Marten Bütow
16. August 2017 0

Working at the beach

Digital jobs for a new era of work? Companies are noticing interesting trends when it comes to new employee requirements and new forms of work.

An attractive brunette in a bikini sat in a beach chair, a young professional with a manicured beard on a landing stage with his feet in the lake – these images look like they have come from a Parship ad campaign. But they haven’t. These two models each have a laptop or tablet on their lap and are showing us the beautiful new world of work.

The digital workplace – advertising vs. reality

Have you ever worked at the beach or in the great outdoors? It seems pretty weird to me. I usually find myself sitting in overcrowded trains or on public transport. I’ve occasionally worked at a train station café while waiting for my connection. But colleagues in advertising (not just in our company) love to portray the modern world of work using very attractive images and often overshoot the mark. They are appealing to the wishful dream of every office worker with these images: They associate the necessary (i.e. the work to be done) with fun and conjure up the idea that work can be more enjoyable than stressful.

Major trends for the future of work

If we take a look at real-life situations (or at least the analysts’ predictions), at least two major work trends emerge – mobility and home office. According to Gallup, 37%  of employees in the USA currently work from their home office at least some of the time; the figure in Germany is below the European average at 7%. The trend toward mobile work is more distinct: 54% of all employees in Germany work remotely.

IDC predicts that by 2018, 75% of workers in Europe will be mobile. The trend toward a mobile workforce has also been confirmed in a recent assessment by Statcounter. Over the past month, Android has overtaken Windows as the most popular operating system for accessing the Internet.

More ingredients added to the pot

So it seems there are some advertising motifs at play here. And if you ask millennials or Gen Zers what they need, they respond with “Internet access” and buzzwords such as coworking/collaboration opportunities and work-life balance.  In addition, there is another work trend emerging from the corporate environment: Working in teams with a temporary external workforce who are not paid for the project. We describe this as an aspect of liquid work in our white paper.

I would summarize this group of trends as follows: Modern knowledge workers work at their own pace. They want to complete tasks as required and depending on the situation, and they also want to have more fluidity between their work and private lives. As such, work is becoming highly personalized and breaking away from traditional 9-to-5 structures.

Higher costs vs. the dynamic workplace

The requirements placed on end devices are also increasing with this personalization of work. They need to be location independent, dynamic, and – depending on the respective working model – provide all functionalities required by employees. Secure and reliable. Yet increased requirements and functionality for the user also mean higher costs for suppliers. Or: dynamic workplaces 😉

I’m leaving the office now. There’s a small, secluded forest lake around the corner. Let’s see if I can work from there 😉

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