Exploring the future of Work: Berlin inspirations

Invited to facilitate a learning journey on the future of work in Berlin for the leadership of a large consultancy, CONSTELLATIONS curated a program investigating the topic from various angles, from the macro environment looking at policy making to the micro, how startups are inventing new ways of working. Key inspirations revolve organizational, managerial and infrastructure aspects: some nuggets to share:

WHO: The reflection on new ways of working happens in every part of the economy: at the very top, the government is exploring how digitalization is impacting the job market and how to best accompany both organizations and workers. At the very bottom, individuals are reflecting on what is the way they want to work: flexible, fluid, free are key words that reflect the trend of freelancing and co-working that started years ago in Berlin.

New players are coming in, questioning the status quo, by inventing new types of organizations, from their interaction up to their partnership models. Multipliers such as innovation spaces, co-working spaces, incubators as well as consultants for new ways of working are offering services, linking the corporate world with a more agile sphere of the economy, the startup scene.

HOW: Startups are testing and learning as they go. In terms of managing performance in a flatter hierarchical environment, there is no one size fit all: Many aspects need to be factored in, such as development stage, the ownership/ financing model, which defines the reporting requirements, the size, the activity sector, etc. Hence every organization might have another way of giving freedom within a frame. As much as technology is a fear factor, potentially taking away jobs, some competencies will truly be needed in the future where only humans can provide related to reflection and interaction, cooperation and creativity. Last but not least, the complexity of the world nowadays requires different structures, team, forms of associations for interdisciplinarity.

WHAT: Space matters: different working environments and conditions, for instance noise level, people, disturbance might trigger differently and therefore be conducive for different tasks. Every individual being different, surroundings might have unexpected impact: being given the freedom to explore when one is at its best productivity is the answer. Hence again, no one size fit all design but employee centricity!

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