Reconnecting in digital space driving towards the new normal of work

Tine Wagenmann

It has been one of the latest political and moral debates: too many people work from their offices while the characteristics of their job allow working from home. Despite a first lockdown giving us the chance to implement new structures for the long run, facing change in our value system and the way we use spaces, we are often still far away from “New Work” conceptual approaches. Missing infrastructures, complex budget allocations, or sometimes merely outdated corporate culture are the cause.

 What is the problem?

If the Pandemic taught us one thing, it is using technology to listen. In March/April, we found ourselves having shared breakfast over facetime, talking about the latest podcasts we listened to, exchanging a vast amount of information. We later followed the BLM Movement in the USA via Instagram transferring the matter to our own streets. This digital culture of sharing knowledge now faces its present peak with the "Clubhouse" App. 

During the first lockdown, many businesses, mostly smaller and more agile ones, managed to transfer these personal developments into their corporate culture quickly, established a cloud-based work solution, and send their workforce off into the home offices. Meanwhile, entities of bigger size and more complex structures often struggle with changing their working process. Conservatism meets a vast amount of data that needs to be processed and often a struggle to trust the workforce while “letting them off the corporate leash.” In times like these, communication is the absolute key.

How do we fix it?

When implementing the basics of a new work concept, a business must value the importance of their IT department and implement a digital strategy that needs to be aligned with the business strategy. Introducing new systems is a business change and not just an IT stunt. For many companies, the installment of a Digital Transformation Manager was the key to do so.  

Digital Transformation Managers are responsible for seeking potentials in their company, designing the overall concept for digital transformation, bundling activity, and reacting when hurdles arise. In other words: they establish the base to the “New Normal of Work.” How do we increase the quality of solutions we offer to our employees to the best of their abilities? Do they have the technology they need? These are the questions a Digital Transformation Manager needs to answer over and over again while also driving forward other processes, such as innovation and change management.

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