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Paperworld 2020: How will we work in the office of tomorrow?

ASSMANN expert Günter Osterhaus informed trade visitors to the leading trade fair for office supplies about Workplace 4.0

The office of tomorrow, working environments in a state of flux and a modern corporate culture that embraces and shapes change - these were the topics with which Günter Osterhaus, our ASSMANN Forum Director at Paperworld, attracted the interest of trade visitors. The trends from the industry are presented at the office supplies fair in Frankfurt am Main: Companies ranging from international brand manufacturers to start-ups in the office supplies sector present their new products. In addition to classic office supplies, the trade fair also features numerous specialist presentations on the topics of room concepts and holistic developments in the field of office work environments. ASSMANN expert Osterhaus made an important contribution to this by giving a presentation on Workplace 4.0 and modern working environments.

Changes in society, changes in the workplace

Fundamental changes have been taking place in the world of office work for quite some time now, which are also reflected in modern office space concepts. The change is based on social and generational trends. Osterhaus began his presentation with this introductory thesis. Innovations at the workplace go hand in hand with megatrends such as individualisation, globalisation and digitalisation. Many routine tasks will no longer be carried out by officials, but by algorithms in the future. Work will also be carried out in open source communities in the future where all participants will interact with each other at eye level. Furthermore, the changing attitudes of Generation Y - born between 1977-1998 - towards work in general are becoming increasingly apparent. Young people want flat hierarchies, are keen on technology and are leisure-oriented. The workplace for them is often detached from a permanently allocated place in the office.

New working environments, new working culture

Changes that reflect societal and generational change and allow for a smooth transition into precisely fitting working environments are many and varied in nature: Individual home office provisions, mobile office and flexible, freely selectable working hours are just as much a part of the repertoire of modern working life as co-working or free seating, Osterhaus emphasised in his presentation at Paperworld 2020. We are well aware of this challenge at ASSMANN and offer solutions that allow the measures to be implemented quickly and easily - for example with meeting points and lounge furniture systems for meetings and teamwork as well as retreat areas for undisturbed concentrated work and flexible office workplaces – a mix of open space and multi space.

We are trailblazers in this field and have developed a wide range of products for new work in recent years. Our versatile stand-up/sit-down tables, for example, or the Viteco partition wall system, which can be combined with all furniture series, allow us to easily create individually coordinated office workplaces for co-working spaces. The Cubas storage space system with its innovative rotary mechanism also ensures maximum flexibility and a high degree of creative freedom in modern office environments. Last but not least, our Syneo lounge furniture provides quiet retreats for concentrated work. The Syneo rental concept means that start-ups can use the lounge furniture as required without any financial risk.

Companies must actively address change

However, modern office furnishings adapted to the needs of new work do not stand alone, Osterhaus made clear in Frankfurt. It is important that companies take a comprehensive approach to change and adapt to the new working world in all aspects. Because corporate culture should be reflected in the working world. One thing is certain for our experts: Traditional working methods have finally had their day, but they are still too firmly rooted in the minds of many managers. Only those who abandon their conservative thinking and have the courage to change something will be successful over the long term.