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Article Feb 23

New work needs new concepts

A conversation with Patrick Wurm, CGO at Aeris, about the opportunities of New Work and new concepts.

Globalization, digitization and hybrid working: The world of work has been experiencing unprecedented change for several years. Alongside major challenges, there are also many opportunities. Patrick Wurm (CGO at Aeris) explains why a rethink is absolutely necessary when it comes to New Work.

What is meant by New Work?

Patrick Wurm: The buzzword "new work" is not as new as many people are currently claiming. Among other things, it's about the transformation of the working world through digitalization. Thanks to digital possibilities, many activities have now become location-independent. This "new way of working" brings with it many advantages, but also major challenges. One important question is: How can employers keep their employees - no matter where they work from - mentally and physically on the move?    

What exactly are these challenges?

Patrick Wurm: Our experience and studies show that people often only move up to 2 km a day due to the home office. This is a blatant lack of exercise compared to the recommended minimum of 10,000 steps per day and has massive negative consequences. Apart from physical pain, every tenth respondent to our Aeris home office study also has psychological problems. An avalanche is rolling toward the healthcare system here. That's why employers, legislators, and each and every individual must take action.

 The office stool Aeris Swopper and office chair Aeris Numo Task  are ideal companions in the office.

Why do these problems arise in the home office?

Patrick Wurm: Even at the beginning of Corona, the proportion of people who regularly work in a home office rose to over 50 percent. The problem here is that, unlike the office, the home office is not regulated by law. The office furniture and technical equipment are often much worse than in the workplace. Many people don't even have a workroom and spend hours sitting on the couch or at the dining table. All this leads to poor posture and little movement. The result is quite drastic health problems, such as back pain and headaches or severe muscle tension.  

That means we turn the wheel back, everyone goes back to the office, and the problem is solved?

Patrick Wurm: No, it's not that simple! In recent years, the expectations of employees - especially among Millennials and Gen Z - have changed significantly. For many, the freedoms and individual benefits of a home office are a job requirement. However, going into the office also offers many benefits. So the solution is to dovetail and bundle all these individual benefits. That's why we urgently need holistic New Work concepts for hybrid working.

 The standing chair Aeris Muvman combines moving sitting and standing.

While we're at it: What are actually the advantages of the classic office?

Patrick Wurm: In some areas, the office has a clear added value compared to working on the road or at home. It offers space for communication, strengthens the sense of belonging and creates identity. In addition, you get impulses from other people in the office. As a result, creativity is often greater in the office than when working alone at home. All of this has a positive effect on well-being and performance.

And what are the advantages of home office and location-independent working?

Patrick Wurm: The advantages are clear. More flexible working allows a better balance between job, family, and free time. In addition, more individual work arrangements are possible. It also makes ecological sense: commuter traffic is permanently relieved and CO2 is saved.

 The office chair Aeris Numo Task  makes easy movements in all directions.

The solution is holistic New Work concepts? What can these solutions look like?

Patrick Wurm: We need a new set of "rules" that is tailored to each individual. We finally have to break out of old ways of thinking and stop thinking in categories such as office or home office. The focus must be on individualized workplace solutions.  

This means that we should ask ourselves: What does each individual employee need to stay physically and mentally fit, productive and healthy? In English, they say "one size fits no one," and that's true. Every person has different needs, prerequisites and personal circumstances. With a conceptually coordinated "hyper-personalization" of the working world, office and home office merge together.

 The Active Office Desk consists of a split standing and sitting work surface and allows you to intuitively switch between standing and sitting.

That sounds very exciting. But how does this hyper-personalization work?

Patrick Wurm: First of all, of course, you need the right equipment to keep people moving mentally and physically. For example, through our Aeris Swopper and a height-adjustable desk. Among other things, we have developed a desk that allows you to switch automatically between sitting and standing without having to adjust anything.

Because it's important to intuitively build movement into the day. This also means creating flexible and transparent working hours. This allows for movement in between - for sports, shopping during the lunch break or housework, for example.

Doing laundry during working hours: What would have potentially been a reason for dismissal in the past, employers should definitely consider in their movement concepts for hybrid working today!

Sounds very banal now, but it is impossible in the old thought patterns during working hours. It is important to recognize that New Work offers us many more opportunities than challenges. We are currently experiencing a paradigm shift and should take advantage of it together. Then a new, exciting, healthy, and active working world will be open to us.
Article Oct 20

Home office as a cause of headaches and back pain

DACH study shows: Home office causes health problems such as back pain or headaches for two out of three employees.

Read here
Article Sep 21

5 things you should look out for when choosing an ergonomic office chair

What actually makes a good ergonomic office chair? Good question. The following 5 tips will show you what to look out for.

Read here
Article Mar 21

Cause of widespread back pain: Too little movement at the workplace

More than 18 million workers in Germany suffer from back pain due to their job. Too little movement in the office is often the cause. 

Read here

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