New working world: sophisticated, flexible and digital

Who does which work – when? The new working world is mainly coined by innovative technologies and demographic changes. Constant advances, for example in artificial intelligence and new communication technologies, require flexible structures and reduce the half-life of knowledge and skills.

The relationships between companies and their employees are changing fundamentally. The new working world is very diverse. Workforces consist of a mix of employees of different age groups, whose employment relationships in turn differ in terms of their motivations and needs. This presents companies with new challenges in designing a target group-specific employee experience. Companies have to react and anchor continuous learning processes in everyday life, for example through "training on the job". Professional knowledge and skills are not enough - soft skills also play an essential role. Especially in the digital age, human skills such as problem-solving abilities, communication and teamwork are moving into focus to maximize the opportunities offered by modern technologies.

It is becoming apparent that the use of digital work tools can lead to a flexibilisation, decentralisation and removal of boundaries in work. This results in new requirements for communication, cooperation and leadership of employees. The "internal" flexibility can be seen in the companies through the increasing spread of flexible working hours, as well as the improved possibilities of mobile working. In the literature, this digitally enabled flexibilisation or "de-limitation" of work is often described by a dissolution of traditional spatial, temporal or organisational boundaries, which lead to a softening and shifting of the boundaries between work and private life. Collectively available time institutions, such as the end of work or the weekend, hardly exist anymore.

This "double de-limitation" of working conditions and an increasingly flexible everyday life for families, without correspondingly developed care and service infrastructures, increase the competition for time, energy and attention in work as well as in private life. Mobile work in particular improves the compatibility of work and family life by saving long commuting times and shifting overtime to home or care-friendly periods. Better concentration and work results are also perceived as advantages and, according to studies, contribute to job satisfaction and to a higher identification with the company.

An important design task for work organisations in the future will therefore be to set "limits on the boundaries between availability and working hours" and to create individual scope for the compatibility of work and family life.