New Work Spaces
Nicole Gietz, New Work Expert, Senior Architect & Member of the Management Board, about workspaces of the future
Do we need physical office spaces in a digital future?
That’s a good question. The Frey-Orsborn study found that 59% of jobs in Germany can be digitized. With their cessation, on the one hand, a lot of office space would be left empty. On the other hand, people, not only at work, have a primal desire for community and exchange. This desire can only be satisfied in the physical space. Thus, a digitized economy especially needs physical points of contact. We can prove this trend particularly with the success and the growing number of coworking formats. Thus, the answer to the initial question is yes, we do need office spaces in the future when they are conceptualized as New Work spaces.
How does a perfect New Work spaces look like?
It’s no longer enough to just build an office space. Above all it is about the right mix and the right format. The needs and wishes of users and target groups are in the center and have to be fulfilled. Tomorrow’s office locations need to become holistic destinations. A New Work space offers room for creativity and the development of one’s personality. This also nourishes the employees’ competence profiles. It connects them with transdisciplinary teams and becomes a human interface and instigator of collaborative learning. New Work spaces are worlds of experience and learning that unite people of one or many companies as well as freelancers in one physical space and that, as a community, creating an advantage over the outer world.
What exactly can companies do to implement the topic New Work?
First of all, they need to be aware that New Work does not mean fresh fruit and back therapy training but participation of employees in corporate decisions as well as their enthusiasm and a good feeling towards their employer and their work as such. This needs to be fostered. Transparency, openness, and participation – companies need to take on responsibility to further develop and transform the company and its employees. New Work spaces need to follow this New Work culture. Prospectively, there will be more interdisciplinary project work due to continuously increasing project complexity. Therefore, spaces and places need to be created that go beyond a traditional desk. Next to respecting standards like air, noise, and light, spaces need to be multifunctional and flexible with clear features like magnet boards, newest technology, and modular furniture. There is a necessity for space concepts that support the different practice modes of a work day and that create superb amenity.
Which priority should the topic New Work have for companies?
I’d like to cite Jörg Dohmen, Head of Brand and Customer Institutes, BMW Group here: “Brands either go to the gym or the graveyard!” Change will never happen as slowly as today. Use this time!