A conversation about the future of work and what we should do now
The world of work is in a state of upheaval. Almost every day, employees and employers are faced with new challenges. The global pandemic has shown us how much we need new ideas. This is a challenge for everyone. Entrepreneurs in particular should be prepared to rethink and dare to do something new in order to mobilise forces such as productivity, creativity and connectivity for the future.
Recently, CEO Arnd Brüning took part in a panel discussion of the business and science network i2b (Idea-to-Business). There, as part of the virtual event format i2b meet-up, he spoke via livestream on the topic of the future of work and what we should do now. The important core point of the discussion was the developments of the office space in recent years, especially in the course of the pandemic. The classic office as it was known in the past is now probably a thing of the past and urgently needs an update.
At the Brüning Group, too, it’s all about creating a professional working environment so that employees can deliver their best possible performance for the benefit of customers, suppliers and business partners. When building the new office in Bremen, Arnd Brüning tried to reconcile all ideas and concepts based on the latest findings. Very modern, but also cosy, a combination of open-plan office with places of retreat and with a high degree of flexibility, as it is still unclear how many employees will spend time in the office or in the home office. On the ground floor oft he building there will be a large market hall, for example, offering public spaces where employees will certainly work.
Even with the design and layout of the current office building in Fischerhude, it was important to him that everyone should feel comfortable, feel safe and be able to communicate a lot. The impression of having created a workplace over the past 30 years that employees feel is a second home is of course particularly satisfying. It is important to Arnd Brüning to create a working environment that does not feel too much like “work”. He wants to combine professionalism with joy in everyday work and, in his opinion, this includes a well-designed office. For him, this also represents a high level of appreciation towards the employees, which ultimately expresses itself in a positive mood. This feeling should now also be transported when the entire Brüning Group moves from the small village of Fischerhude to the big city in Bremen.
For Arnd Brüning, the individual wishes of his employees for the new office are also interesting. Some, for example, want a place to sleep for a short midday nap. For him, however, this is not a problem, especially since these employees then willingly work longer hours in the evening. At the Brüning Group, it is important to bring the individuality of the employees into the office. No workplaces are to be created that only the management finds practical and productive. Overall, the expectations are the same. What is important is the flexibility to meet in work groups, a good supply of food and drinks. Most want a workplace where they can feel “at home” and which they can design themselves with pictures of the family etc. Changing workplaces in the office is not too popular, which should be respected and taken into account. Nevertheless, within the framework of home office planning, for which a special working group was set up, it was decided that an employee who only wants to spend one day a week in the office is not entitled to a permanent workplace. To sum up: meeting places are important, coffee corners here and there, cosy areas where people can get together, but with their own seat and desk.
Arnd Brüning’s summary is: Have confidence in change. But also accept that employees are afraid of change. Provide a feeling of security for the employees. The current situation has shown him that with the right concept and taking into account the individual needs of the employees, many things are possible and can also work. His recommendation to other entrepreneurs is to simply be curious and try out more, to allow for wrong decisions and also to show weakness sometimes. Open communication is very important to him, without which “walls” are built up that prevent change.
If you would like to watch the full length of the discussion, click >>here<< for the video (German).