30 May 2023

New Work Evolution: "Here to Stay"

Inaugural trade show celebrated a successful premiere in Karlsruhe

In-depth discussions on the modern working world, exciting insights into practical implementation of new ideas and provocative questions all took centre stage at the first New Work Evolution at the Karlsruhe Trade Fair Center. Around 13,500 visitors headed to Karlsruhe to find out about new ways of working and learning at both the New Work Evolution and digital education convention LEARNTEC, which took place at the same time. Exhibitors and speakers agreed that while there is huge interest in the topic, there are varying opinions on the definition of New Work. For three days, New Work Evolution offered attendees the opportunity to share ideas and experiences, and learn from each other. Furthermore, exhibitors benefited from an open-minded audience of professionals from all over Germany who were specifically looking for New Work solutions.

"I am delighted that with New Work Evolution we have created a platform where companies can find and share inspiration around the megatrend New Work," says Britta Wirtz, Managing Director of Messe Karlsruhe. "The new trade fair perfectly showcased the advantages of Karlsruhe as a location, as it is a thriving economic hub with a high level of innovation, especially in digitalization. Equally important is the fact that many companies in the region are already pioneers in terms of modern working culture."

"Is this New Work or can it be removed?"

"Freedom, happiness, family, empathy, morality - these are the goals that move the young generation," said keynote speaker and Generation Z expert Felix Behm, who opened the three-day lecture programme of 40 speakers. If young people do not find these in a company, they quickly decide to change jobs, he said. As a result, there is a severe shortage of employees in many industries.

"Is this New Work or can it be removed?" was the question posed by keynote speaker Saskia Eversloh: Companies that have discovered New Work for themselves often only scratch the surface in order to conduct employer branding. In sectors such as public transport or healthcare, which are desperately seeking skilled workers, individual measures can lead to significant improvement. It is important to ask employees directly what they really need in order to work well, and then work collaboratively to implement the corresponding measures, according to Eversloh. Keynote speaker Dr. Lysander Weiß explained that extrinsic motivation such as salary or bonuses would be less likely to lead to long-term success than creative solutions designed to improve co-determination, appreciation, or meaningfulness of work. Julia Bühler, from smart Europe GmbH, commented: "I attended many presentations and gained a lot from the programme: good impulses and a great deal of input, simply to see what is possible, how others do it, where there is potential for the future and innovative new ways of working.”

New Work: Many paths to success

The exhibitors showcased their innovative strength in the field of modern working culture and demonstrated that companies can implement New Work on their premises by adjusting a number of parameters. A perfect match for the trade visitors, who stated in the visitor survey that they came to New Work Evolution to find inspiration (44 per cent), to learn about new products (41 per cent) and to get an overview of the topic, and further training (both 33 per cent). Like Kyra Kafunke, from Deutsche Glasfaser: "We want to learn about new methods and ways of thinking to see what we can implement at our company to continually optimise our strategies."

The exhibitors confirmed the attendees' interest in a new work environment: Nehru Papic, Regional Sales Manager at Bachmann: "We are more than satisfied with the trade show experience. We had such a large crowd that we couldn't even take a breath at times. We were surprised by the audience and the quality of the conversations." Simone Lafargue, founder and CEO of Amaze Growth from Stuttgart, was not only happy about promising leads, but also about the location of the trade fair: "I think it's great that this format is emerging here in southern Germany." "I would say the New Work Evolution has arrived in Karlsruhe to stay," added Frank Skrzypczyk, managing director of Improdo, at whose booth visitors were able to immerse themselves (almost) in their office of the future via VR glasses. "The audience listened attentively, lingered and, as a result, we were able to have long and good conversations."

