Industry 4.0 and New Work are the key buzzwords in the current discussion about the world of work Future. There are many fears associated with this, but also the chance to work the way “you really, really want to”. 8 tips on how to put this into practice in your current job.

Best of HR –®

Fear of automation?

Everyone is talking about digitization and automation - and with it many fears, such as giving one's job to a robot verlieren or get lost in a huge flood of data.

And actually there is in this context Problems, which can probably only be solved politically, such as social security for the many People in precarious jobs – the Ueber driving service, for example, made the headlines here. Even digital prophets like Sascha Lobo, who wrote the bible of digital bohemia with “We call it work”, have now recognized that that the changing world of work also has many disadvantages brings with it.

New Work: Developing the human potential

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But there are also those positive Perspective on the topic that emphasizes opportunities, wants to create a more people-friendly work environment and gives everyone the opportunity to develop their potential.

But what is it supposed to be, this New Work? The discoverer of the New Work approach, philosophyprofessor Frithjof Bergmann, according to Wikipedia, first fought his way through prizefighters, assembly line workers and dock workers before studying philosophy in Princeton. So you can believe him that he does that work life only got to know from the sunniest side and in fact he founded his first center for new work in the auto city of Flint in Michigan. Incidentally, he sees his model as an alternative to capitalism.

He was a guest speaker at the New Work Experience organized by Xing in Berlin self-motivation formulated as a central question of New Work: Every employee should ask themselves "What do I really, really want to do?" and use it to shape his working world himself.

What the individual can change

Now you will argue that this is not so easy - for example, because the framework must be right because employers must introduce the new culture of work from above, because the policy must first create binding rules and and.

As I said before, it is not completely wrong - and yet there are some points that every single person can implement in concrete terms in order to work better, more freely and more independently. How to do that, I've been using in some of my media before 10 years ago Bestselling book titled “The 110% Lie” described. The book was already making waves at that time, it was translated at the time into several languages ​​and has me in an ARD talkshow guided.

With New Work's exaggerated perfection

Today the book topic "perfectionism" is more topical than ever: Because automation forces us, if we don't take countermeasures, to work in an ever more perfect, more efficient way, the individual Employees becomes more and more controllable and manipulable. In the course of trends such as Quantified Self, self-optimization and comparison addiction are being pursued more and more violently in social media. Company try to check the perfect suitability of employees long before the recruitment.

Even digital nomads who move to the other end of the world in search of great freedom can hardly escape digital pressure. At the same time, the work culture in Germany suffers from outdated, deadlocked structures in many places. You often look in vain for a healthy error culture and risk the German one Economyof losing the digital connection internationally due to a lack of innovative strength.

I'm deliberately exaggerating a bit, after all, the post should remain exciting. The perfidious thing about this development is that the demand for perfection that is so much praised in Germany is actually true Success enormously hampered in working life, even prevented. Because if you want to be perfect at any price, you are not motivated to work in the flow, but rather fear-driven and under pressure - and that is exactly why the key to success often suffers Communication. Pressure instead of flow - that's pretty much the opposite of New Work and this is exactly where each individual can counteract this by becoming aware of the psychological mechanisms.

8 Tips for New Work: How to work as you really, really want

There are some very simple things to do with this Measures, which everyone can take up for themselves. I have listed 8 points here that will take you a big step closer to “working how you really, really want to”.

1. When am I good enough?

mine Opinions after one of the basic problems in the whole thing: the question “when have I actually worked enough”? We used to have employers and time clocks, and when they struck you dropped the stylus (or some other device). Quitting time!

Today, home office is becoming more and more popular and more and more companies are introducing models in which employees can determine their working time and location themselves. Sounds great, but the new freedom also makes employees more responsible for determining when their work is good enough.

Studies show that this is very difficult for them and many employees tend to work more and more, they do not tell them when it is good enough, on the contrary, employers even calculate with this overhang; I'm thinking Richard Bransonwho introduced employees to be able to go on holiday as long as they want - in practice, most of them take less vacation than before.

