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The end of the office? The digital nomads are conquering the world of work

The end of the office? The digital nomads are conquering the world of work

18th December 2020 · Dettling's Column

During these weeks, I often have to think of the sentence by the American feminist Arlie Hochschild: "Home becomes work and work becomes home". The founder and CEO of the communication platform Slack, Stewart Butterfield, recently declared the age of the office to be over. The Corona pandemic is accelerating the transformation of the working world by up to ten years.

Platforms like Slack, Zoom, Google and Microsoft are benefiting from the trend toward fewer offices. Does this also apply to  employees  and executives? What trends will prevail in tomorrow’s office world? The former  separation of  work, vacation and family is being eliminated. Digital nomads are changing the office world of the future.

More home office = less commuting and more climate protection.

A large majority of employees can imagine working from home more often, (according) as a result of?  Corona. According to studies, productivity does not suffer as a result. On the contrary, it actually increased during the lockdown. Within a few days, many companies had shifted the majority of their work to the home office. Home office is becoming the new standard, and not just for large companies. Also because it saves time, costs and CO2. More home office means less office work and commuting, and thus more time for the family and more climate protection. Companies can save up to $10,000 per employee in non-personnel costs per year through more mobile working. Home office is here  to stay. Home and office are becoming one. Trend researcher Oona Horx-Strathern has created a new term: “Hoffice.” The office is breaking away from its old structure and becoming fluid and flexible. And everywhere.

The digital nomads are conquering the working world

A new lifestyle and work style is taking hold. The digital nomads are conquering the working world. They are global, mobile and networked, and hotly contested in the competition for talent. Their core group is 20 to 45-year-olds. For Modern nomads, there is no longer a clear distinction between private and professional life, work and home. Instead, it’s all about flexible, independent and project-based work. A long-term office job with a daily routine is a “no go” for digital nomads.

The new trends have consequences for the office world of the future, economically, communicatively and geographically. Economic: Corona will change the market for office real estate. Offices will become larger and more mixed. “Co-working” is also catching on in the corporate world. Communicative: offices with individual desks will become social meeting spaces. Geographic: employees’ interest in working far from home and office will increase. A new term is catching on: “workation” – travel, work and recreation become one. “Mobile working”can be done from anywhere . The home office is increasingly being relocated abroad. Vacation and vacation locations are (also) becoming work locations. Travel providers are becoming office brokers.

New management culture is crucial

The old slogan “Home is where we feel at home” will also apply to the world of work in the future. Where and how we work in the future will depend on corporate culture. The biggest driver of greater productivity is a good working atmosphere. Factors and measures such as trust, feedback, empathy, further training and employee mobility belong to the future, while presence culture and control belong to the past. Change will not happen without conflict. (If the company to home and at home only work waits)  ? , there is no time left, warns the U.S. sociologist Arlie Hochschild in the cited study. This is now 15 years old. The real promise of the new work and office world according to Corona must therefore be “more time.” More time for us and our families. We need a new work-life-family balance. Not only for women, but also for men. This is what is really new about “New Work.” Working from home for men, too. Not as an individual loss, but as a gain for everyone.

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