Flexibility cannot be commanded but allowed

This morning I gave a lecture at the Paperworld conference, which is currently taking place in Frankfurt am Main. At the Bürotrendforum, organized by the PRIMA VIER Nehring Verlag, I told the interested guests something about coworking and what is changing. I put the focus on the aspect of flexibility, which is what the event was all about.

I explained that digital transformation has freed workers from location and access to the means of production. That the new possibilities have led to the individualization of the demands on work and that the needs of people are now in the foreground. People themselves can best satisfy these needs through freedom of action rather than choice.

I find one aspect, in particular, to be emphasized. Flexibility is not something that can be commanded as a directive or designed with furniture, but rather the freedom of employees to decide for themselves what they want to do. Flexibility is based on the culture within the company. Workers must also enjoy the freedom of action.

Instead of working alone on a law for more home offices or companies buying laptops instead of stationary computers, it is above all thinking about work processes that need to be changed. What is needed is a corporate culture based on the values of Bergmann’s Neue Arbeit. This also means that some people in the company give up power.

Header Image: Messe Frankfurt GmbH / Jacquemin