The future of work

The future of work

Author | Sources

Severin Renold

Roland Berger, McKinsey


Work & Workplaces

The office as a social space

As work changes, so does the workplace. But what will the office of the future look like? Encounter, exchange and community building are becoming increasingly essential. The rooms must tell something about the company’s own brand, sell the company as an attractive employer. This is because the pressure to perform is increasing at many workplaces and the boundaries between work and private life are becoming increasingly blurred for many people. That is why work must be fun. Offices and collaboration structures have a cultural impact on companies. They offer employees a home and identification, thus ensuring motivation and emotional bonding. Free organic meals in the canteen, a subsidy for the gym, lounge landscapes with a feel-good atmosphere – as an insight into the working world of Silicon Valley shows: Creativity in workplace design knows almost no limits. Employees are used to many things working at the push of a button from their private environment. So the workplace must be no less digital.


Open Office


Wellness and values in the “War for talents

According to a Forsa study by the Industrieverband Büro und Arbeitswelt (Industry Association for Office and Work), many employees in Germany and Switzerland still prefer a practical and functional working environment. However, young people under the age of 35 in particular want a modern and comfortable atmosphere at the workplace. Furthermore: Social Enterprises are more and more popular at Millennials. They want to get involved in building a company from the ground up, penetrate all areas, live out their creative potential. If there is still good money to be made, all the better.


And yet money isn’t everything. Most respondents say that a company has no chance against players like Google or Facebook when it comes to salaries. Salesforce is trying to do other things: For example, it is trying to ensure equal pay; employees also receive seven paid days off per year for social engagement. The motto of the 20,000-strong company is: “Better to give something back to society regularly during your working life and use your technologies for a good cause than to earn top salaries for years and have no private life. That is what counts. Many people have been working for the cloud provider for more than ten years – unusual in the fast-moving Silicon Valley. The Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone, reports something similar: Since the social network company’s intentions were redefined, its employees are also highly motivated again. Those who are now in the company are also consciously involved.


Because the market is changing (not only in consumer behaviour as described in our previous blog). Companies are increasingly becoming applicants, have to become attractive for sought-after talents. Platforms like LinkedIn make it their business to create economic opportunities for everyone worldwide. For example, they enable applicants to compare salaries so that they are well prepared for the job interview. In addition, headhunters use the platform to recruit employees. Unfair for companies? Not at all. Because if you let yourself be poached via LinkedIn, you would have left at some point anyway. You just accelerate the process. Companies, for their part, have the opportunity to find suitable talent faster.


There is also increasing movement within companies. At Salesforce, an impulse from employees has developed into a kind of internal job market where work is regularly distributed in individual projects. This gives employees the opportunity to develop themselves, but also to plan personal matters such as parental leave between projects. This makes processes more efficient and flexible. The lifelong straightforward career with prefabricated stages is becoming a discontinued model. People want to expand their minds and work in different parts of a company.




He who learns, stays

A report by the World Economic Forum and the Boston Consutling Group from January 2018 reveals About one million Americans will lose their jobs by 2026 and will have to learn new skills to find a similarly paid job. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by 2030 up to 800 million people worldwide will have to give up their jobs to compete with the intelligent or somehow better, or at least cheaper, machine. In 2016, German companies will invest 33.5 billion euros in employee training to make them fit for digitalization. In doing so, they are relying more and more on digital learning formats (see also our blog on digitization in education), as the current continuing education survey by the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln shows. And the trend is rising. The focus today is on enabling people to use new knowledge in a meaningful and sustainable way. E-learning and presence studies are merging into so-called blended learning.


This trend has already been internalized in Silicon Valley. Offers such as LinkedIn Learning offer companies the opportunity to provide their employees with targeted further training. With Trailhead, Salesforce has created a freely available learning platform. During a job interview, any learning success on this platform already carries more weight than the name of the university an applicant has attended. In addition: Learning must be fun for Generation Y. With challenges and rankings, lifelong learning also becomes a game.