That's exactly what I feel at the beginning of mine Career happened: In my only permanent position I have the Term "Core working hours" taken quite literally - my time Manager was anything but enthusiastic. I would have liked to have started earlier in the morning because I wanted something from the day, but explain that to someone who is nocturnal ;-)

When I then became self-employed in my dream job, I thought I should finally be happy. But Pustekuchen, the supposed dream job turned into a nightmare because I sat at the computer for 12 hours or more. I was about to Burnout, first stomach problems at the end of 20 included. And so, inevitably, I learned, more and more often”No” to say on low-paying jobs, unkind ones customers or other energy vampires. For me, that was the hardest part of being self-employed.

That is why I am now convinced that it does not necessarily matter what you work, but how. Or to put it another way: Almost every job can become a dream job if you only optimize the working conditions a little. So here is my tip from my own experience:

What you can do specifically:

Always introduce yourself Eyesthat your work is good enough. If you are working doggedly and frantically to complete a task: Take a break and consciously ask yourself: What would happen if this work was not finished now or not carried out quite as accurately as intended? In many cases, this is far less serious than expected. So just take a deep breath more often, better just go for a walk and the Head air through - then the world no longer looks so problematic. Believe me it helps!

2. Do not worry about automation

Automation - many have this keyword Anxiety, at Workplace being replaced by robots. Some experts even predict that in 20 years, 50% of jobs will fall victim to digitization. How great these fears are, I always notice that corresponding contributions to Best of HR -® are clicked, liked, linked and commented on particularly frequently - for example this article on Automation of the working world or just last week this text about Automation in recruiting.

Of course, this topic is also discussed politically, a frequently mentioned solution is the unconditional basic income for everyone, but the problem goes deeper, far beyond financial aspects: work is in ours Society a value in itself and whoever has none feels worthless in our society despite social security.

What you can do specifically:

Make yourself aware that the fact that work is such an important part of our life, which not only serves to earn a living, but also offers meaningful identification, is not a “God-given” state: Rather, it is the result of social development over the past 300 years, Keyword Protestant work ethic - and this awareness can and must change again in the course of digitization.

So deliberately look for a meaningful balance to your “bread job” that offers you joy, social interaction and variety. Focus specifically on properties that distinguish humans from robots, namely empathy and human orientation - something that is big Competence metastudy according to many executives. Which surprise!

3. Communicate clearly what you want!

Not least the Election victory of Donald Trump shows that simple, understandable communication is more important than ever in the digital age. Yes, even more, who wants to succeed, the constant self-presentation until the abandonment of their own dignity is advised - the stars from the jungle camp, Yotube and Instagram show how they reach millions with embarrassing self-presentation.

For many employees, especially in Germany, who prefer to work diligently and quietly at their desks, this increasing narcissism is social networks however rather strange. And fast one asks oneself: When is the line between self-marketing and cheating actually crossed? Point 1 applies here again: In a self-reliant working environment decide You know when something is enough - and in the worst case you just have to live with the consequences.

What you can do specifically:

Even if it seems to take some getting used to at first: Good work that nobody notices really fizzles out. Therefore, point out your successes in a targeted manner, e.g Meetings, be more communicative and charming. Sounds banal, but it is a problem for many people who focus on efficiency.

Attention: This does not mean that you have to cross the boundaries of stupidity and placative self-marketing, but a little more self-praise (than many have done) has not hurt anyone yet.

It is also helpful to clearly communicate to your fellow human beings what you want - and what not. In fact, many people beat around the bush instead of saying what they want. But many fellow human beings do not understand this (or do not want to understand it?). You'll be amazed at what suddenly works when you clear, but as calmly and factually as possible, say what you want. And it's also much more pleasant for everyone else than when you suddenly and unexpectedly freak out out of sheer frustration because you've been gorging on your anger. I speak from my own experience!

4. Away with self-optimizing mania and comparative addiction

I especially notice it on Instagram, where I am constantly confronted with fitness and weight-loss photos, but on Facebook the status reports from the last 10KM run of some distant contact annoy me. And then I wonder what that is about.

The fact is: in the past, managers and other career-oriented people had to perform well above all, today they also have to look good and endure a marathon - Quantified Self says hello. Just think of how often the media raves about the looks of Ms. make fun of Merkel. And there we are with the exaggerated, unrealistic ideals of beauty that women are exposed to, especially in social media. Because these promote and exaggerate the natural, human desire to compare oneself through the striking self-portrayal. Envy and social stress are practically pre-programmed and everyone is horrified when young people who are bullied online kill themselves.