In the area of consulting and coaching, companies such as Return on Meaning and Work4Purpose explained their strategies for helping companies reshape their culture, structure and mindset in a comprehensive transformation process. Testing and trying things out for yourself was also the order of the day, for example in the workshops at the Drees & Sommer stand and in Framery's state-of-the-art office cubicles. At their joint stand, Steelcase and feco-feederle presented examples of how the office can become an oasis of well-being that combines individuality with functionality. Gabriele Künzig-Hoffmann, Sales Manager at feco: "We were able to have several high-quality conversations, with many getting deeply into the topic and very interested in New Work." And the exhibitors were able to convince with their content too: Around one-third of the visitors stated in the survey that they would close a deal after the trade show.

Synergieeffekte zwischen New Work Evolution und LEARNTEC

Dass es eine gute Entscheidung war, New Work Evolution und LEARNTEC aufgrund ihrer thematischen Nähe parallel durchzuführen, zeigte sich auch am großen Interesse der LEARNTEC-Besuchenden an den neuen Arbeitswelten: Fast 40 Prozent von ihnen gaben an, die neue Messe und das vielfältige Vortragsprogramm der New Work Evolution zu nutzen. Auch im kommenden Jahr wird die New Work Evolution vom 4. bis zum 6. Juni erneut gemeinsam mit der LEARNTEC an den Start gehen. Frank Roth, CEO der AppSphere AG, der die New Work Evolution 2018 als Kongress ins Leben gerufen hatte, und Frank Thieme, Director Market Area I, Messe Karlsruhe, freuten sich über den neuen Marktplatz für Lösungen rund um New Work: „Was ursprünglich als eintägiger Summit begann, ergänzt das Portfolio der Messe Karlsruhe nun als dreitägige Fachmesse mit Vortragsprogramm. Damit heben wir die Veranstaltung sprichwörtlich auf die nächste Evolutionsstufe und können der Relevanz des Themas optimal gerecht werden.“

Weitere Stimmen zur New Work Evolution:

Sven Mylius, Senior Manager, Drees & Sommer (Aussteller): „Die New Work Evolution bietet eine schöne Mischung aus Produktherstellern und Dienstleistern aus den verschiedensten Blickwinkeln der Arbeitswelt. Viele Besuchende hatten eine Vorstellung von New Work, und wenn sie von unserem Stand weggehen, haben sie dann eine völlig neue Vorstellung.“

Karsten Franz, New Work Scout, Work4Purpose (Aussteller): „Tolle Kontakte, aufgeschlossene Menschen, die sich positiv darüber äußern, dass sie auf der New Work Evolution auf angenehme Art und Weise angesprochen werden.

Ivo Hossnofsky, Area Sales Manager, Framery (Aussteller): „Wir hatten sehr gute Kontakte und Gespräche. Das Interesse an unserem Stand und am Thema New Work war groß. […] Manchmal mussten wir in die Tiefe gehen und das Thema erklären. Aber das ist gerade schön, weil man den Menschen ganz neue Einblicke verschaffen kann.“

Rolf Gerlach, Managing Director, Chairholder (Aussteller): „New Work ist für viele Firmen ein Thema, die nach Lösungen, Impulsen und Anregungen suchen. […] Die New Work Evolution ist ein guter Ort, um an einer zentralen Stelle von unterschiedlichen Kompetenzen Antworten zu bekommen.“

Duc Nguyen, emplify GmbH (Besucher): „Die Themen sind sehr relevant, wir sind von einem kleinen in ein größeres Büro umgezogen und finden hier Ideen, wie man die Arbeitsplatzgestaltung optimieren kann. Da wir dauerhaft im Home Office arbeiten dürfen, ist es auch wichtig, das Büro so zu gestalten, dass die Mitarbeiter gerne ins Büro kommen.“

Joy Lienert, Ärztekasse Genossenschaf (Besucherin): „Ich komme aus dem Bereich e-Learning und bin begeistert vom spannenden Angebot der Messe und der Vorträge.“

Steffen Grunert, procedes i-d (Besucher): „Wir haben hier bereits alte Kontakte wiedergefunden und uns mit neuen Kontakten vernetzt. Auch die Vorträge sind uns wichtig, das Thema New Work hat uns zur Messe gelockt.“

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Portrait Tanja Stopper
Tanja Stopper
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