Video: Monday, 10 February 2014

Users of the New Worlds of Work (NWW) increasingly had as their primary goal to achieve lower cost for their company. Whereas in 2012 expectations still revolved primarily around growing employee satisfaction and an improved work-life balance for employees, in 2013 ambitions shifted toward reducing costs in particular.

Students seated at a cafe, engrossed in their studies, with laptops open in front of them.

“The New Ways of Working enable us to combine productivity with satisfaction in our work.”

At present, NWW offers a mixed picture: it is becoming ever more common and is also increasingly recognisable as a concept, while at the same time resistance against it is on the rise, and enthusiasm is on the wane. Watch Professor Eric van Heck as he explains the current status of NWW in the Netherlands.

Recent years have seen a growing number of organisations adopting the New Worlds of Work (43% of the respondents in 2011, 53% in 2012, and 64% in 2013). On average, these organisations have improved on NWoW-related factors, such as stimulating transparency in the daily job, providing online access to needed work-related information, and finding a good balance between mutual trust and control of employees who are now able to work at any time, and at any place.

Respondents report having a better grasp of the concept of NWoW, but it generates fewer positive associations (39% now versus 50% in 2012) and more negative ones (19% now versus 12% in 2012).

In 2013, the strongest obstacles to a successful implementation of NWoW were employees fearing that they would lose their own (fixed) workplace; managerial resistance against the concept; fear of losing touch with colleagues; as well as a mismatch between NWoW and the existing organisational culture.

Using the barometer, the Netherlands has a scientific measuring tool for examining how NWoW is taking shape and which effects it is having. The barometer is an online questionnaire distributed through various channels. This time around, it has been filled out by employees from 70 different companies. In 2010, the Barometer was developed by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) in cooperation with Novay (ICT research institute) and the Center for People and Buildings (develops knowledge about people, work and workplaces). H.W.G.M. (Eric) van Heck
Professor of Information Management and Markets
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Eric van Heck

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