The new way of working doesn’t always work
The new way of working doesn’t always work… and why the new way of working doesn’t work (sometimes).
Is the new way of working just another hype, or is it the future? Entering ‘the new way of working’ in Google yields an amazing 7.1 million hits! There is certainly a lot going on in this field, as the market is simply buzzing with it. But what does it actually imply?
The new way of working (NWW) usually suggests some sort of flexwork, the possibility of working from home, cutting costs by reducing the numbers of workstations, etc. However, the NWW extends much further than that. If we consider it solely from the perspective of technology, then we overlook one crucial point. Namely human beings, and their needs in this regard. Not to mention the matter of we might best enable people to work together remotely.
‘The new way of working is a vision in which recent developments in the field of information technology serve as drivers for the improved organisation and management of the knowledge work. It revolves around innovations in the area of the physical workplace, corporate structure and culture, management style and, last but not least, the mentality of knowledge workers and their managers.’ (Dik Bijl – Anytime, Anyplace: The New Way of Working – Microsoft Press 2007)
The new way of working is the catalyst for a silent revolution. It is a generic term for various smarter, more efficient and effective ways of working, the application of Web 2.0, using new technologies; experimenting with new forms of cooperation. However, it also relates to new types of leadership; less hierarchy; greater self-responsibility; further delegation and leaving more to people’s own creativity and problem-solving approach.
Companies and (semi-)government bodies are keen to achieve strategic objectives by means of: increasing productivity, improving flexibility, cutting costs, speeding up decision-making processes and shortening time to market. The NWW could play a major role in the achievement of these strategic objectives, but only if people are prepared to look beyond the purely technological aspects. The issue is no longer simply the possibility of working from home, and therefore reducing the numbers of workstations required or avoiding traffic jams. It extends a great deal further than that.
Implementation of the NWW is only feasible if the organisation in question prepares adequately for new forms of cooperation and new ways of communication (internal collaboration). Internal Collaboration is one of the determining factors in the success of the NWW. The company needs to gain clear insight into its corporate structure, working methods / business processes, corporate culture and the application of technological support.
Once an organisation has been suitably set up, then the new way of working can be implemented by means of Unified Communications, literally enabling all systems to communicate with one another.
Talk & Vision has been in this business for over 15 years now. Initially, T&V focused on the hardware. However, the use of video often failed for the simple reason that the employees were not capable of using it. It was widely considered too technical, as people were not familiar with the remote control and also considered it too complicated. Then, a few years ago, T&V began to persuade people of the benefits and convenience of video by means of the Usage & Adoption programme. We have now reached the stage, however, that we do not need to convince the employees only, but the entire organisation. The organisation needs to be meticulously analysed. What does it wish to achieve? How do people cooperate within a business, what is its corporate culture, what are its needs: The so-called corporate DNA. We therefore use "InTouch" to perform a complete analysis of the firm, on the basis of which we then offer tailor-made advice.
In cooperation with Dr. Jeroen van der Velden (Business University Nyenrode), Talk & Vision has researched this topic among 126 CIOs and IT managers. Aim of the study was to identify the management view on using collaboration technologies. The entire research report can be downloaded here: