A debate on March 6 in Hamburg centred on the “New Work Experience” (NWX) and comes against the backdrop of digitalisation, which is opening up brand new opportunities for both employees and employers and more personalised working hours. Shifting boundaries between work and leisure have sparked several pressing questions about the future of work, a new study entitled “Working in Germany” conducted by the Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA) and XING has found. Some 62.8 per cent of interviewees said they also do work-related activities during their time off. A total of 1,809 employees, aged between 25 and 54 years, had been interviewed for the survey.
Around 1,600 new work pioneers and fans in Hamburg
Interest in the event has continued unabated since it launched in 2017. Tickets sold out eight weeks before the event, which saw 1,600 new work pioneers, and interested people come together at NWX. On March 6, 80 speakers took to 13 stages. The Elphilharmonie was the scene of keynotes and interviews followed by panels, lectures and workshops across Hamburg and in HafenCity. NWX focused on: “How do want to live and work in future?”
Top speakers in Elbphilharmonie
Prof. Richard David Precht, a well-known philosopher, publicist and author, took to the stage in the Elbphilharmonie and expressed his belief in the future of understanding professions. Occupational fields marked by routine are on the way out, he said. Later, Prof. Jürgen Schmidhuber, who is considered the originator of artificial intelligence, stressed: “Artificial intelligence will be smarter than people in the not too distant future.”
Janina Kugel, Chief Human Resources Officer and a Member of the Board at Siemens AG, focused on empathetic people, who are essential to the world of work and will remain so, in her speech. Götz W. Werner, founder of the dm drugstore chain, urged the audience to “think, want and act,” which met with great enthusiasm. Stability and creativity are secrets to be cultivated in a company, he believes and added: “Those who want something will find a way. Those who do not want to will find reasons.”
Interview with Prof. Dr. Frithjof Bergmann
Events in the morning ended with the “New Work Awards”. Five pioneers of the new work movement received awards in the same-named category. The recipients included Hamburg’s Christoph Magnussen, who helps companies launch new work methods. His podcast “On the way to new work” is attracting a growing number of listeners. Events later on Tuesday centred on streams such as work, culture, vocation, vision and transformation, time and new recruiting. Jonathan Imme, of Coliving.city in Hamburg’s Prototyp Museum, focused on “Co-living: Lifelong dreams for new workers?” in his keynote. During an interview, Prof. Dr. Frithjof Bergmann, 87, who came up with the concept of new work, said: “New work is work that a person really, really wants.” The “great automation” (i.e. electric and self-driving cars etc.) lies ahead and new work is needed for that, he noted.