20. July 2022

The new old work – But one thing always remains the same!

You noticed, the headline plays with the terms “New Work” and “Old Work”. But what actually makes the work “New” and what was bad about the “Old”? Everyone is talking about agile working in flexible structures. There are many companies that are doing away with fixed desks for employees and dissolving entire departmental structures. With the goal of avoiding routines and eliminating silo thinking. Not only in times of the pandemic have many benefited from this, because it is thus possible for almost all companies to operate successfully from the home office – at least for a while!

Incidentally, the idea of “New Work” comes from the Austrian-American social philosopher Frithjof Bergmann. Bergmann was already convinced in the early 1980s that we were moving from an industrial to a knowledge society. Traditional work structures must give way to new, more flexible forms of work. New technologies, digitalization, automation and global networking offer completely new opportunities. Just how right Bergmann was with this observation back then is evident in many companies today. “New Work” is the epitome of the process, which consists of four points:

1. decentralized working: Working together without country borders, no more rush hour in the megacities in the morning, no more rushing from meeting place to meeting place. In the “New Work,” physical proximity to colleagues and superiors is no longer crucial.

2. new workspace: Even in the “new work,” companies need offices and central workplaces because they provide an important point of contact and also serve to identify with the company. However, they will be designed differently in the future: open areas will alternate with telephone boxes and quiet zones.

3. independent work: Instead of strict reporting lines and strict work instructions, there are flat hierarchies and a leadership style at eye level. The new approach is characterized by appreciation instead of work instructions.

4. work-life balance: the concept of decentralized working enables a more flexible approach and thus a better balance between family and career.

It is absolutely amazing that this theory is already over forty years old! On the practical side, the “New Workspaces”, Anita Gödiker has been a pioneer in the German market for over twenty years. She never believed in the huge coworking spaces, whose focus was certainly more on “community,” or togetherness, than on concentrated work. “We also have coworking areas in our locations. But we downsized them last year and equipped them with a new concept. I could observe that the middle spaces were always occupied last. Actually, no one wanted to work in the middle.” Because one thing remains – in new or old work – without focus, there is no success.”

No success without concentration. Never.

There is a fine line between creative autonomy and inefficient chaos. Where structures are dissolved, new rules of cooperation must be agreed upon. We are still in an experimental phase today. Anita Gödiker already developed a new approach to Satellite Office’s Flexible Workspaces two years ago, providing a great deal of guidance in a diffuse, fragmented industry. The pureSilent® line was developed together with strong partners from science, craftsmanship and technology.

Instead of large open spaces, there are plenty of protected, smaller breakout areas, some of which are even soundproofed to ensure a high level of discretion and productive work. State-of-the-art, air-conditioned cubes allow for “Silent Dialog”. For “deep working,” there are workstations in screened areas and small offices. Acoustics play a central role, as they ensure well-being and a working environment that promotes concentration.

All of this is not pie in the sky, but has already been implemented. The new pureSilent® locations in Frankfurt and Hamburg were opened this year, with the “KUD15 Gloria Berlin” following in mid-October. All other locations will be successively equipped with individual elements of the pureSilent®-line. Because: In silence lies power: “pureSilent®” – new ways in coworking!