What you can do specifically:

Be clear that other people can only boil with water and that in social media you often only perceive the beautiful facades and success stories, but not the stress and the effort behind them. You can also turn back a tooth yourself and talk with other people about the downs in your own and other people's lives. Remember, we are all human beings, not robots!

5. Demstressen - but please voluntarily!

If you are relaxed and not overwhelmed, you work better and more motivated, in flow, so to speak. Companies have long recognized this and want their employees to be in a more stable state through the perfect working environment creativity to move.

In addition, they lure with table football, hip games offices and group vacations. Many employees, however, would be a higher salary Dear. And how healthy is the compulsion at all, constantly at work too Fun to have?

What you can do specifically:

This tip comes from mine Interview with Fionula Meehan, Sales Director of Google Ireland – i.e. the company that was one of the first to order its employees to have fun at work. She deliberately avoids leisure activities with colleagues, instead of going to the company gym, for example, she goes for a walk to switch off. In addition, she structures her working day in such a way that after 8 hours you Office leaves and can have dinner with her children in the evening.

6. No longer work like a robot

Perfection and efficiency are all well and good, but more and more people have to adapt their work habits to digital systems: This starts with search engine optimization - who does not present his content perfectly for the content of Google has the disadvantage and continues with the custom-fit of Content in content management systems.

Here, too, I can take my own nose from time to time, because I spend a lot of time automating this blog as error-free as possible. And it probably sounds with keyloggers. With their help, clients can record the working behavior of their work slaves, pardon, service providers on computers. Humans adapt to the algorithms, not vice versa. And quickly it is over for the self-employed with the beautiful, new world of work freedom.

What you can do specifically:

Presumably, political issues are actually needed for these problems Solutions. However, there is an individual component here: "The worst thing you can do in our society is to let yourself go" I just read somewhere. In fact, there are countless guides that lead to more efficiency and Order stop.

This is where countermeasures help to escape the rigid mania for perfection. Sometimes - not always - it's just nice and human to do something crazy or chaotic instead of just having to work all the time. Because people learn from mistakes and often enough in the course of history, chance has led to great innovations. And sometimes the craziest, greatest things happen on the way to a destination. So don't always just stubbornly your own Set follow, but just look to the right and left of the path from time to time.

7. Escape the spy in the bathroom

Data is considered the weapon of the 21st century and quite a few companies have geared their business model to reselling data. Employers have long been collecting data and résumés of current and future employees with people analytics and active sourcing. Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, cell phones, Paypal, Payback - all the services that we use for daily communication collect and send data.

But the dangers are not only lurking here with the usual suspects: The development of self-driving cars is also being pushed ahead in order to collect further user data, and even toothbrushes are now sending data about their cleaning behavior to the health insurance company. What sounds funny becomes dangerous at the latest when the data Handling misused, for example, to influence political decisions.

What you can do specifically:

Of course, you don't necessarily have to go to Facebook, Google and Co can do without and maybe not at all. However, you should consider which digital services you really need and where you can use your data more sparingly. On the toothbrush, the data on yours Health insurance sends, you might really be able to do without.

8. Allow mistakes - for more innovation

Germany is internationally known for its almost perfect engineering services, just think of the stable way in which this country houses arise, of course, are also expensive. But in the digital age, perfection is less and less in demand, much more about flexibility and agility - and even houses today would have to be more flexible and cheaper, but less durable.

So it's no wonder that international companies that show a certain willingness to take risks in the trial and error process, such as Elon, are ahead of the pack today Musk or google. Innovation arises precisely when companies learn from mistakes and try again. This is exactly where the zero error tolerance of many companies stands in their own way. Debt This is also due to our strictly hierarchically organized education system, which hardly teaches innovative, entrepreneurial thinking and therefore the Executives poorly prepared for their task in the digital transformation of tomorrow. So it remains to be feared that Germany will lose out.

What you can do specifically:

Allow mistakes, learn to deal with you and learn from you. Do not be afraid of the future and innovations, but be open and curious about new and technical innovations.

Conclusion: Use opportunities, not talk about risks

There is no doubt that digitization offers enormous opportunities for Boy companies, but also for social improvements in the areas of communication, mobility or health.

But precisely in order to take advantage of these opportunities, employees and employers should also actively engage with the risks and disadvantages of digital change in the world of work. Only then will we be able to implement new, better forms of work in society in the long term.

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