New Work – future models for work

Abschlussbericht New Work
© peshkova – stock.adobe / Fraunhofer IAO


Fraunhofer IAO and BMAS analyse promising practices in Germany

The New Work project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), analyzes the success factors for new forms of employment, to which end it described interesting examples from all over Germany. In an accompanying study, Fraunhofer IAO investigated how employees can be included in management processes and which measures can be used to achieve this.

Attractive design concepts for the future of work at German companies is a popular topic of public discussion. For companies, creating an attractive workplace for digital transformation specialists entails a lot of time, effort and expense. Furthermore, there is growing pressure for companies to develop innovations quickly and to enter volatile markets. This, too, requires new forms of work, based on a greater degree of self-organization, agile approaches to teamwork and new management concepts. These strategies are grouped together under the umbrella term “New Work”.

Many of the solutions come from Germany

The New Work project is aimed at identifying success factors for new work arrangements in a Work 4.0 world. A “New Work map” based on successful examples from practice shows implementation paths that have already been developed, along with what these paths entail for companies, successful sequences of steps that have enabled companies to reach the goal, and the obstacles they overcame to do so. The study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO focused on the following questions: Which process, involving which employees and managers and using which change management approach, will enable companies to successfully implement New Work? “We are extremely pleased that we managed to find decision-makers and practical and daring examples in companies of widely varying sizes in industry, services and the trades. It’s not always necessary to go all the way to Silicon Valley to find applicable examples,” says project manager Dr. Josephine Hofmann from Fraunhofer IAO.

Final report includes an overview of best practices and prerequisites

In the final project report, the team developed and documented not only best practices but also prerequisites and conceivable future models based on the core idea of New Work. Sixteen case studies prefaced by a foreword written by Hubertus Heil, Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs supplement and illustrate the publication, which is rounded out by a compact description of the main trends and areas of tension in the development of our working society. The final report will be available free of charge from Fraunhofer IAO as of May 16, 2019.

In addition, BMAS presents many of the practical examples in multimedia formats in its “space to learn and experiment.” Fraunhofer IAO has also addressed various aspects of the project in a number of blog entries.