New work changes the requirements for occupational health management. How to find out in this article.

How does New Work influence occupational health management?

What does New Work have to do with OHM?

What do New Work and HRM have to do with each other? Both terms are currently very relevant for HR. New Work is a megatrend that affects all areas of a company and its employees and essentially simply describes a change. As a corporate division, occupational health management is naturally affected by this change and at the same time is one of the corporate divisions that can use this change in the company to its competitive advantage.

This is New Work

What does New Work mean? New Work” is a term coined by Prof. Dr. Frithjof Bergmann at the end of the 1970s. It describes the change of the working world, i.e. a change of the status quo. The structural change that is taking place in the world of work today is largely driven by globalization, digitization and a changing mindset that focuses more on people and their individual needs.

How does New Work influence OHM?

New Work means a change in the entire working world. It affects work processes as well as the way people work together and identify with their jobs. Autonomy, personal development and participation in decision-making are the focus for employees. This is especially true for Generation Y, for whom the meaningfulness of work and participation in social and entrepreneurial decisions play an important role. This change in mindset and digital progress lead specifically to the following changes through New Work and in occupational health management.

Work becomes more decentralized but musculoskeletal and mental illnesses more likely

The workplace as a geographical location no longer plays a role in value creation in most professions. This means that employees can theoretically work together from anywhere in the world, without any physical proximity. This poses new challenges for occupational health management, because it is more difficult to reach employees who work from home, for example. At the same time, however, demand is increasing because people tend to move less at home. On the one hand, this can be explained by the fact that commuting to work is no longer necessary. On the other hand, many small movement patterns, such as going to another office or taking a standing break for smaltalk in the hallway, are also eliminated. In addition, very few employees have an ergonomic workstation in their home office. The fact that work can be done from the comfort of one’s own four walls also blurs the boundaries between private and professional life, increasing the psychological strain.

New work leads to decentralization of responsibility – mental health comes into focus

For occupational health management, New Work can mean that it has to deal more with mental stress. This is because employees are taking on more responsibility and are more frequently involved in decision-making. Those responsible for occupational health management must therefore strive to implement health promotion measures that reduce stress in the workforce. This can be done, for example, by promoting physical activity.. 

New Work brings more flexible working time models and these require flexible OHM

Nine-to-five was yesterday. Many employees prefer to decide for themselves when they want to work. This does not necessarily mean that they want to work less, but that they demand more flexibility, for example, to be able to manage private tasks better alongside their job. For occupational health management, New Work also means that health promotion must be more flexible in terms of time.

Job sharing & new focus increase demand for BGM measures

Job sharing describes the possibility of two part-time employees sharing a full-time position. Depending on how often this occurs in a company, the demand for health services can increase because there are more employees in the company for the same number of jobs. In addition, the topic of health and occupational health is becoming increasingly relevant, especially for young people. Companies must therefore look for more cost-efficient occupational health management measures.

In order to meet the requirements of New Work, new approaches are needed in occupational health management. Location-independent and time-flexible occupational health management measures are becoming indispensable. So companies will need to focus more on digital health solutions in the future