Based on his investigation of the concept of freedom, the Austro-American social philosopher Frithjof Bergmann developed the concept of the NewWork – of the New job . Bergmann’s criticism begins with a criticism of the American concept of freedom. He does not understand freedom to mean being able to choose between two (more or less bad) alternatives (freedom of choice). Rather, freedom means having the opportunity to do something really important (freedom of action). New job offers space for creativity and personal development.

Change in society

Our society is changing from an industrial to a knowledge society. Correspondingly, corporate structures and work spaces are also changing: service, information and creative workers are moving into the center of global economic activity, and while the work-life balance is being evoked, the boundaries between professional and private life are blurring. As creative workers, we are becoming increasingly self-employed, even if we are permanently employed (source Zukunftsinstitut). Take a look at mine Article on work 4.0 .

Idea from Newwork

“Work in a fixed place, at a fixed time, in fixed structures,” is how Petry describes the classic world. According to Petry, the newwork is: “Work where you want, when you want and with whom you want.” Practices such as temporary work, flextime, trust, mobile work, co-working, cloud work and much more are used here. So there is a shift between fixed time, place and structure to flexible place, time and structure.

There is a shift between the classic working world with fixed place, time and structures towards flexible work (own illustration based on Petry 2016, p. 103)

Benefits of the NewWork

New Work , The working world of the future – everyone is talking about this topic: How will the digitalization change the office and industrial landscape? So the blog gives: Career bible a first look at the new world of work. The new work defines itself as

  • Independence,
  • Freedom and
  • Participation in the community.

So change seems to be in full swing. You can read the news from home office and mobile work everywhere. After the introduction of the personal computer, highly flexible technologies such as the cloud enable such mobile and flexible working. “Mobile, flexible and decentralized” is the headline of the blog. However, offices should not be completely abolished but differently: freely movable tables, open spaces and virtual reality instead of Skype. Overall, this new work is characterized as:

  • No more commuting
  • Work phases and leisure phases could take turns and
  • what would speak against it to work in the morning, to spend the afternoon with the child and if in doubt, log in again in the evening? Or at the weekend?

Criticism of the NewWork

There is criticism, among other things, from the WiWo : “Feelgood managers, work-life balance and invitations to the boss to grill tofu. The new world of work is being sold to us more beautifully than it is. Because not much has changed in the past 30 years. “. She criticizes the fact that flat hierarchies lead to far more power struggles. The business magazine writes: “ When processes go wrong and mistakes are made, the responsibility is often not that far off “.
According to the magazine, the topic of mobile work also has its downsides. “It’s difficult to train new colleagues when everyone is everywhere, just not in the office. And it’s also difficult to create a working atmosphere when everyone is everywhere, just not in the office.“Employees need contact points and carers to whom they can turn, even if the boss cannot be reached.

Conclusion: NewWork Yes, but without change

Many employees love their fixed structures, they know exactly what to escalate to where (in order to hand over responsibility) and know the relevant work instructions by heart ( Bernd Slaghuis ). Many companies and people are critical of change. New work costs habit. For many of today’s employees – and also for many managers who have been firmly in the saddle over the past few years. Slaghois continues to judge: New work primarily costs security: knowing what will be on your desk tomorrow. The challenge will be to get the different generations with their very different values and demands on their own life and work under one roof.
[werbung] Verwendete Quellen anzeigen

Petry, T. (2016). Digital Leadership: Successful leadership in times of the digital economy . Munich: Haufe Verlag.

New Work: Wirklich schöne neue Arbeitswelt?


I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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