Bonanza for innovation on the one hand - your own boss and work, when and where you want on the other hand? That's promised crowdworking platforms. The fair Zukunft Personal in Cologne recently dedicated its own theme to the topic.

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Work becomes a kit

The train strikes shortly before Christmas – this danger has now been averted. Yesterday, the railway and transport union (EVG) and Deutsche Bahn agreed on a new tariff package. The special thing about it: The employees not only get more Money, but can choose for themselves on top of that whether they want a further wage increase or a reduction in the number of hours they work a week.

What we at Online- who have long been accustomed to shopping are increasingly finding their way into the workplace: one's own working relationship can be configured as desired. One element of this new "modular system" is so-called "crowdworking".

Networked thinking at all levels

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Write about platforms Companys various Tasks off – from undemanding micro-tasks like testing apps, entering addresses or product descriptions draw up to research, development or design tasks.

Employers and employees network via digital platforms that handle all processes from task to remuneration. "Today there are about 100 platforms with different focuses and perspectives," says Christoph Sieciechowicz, board member of the German Crowdsourcing Association

End with rigid structures!

This form of work offers many advantages for the crowd workers: They benefit from varied tasks and flexible time management, which makes it easy to combine work Job and Family allows.

"Today we no longer want to do without freedom, flexibility and self-determination at work," says Bastian Unterberg, who founded jovoto, a global company, for precisely these reasons Creative-Collaborative idea generation platform that works with international companies, non-profit organizations and advertising agencies. “People who don't Lust to the rigid structures of a corporation and are free to choose their working hours and tasks decide with us have the chance to work with thousands of other talents on creative solutions,” Unterberg describes his platform.

Flexibility at the expense of self-exploitation?

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But there are also disadvantages: Some immoral terms and conditions, wages below the minimum wage level, lack of social security, liability and protection against arbitrariness be Problemsthat needs to be solved, says Vanessa Barth, who is responsible for the issue on the board of IG Metall. “We need certain standards, such as social insurance that could be based on the artists' social security fund, the right to co-determination and transparency, data protection and Privacy as well as an appropriate remuneration. A minimum wage is also not out of the question,” says Barth. With the platform offered by IG Metall at least a tool had already been developed that supports and advises crowdsmen.

From the point of view of companies, too, light and shadow are changing. You benefit from crowdworking through significant cost savings, new impetus for innovation and flexible deployment options for employees. as possible risks However, Christoph Sieciechowic mentions legal uncertainty and the risk of know-how migrating from companies. However, the pressure on companies to innovate is currently so high that these possible disadvantages are pushed into the background.

Example 1: Innovation radar of Deutsche Bank

ideas from the crowd are increasingly being used by large companies to generate innovations. For example, Deutsche Bank used crowdstorming to design the branch of the future: First, crowdworkers from the jovoto platform were asked what service they would like from a bank, how artificial Intelligence could use for the products and how they expect data to be handled. “The results were excellent: The megatrends and assumptions from the futureTeam of Deutsche Bank were confirmed by the crowd.

In addition, this has given us new perspectives People who do not deal with banking on a daily basis,” reports Mirjam Pütz, Head of Disruptive and Strategic Programs at Deutsche Bank. The ideas should now flow into the product and service development of Deutsche Bank and in constant exchange with the customers in the process of so-called “co-creation”. In another crowdstormingProjects of the banking group was about nothing less than the future of Guide. "We have a traditional, classic branch organization and an agile one,Digital Factory'. That's why digital leaders Bridge builders from the old to the new Welt be”, Pütz named one of the challenges. The suggestions of the crowdworkers on jovoto, who already work primarily digitally, went in the same direction: digital leaders should be able to endure ambiguity, gently push the cooperation and the Transformation ahead.

Example 2: Wheelmap - Crowdsourcing is not a self-running

People with restricted mobility encounter many obstacles – in the Everyday life, while traveling or on vacation. Raúl Aguayo-Krauthausen, Founders the social heroes, has therefore created Wheelmap: an online map for searching and finding wheelchair-accessible places. As with Wikipedia, anyone can participate and mark publicly accessible places according to their wheelchair accessibility - worldwide and in 25 languages.

At the Zukunft Personal trade fair, the activist, who has osteogenesis imperfecta (colloquially “glass bones”), not only talks relentlessly and humorously about his experiences as a wheelchair user and the use of crowdstorming in his projects. In a discussion, he expressed the opinion that crowdworking is helpful for innovations, but that it is not a sure-fire success. “Companies can and must create ideas themselves. The crowd is no guarantee for a successful one Innovation!” says Krauthausen.

Example 3: adidas - everything is network

adidas recently launched the new corporate strategy “Create the New”, which is based on four pillars: Speed, Cities, Open Source and People. "For me, open source is the most interesting pillar," comments Christian Kuhna, future thinker at adidas Group HR Strategy. It's about becoming the first open source sports brand without knowing exactly what that means. “This is a bold move that illustrates a new way of thinking: The time for five-year plans is over.

Open source is a fluid, adaptive process,” says Kuhna, who acts as a kind of free radical in the company. He researches trends in the world of work and interprets them for the future of leadership and HR management in his own Organization. Kuhna's motto is based on a statement by Jon Husband: “We are seeing the shift from hierarchies to wirearchies. All is Network. ” His way of working illustrates how many employees could soon be working: beyond hierarchies and across company boundaries. The Director Think Tank Future Trends and Innovation encounters various departments internally in future projects and acts as an initiator, sparring partner or opponent.

Externally, he not only works with agencies, but also with colleagues in other companies, such as Henkel, Telekom, Vitra or BASF. Adidas will soon be opening a design factory in a creative building in Brooklyn, in which various communities will be involved. “We consciously want to try things outside of the company structure, Regulate and bring impulses back into the company. For this we need networks that are constantly on the move.” Working with crowdworkers is probably also part of this network thinking, even if Kuhna did not want to reveal anything specific about it at Zukunft Personal.


Crowdworking is a good method for many employees to work independently and flexibly. Companies are particularly interested in innovative management.

But only when employers, trade unions, politics, platforms as well as the users themselves pull together and shape the future of crowdsworking together will they be able to raise the potential as best as possible and reduce the risks for all sides. At the same time, the principle of wisdom is also widespread in the company itself; internal and external networks can become the organizational structure of the future.

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