The digitalisation of society and other technological advances will have a lasting impact on the labour market, change career paths and encourage companies to reorganise. This is often referred to as “Working 4.0”. If you take a closer look, this change has long since begun (Manager Magazin).
For closer examination, the Shareground team of the German Telekom together with the University of St. Gallen conducted 60 expert interviews on the topic of Work 4.0. I will briefly summarize the results for you in this article.
Work 4.0 – act in today
According to the study, Work 4.0 should already be established in companies today. For example, the study sees 6 important pillars as drivers for the implementation of this so-called megatrend.
An innovation culture is intended to encourage employees to get involved – open spaces are intended to promote creativity. There is also talk of intrapreneurship. The Future Work block talks about time and local sovereignty as well as a culture of results rather than presence. The leadership is intended to strengthen networks and dialogue competence – labour policy is characterised by digital breaks. The organization of the company is characterized by flat hierarchies and communities – the skills are creativity, entrepreneurship and ICT knowledge.
Work 4.0 – act in tomorrow
Even if one might suspect it, the topic of Work 4.0 is not just about the technological component. What is most important is how people integrate into the world of work 4.0 – what skills are needed for this. However, technology is, of course, the driving force in the new world of work (source Cebit). Without digitization, “Working 4.0” would not exist. So what are the prerequisites for the new digital world of work? What should the new thinking look like in this context? What changes are the results of digitalisation for the individual employee? And what new rules of the game are we even talking about?
The study has also provided some answers to these questions. I would like to address some of the points here. The first thing that caught my eye was “miracle children and nerds as top decision-makers” and “superiors as feel-good managers”. An approach that supports the distribution of responsibility and “serving leadership”. The creation of digital breaks is also becoming very important, as high burnout rates are predicted, especially through many studies. The “commissioning” instead of hiring will also become more relevant, as external experts gain in importance again – the “Consulting 4.0” is thus confirmed.
It is also exciting how companies want to train employees as “hobby recruiters and entrepreneurs”. I am also curious to see what importance the holocracy, sociocracy and democracy frameworks will place. All in all, therefore, there is a change in our world of work, which seems irreversible if companies want to survive (FAZ). One thing is certain: it will be complex in management and companies will be challenged to plan this new work precisely. The increasing number of management frameworks alone shows that researchers see a lot of need in this area and that organizational development has again become a top topic at conferences. It remains exciting how this trend will affect and how German companies will interpret it for themselves.
Reading tip: For more information, please read my article on Leading digital in conjunction with the work of the future.
Machines will be colleagues – 25 theses on work 4.0
Connected working – humans in harmony with robots and machines. What does this mean for tomorrow’s work? The real revolution ultimately takes place in the offices: Artificial intelligence and machine learning determine the new work, as many office jobs still manually copy data from left to right. The problem of “Boredom in the job” will then probably be eliminated. In the further course of the study, 25 theses were compiled, which I would like to list here individually. In summary, it becomes clear: “Digitalization does not come as a lukewarm air, but as a storm.” I have heard the theses from the St. Gallen Shareground Study.
THE DISSOLUTION OF THE ORGANIZATION
1. LIQUID INSTEAD OF STARR
The new world of work is characterised by networks. Standardized back-end processes are
company without being visible to customers or employees. As a result,
Workplaces without clear organisational affiliation and products, without unambiguous senders.
2. PEER-TO-PEER INSTEAD OF HIERARCHY
Highly specialized professionals communicate worldwide in Special Interest Communities. No longer the organizational affiliation, but only the professional expertise manages loyalties. The dissolved bonds also lead to the end of organizability. Trade unions are already feeling this today: commitment to general concerns is only selective.
3. ASSIGN INSTEAD OF SETTING
Companies are less and less likely to rely on the
company’s permanently connected workforce. Global visibility of skills and availability
highly qualified professionals lead to a “hiring on demand”. The employment relationship is changing
for the use of work.
4. SAP INSTEAD OF MCKINSEY
Organizations no longer structure themselves along organizational charts, but complex IT systems dictate standardized processes and organizational forms. It is cheaper to adapt the organization to the software instead of customizing the software. Software standardization makes organizational forms more homogeneous.
5. OPEN INSTEAD OF CLOSED
Acclaimed transparency requirements as well as the need for co-creation with customers (open innovation) lead to an opening and delimitation of formerly closed corporate structures. Transitions between inside and outside become fluid, knowledge of domination, such as patents, loses value. The ability to scale quickly and openly becomes the king’s way. The “crowd” becomes part of the value creation.
6. PROSUMENTEN STATT PROFESSIONAL PRODUCERS
Instead of employees, companies always rely on customers who, in addition to consumption, also provide many (digitalizable) services for the company – and often voluntarily and free of charge out of mere enthusiasm for the product. In prosumerism, the
the boundaries between producers and consumers. Voluntary digital work replaces professional employment.
WORK IN DIGITAL NETWORK ECONOMY
7. FROM RUNNING TO MONITORING
The role of man in the production process is transformed from the provider of work performance into
the monitor of the machines. routine operations and also physically stressful activities are
independently handled by these. Man controls and intervenes only in an emergency.
