depression and actual resignations, which are accompanied by increased staff turnover. According to estimates, the loss reaches 50% of personnel costs.

            New Work and New Working Worlds with the Healthy Organization

            The interaction with each other and the space as an environment have an influence and impact on the work results. All dimensions that we have already thought of in the concept of the Healthy Organization have an effect and interaction in the area. In detail these are:

            Relationships at eye level:

            Individual offices can fuel overbearing relationships. The sense of community recedes into the background, information is not openly exchanged. The classic: the luxurious executive floor, to which the employee from the lower floors is summoned to receive "feedback.

            Community Culture:

            To create a collaborative culture, culture must be reflected as a component of daily life. Cross-hierarchical spaces for social exchange, shared meal options or exercise opportunities promote a collaborative culture. A cool sofa is of no use if it is supposedly not to be used, as this could give the impression that nothing is being done on it. That's why it's important - especially in highly hierarchical companies: Managers set a good example and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the new workspaces.

            High-performing employees:

            Every person is different. This is called personal preferences. And everyone has different activities during the course of a workday - like concentrated work, talking on the phone, conversations, and so on. These are called work modes. Intelligently designed, multifunctional spaces accommodate these different preferences and work modes. This allows employees to develop their full potential and performance.

            Adaptive structures:

            The company appears sluggish and reacts only slowly to market changes. Bureaucratic structures determine the daily work routine.
            Cross-functional teams in project or network structures are suitable for rapid exchange among each other and fast, competent decisions made close to the market. Rooms and workplaces can make this possible. These spaces breathe, so that smaller as well as larger teams always find the right place for exchange and togetherness.

            Agile Processes:

            Agile work requires visualization, iteration loops and workshop-like work options. Quickly conducting a "design thinking workshop" or a retrospective requires space that is often not available and thus prevents agile, creative work. Single or two-person offices are completely unsuitable for this. Larger visualizations using Scrum or Kanban boards can only be accomplished in open rooms with the appropriate material.

            Market- and resource-oriented strategy:

            Strategy is the totality of all activities of the organization to sustainably achieve the organizational purpose as well as the goals derived from it. A sustainable strategy is untrustworthy if it is only reflected on paper but not in reality, for example through the sustainability of the building. The strategically often proclaimed sentence "Our focus is on the employee" can be just as evident here as a well thought-out customer centricity manifested in the design of the building. The choice of the company location can also send a clear signal.

            Balanced leadership:

            Leadership forms a bracket around the above-mentioned dimensions. It is the link between the dimensions, and it is in and with leadership that the interactions with space are formed. Leadership becomes "balanced leadership" when it is used as a support for self-leadership, for constructive work context and potential development, and leadership is understood as a service.

            New Work and New Working Worlds with the Healthy Organization

            • Culture analysis - getting to know the existing corporate culture and the desired target culture ("Dealing") with regard to the upcoming spatial changes.
            • Target image workshop - bringing together the ideas of the relevant responsible persons with the result of developing a clear target image for the future. In addition to space, important dimensions include the company's strategy, structural set-up (who works with whom and how?), processes and the integration of managers.
            • Data collection - Collection of all relevant (spatial) data through quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (interviews, observations) methods with the aim of creating a fundamentally, fact-based starting point for further action.
            • Kick-off workshop - presentation of results from data collection incl. recommendations for prioritization and further procedure. Concretization of individual measures to achieve objectives and agreement on a roadmap for the overall process.
            • Stakeholder management - The reactions of those affected by change can be highly diverse. We provide support through efficient and sustainable stakeholder management to ensure that all stakeholders are involved in a beneficial way, thus actively shaping the change management process.
            • Change communication - Good and comprehensive communication from the beginning is absolutely essential, because the people involved need to know and understand their role in the change process in order to support it.
            • Implementation - Iterative approach according to the agreed roadmap to achieve the target picture. Includes various modules that are used as needed.
            • Evaluation - Pulse checks during the process are used to repeatedly compare whether the milestones have been reached. An overall evaluation at the end sums up what has been achieved and at the same time provides an outlook for the future and the associated next steps.

            Offers for new work environments

            Target image workshops

            How do we want to work together in the future?

            Blended Training

            Virtual collaboration


            Discover hidden talents

            To our products
            workplace change / new work

            These experts accompany you into new working worlds

            Ingo Kallenbach
            Ingo Kallenbach
            Manager REFELCT

            REFLECT Notes

            Want a dose of inspiration? We provide you with in-depth know-how and exciting insights on the topics of agile transformation, leadership and HR development.


            Once downloaded, our free whitepapers are available to you at any time as useful reference works or also for impulses in your work. Choose - according to your interests - and benefit from our know-how.



            Agile Organization Design

            Organizational structures that adapt organically to the business environment.

            Change Management

            Natural transformability.

            Hybrid Working

            Teams are empowered to self-organize and achieve maximum productivity, effectiveness and creativity.

            Guide to Digital Working

            Guidance on how to conduct digital meeting and workshops professionally.

            New Work

            Multi-territorial, dynamic and identity-creating organization.

            Virtual Leadership

            Successful virtual leadership.

            Workplace Change

            The space and its multiple effects.

            Let us strengthen your opportunities together!

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            UWE HEIDE
            Uwe Heide