After Corona: Four ways how New Work will surely fail

After Corona: Four ways how New Work will surely fail

Some hope for a comprehensive transformation of the world of work after Corona, while others express a desire to return to the pre-pandemic world. The two New Work experts Colin Roth and Rainer Schubert outline four negative scenarios if we simply continue as before after Corona. […]

Rainer Schubert is Head of Development New Working Environments at Datev in Nuremberg and describes examples of colleagues who thought of home office not only as a home office, but as mobile work during the pandemic. For example, you have worked from the motorhome, parent or holiday home. “Remote work makes better use of the time spent away from work, “Schubert observes, and thanks to home office time, new ways of working are being established and digitalisation in working life is” being driven forward with great strides.“

However, Colin Roth, business psychologist and founder of the occupational psychology consultancy BlackBox / Open, notes that there are still some challenges to be addressed in mobile work, such as the balance between private and professional life, social inclusion and information transfer.

Colin Roth, BlackBox / Open: “Despite the newly established and sometimes more effective ways of working during the lockdown weeks, we must not move on to selling all company locations and staying completely in the virtual world.“

New regulations on occupational health and safety, mobile work abroad and data protection and IT security must also be clarified. But it is also a fact, says Schubert, that ” work is changing exponentially and with Corona we have the chance to make a leap in the change in our working world.”However, if employers now went back to the pre-corona period with 100 percent on-site work, they would be far from even remotely keeping up with the changes.

Roth and Schubert recall that presence can promote community in the team and social relationships, as well as ensuring the separation of work and residence. Especially in the case of personnel changes, teambuilding is much easier. Both are also convinced that employees need the world of presence to come together, develop ideas and generate new things.

Rainer Schubert, Datev: “With the activity based concept, we focus on volunteerism when choosing a place of work.“

“Despite the newly established and sometimes more effective ways of working during the lockdown weeks, we must not move on to selling all company locations and staying completely in the virtual world,” the two New Work experts say. Otherwise, the social needs for cohesion and humanity in the world of work would not be completely satisfied.

Classic company locations and home offices can be ideal for productivity. “Innovations and creativity are created above all in a stimulating work environment and in new places,” Roth is convinced. He refers to the innovation researcher and professor Sven Laumer from the FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg, according to which the home office reaches its limits, especially with regard to innovation and creativity. “That’s why we need presence in creatively designed places,” says Roth.

With the activity based concept, Datev relies on voluntary choice of place of work. Schubert sees the company locations in a new role in the future, “through which above all brand can be experienced and team building is made possible”. In the sense of the “third Place”, they should also be a place for innovation and be designed accordingly. “If we don’t rethink the design of the company locations or consider the integration of external creative spaces, we will have difficulty generating innovative ideas,” the Datev manager is sure.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s strategy is to design mobility and the city in such a way that all people can reach their place of work, shopping, cultural and leisure activities within 15 minutes. This period of time is a threshold of acceptance of the accessibility of places and services of primary care, determined by studies. However, since the place of work is often not within this radius, Datev is now investigating ways to make such places available. Especially for his company, Schubert reports on solutions such as village offices and city quarters.

Thanks to digitalization, Roth sees the establishment of village offices as an opportunity for structurally weak rural areas – not only for the economy and the individual quality of life, but also for health and sustainability. “Shortening the commute to work can also be made possible within the urban space by district districts that are built as a kind of internal coworking spaces,” says the business psychologist.

If employers continue to think only in categories of home office and company headquarters, synergies and new impulses from people outside their own team would remain undetected and time would be lost due to a longer commute.

Roth calls on employers and employees to dare to join forces between the ability of people to change and the desire for change in organizations. In addition to appropriate framework conditions in terms of leadership, work organization and design, it is indispensable to “explicitly shape the physical space strategically with evidence-based insights”. In a constantly changing digital world of work, “we should not only react, but take proactive action.” And Schubert adds: “We have to dare something”.

On June 23 and 24, BlackBox/Open invites you to rethink the future of work and the city together as part of the hybrid event “CoCreationExpo #21 – New Work City”. Among the speakers are one of the world’s leading experts in meeting research Steven Rogelberg, New Work pioneer Bernd Fels, the COO and CHRO of Datev Julia Bangerth and the innovation researcher Sven Laumer from the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg. If you are interested, please contact BlackBox / Open at +49 911 21 53 772 -0 or by mail to or secure your live or digital tickets via

* Hans Königes is Head of Jobs & amp; Career and thus responsible for all topics relating to the labor market, jobs, professions, salaries, personnel management, recruiting and social media in professional life.

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