8. MACHINES AS COLLEAGUES, COOPERATION PARTNERS, INSPECTORS
New forms of interaction between man and machine are developing. Various types of games will coexist in the future. From people who control machines to machines as human colleagues, to the fusion of machine and man or even the complete takeover of the machines.
9. CLOUD AND CROWDWORKING AS A TRANSITIONAL PHENOMENON
Digital services are broken down into ever smaller parts and delegated to “Virtual Laborers”. Big data analytics can be used to assign value contributions to individual workers. Cloud/clickworkers perform their chord services. It is foreseeable that many of these activities will soon be fully digitised.
10. THE DATA READERS
With big data, sufficient data is available for all areas of life. The ability to meaningfully combine and interpret them is a key qualification of digital work and cannot be substituted. However, working with big data differs from traditional data analysis because hypotheses are no longer needed (“end of theory”).
11. WORK WITHOUT BORDERS
Highly qualified specialists perform work around the world as part of project work. Qualifications are global, transparent and comparable. The spatial location of the service provider no longer plays a role. This is the first time that labour has achieved the same mobility as capital.
12. OCCUPATION AND PRIVATE BLURRING
Traditional places and times are disintegrating. For employees, this results in individual design potentials, for example to a better reconciliation of family and professional life, but also to new burdens (“always on”).
13. NON-LINEAR THINKING AS HUMAN DOMAIN
The automation of work is finite, as creative activities remain that are predictably not machine-substitutable. These are mainly found in very specific niches. Entrepreneurial skills, creativity and mastery of the machines are considered difficult to substitute skills.
14. STRENGTHENING PERSONAL SERVICES
In high-wage countries, activities with direct human interaction are upgraded. These jobs are growing in percentage terms. Standardizable and anonymous processes, especially in the field of ICT, become the subject of offshoring and further efficiency pressure.
15. SELF-MANAGEMENT AS A CORE QUALIFICATION
Through the flexible and needs-based awarding of contracts to labour contractors, traditional working relationships and processes are dissolved. Working time is made up of micro-working hours of various tasks which the employee has to deal with in terms of need and ability.
16. GROWING TOGETHER OF CREATIVE AND MANUFACTURING WORK
More and more often, the providers of creative or intellectual services are required to perform, which are also materially
Implement. 3D printers and other tools encourage this trend.
17. WE WONDER CHILDREN
The increasing importance of IT opens the way for the “nerds” to reach the top levels of the company. What used to be the musical prodigy are now the precocious app tinkerers and data experts. This generation will make a significant contribution to the disruptive transformation of corporate cultures. Non-formal qualifications, but exclusively technical skills, will henceforth decide on employability.
18. DIGITAL INCLUSION
Distance work, the anonymity of crowd and clickworking working relationships and the flexibility of working hours also integrate social groups into the labour market, which are not available for the classic normal working relationship. This applies – as can be seen in Berlin, for start-ups, but also to clickworkers in emerging markets.
CHALLENGES FOR LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATION
19. CHALLENGE LATTE MACCHIATO WORKPLACE
The place of work of people in flexible working conditions spreads to the public space
From. Physical offices are temporary anchor points for human interaction, which are mainly
networks. Work is done everywhere, except at your own desk.
20. BREAD AND GAMES
Especially in standardized jobs, employees yearn for distraction and reward. Gamification and intuitive usability of IT interfaces are becoming increasingly important and the working environment is approaching a virtual playing field. Employers are required to integrate playful design principles into standardized IT applications.
21. JOB HOPPING AND CHERRY-PICKING AS A CHALLENGE FOR HR
The bond between employee and employer is dissolved. Flexible forms of work and cooperation instead mean that workers are constantly on the labour market with one leg. This makes systematic personnel development more difficult. At the same time, expectations and
Employees’ demands for directly usable qualifications.
22. LEADING AT A DISTANCE
The departure from the spatially located work is a change from the presence to the
culture of results. Leaders need to learn that they motivate more than they control
Be. The art consists in personal attachment, even through impersonal technical channels
build up and maintain.
23. EXPLORE NEXT TO EXPLOIT
An increasing pace of innovation is forcing the constant recruitment of promising
business areas and the transformation of existing business models (explore). Simultaneously
the core business, which is still profitable in the present day, must be pursued as efficiently as possible
(exploit). Management thus becomes “both-handed” and acts in the present as well as in the future.
24. MATCHING BY CLICK
Digital workers are quantified in the form of individual data packages – skills, experience, capacities. This makes it easier to award contracts precisely. However, interference factors in the data profile can also prevent matching. Personnel selection will be less intuitive, but also less culturally oriented.
25. GOOD DATA, BAD DATA
Sensors characterize the “office of digital work”. Characteristics of the environment, processes, work results and workers are continuously recorded in order to provide both the employer and the employee with information on the quality and potential for improvement of the work. Practical benefits must be weighed against ethical considerations.
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