“Morgen komm ich später rein – für mehr Freiheit in der Festanstellung” (translated to English: “Tomorrow I will start later – for more freedom in permanent employment”)
As an average person, we spend between 70.000 und 80.000 hours of our lives sitting at the desk. Even though we are part of a knowledge society, we are using structures from industrial society. Sitting out core working hours and excessive overtime seem to stand for „real“ commitment. The economic damage caused by boredom and inefficiency at work is huge.
On August 14, the book “Morgen komm ich später rein – für mehr Freiheit in der Festanstellung” will be published by Campus. The author, Markus Albers, sees the answer to this problem in a playful, flexible, and mobile attitude towards work – let´s call it Easy Economy. Albers: “Go to the cinema during the day, play with your children, integrate hobbies and friends in your daily routine which so far has been dominated by your working life. Make your permanent employment a free-permanent employment. I think, we will witness the end of the office of today. ”
Collanos is also mentioned in the book. The author writes about an interview with me:
“Peter Helfenstein explains the advantages of working without being fixed to a precise point, which means mobility and globalization, increase in efficiency, potential savings, access to highly qualified workers worldwide, and accessibility to customers all over the world thanks to new communication channels. According to Helfenstein, technology is not the reason for this development, but a tool to meet enterprise requirements that have existed long before: We must be in a position to contact anybody, at any time, from anywhere, and collaborate with our customers and contact persons on a flexible, economic and delay-free basis. In view of globalization and rapidly growing competition, 9-to-5 will be an out-dated concept, a competitive disadvantage. Helfenstein sees the New Economy as technology hype, a period when technological prospects offered more than customers wanted. “But today, enterprises, staff members and consumers have realized the advantages of globalization, mobility and flexibility, and now we need technologies that meet these requirements.”
In the new working world outlined above, a slightly different type of employee is required: ”Extroverted personalities actively establishing contact with the outside world and feeling inspired by doing so, are the ones to best fit into this model. Therefore, I am not surprised that this development is advancing faster in the USA.”
Inevitably, flexibility, mobility, and home office mean to widely do without informal communication, get-togethers during coffee break, smokers´corner, or common lunchtime. Helfenstein: “This might weaken identification with team and company and should be balanced by targeted measures, for example fixed dates for team afternoons, occasional work together with all employees at one location, or video conferences which like an intercom system permanently link all employees together worldwide.” Partly, you may be able to compensate physical separation by more frequent virtual meetings, but „ once in a while, you should talk to each other face-to-face. “Our American co-workers come to see us in Switzerland at regular intervals for one or two weeks, and the Swiss travel from USA to India to meet their collegues: the positive effect is noticeable for about three months, afterwards misunderstandings in communication become more frequent again. ”
The Campus-Verlag comments ‘Morgen komm ich später rein’ as follows: “This book harbours a promise which reads: You don´t have to go on working as before. And this book wants to convey a vision. The vision that thanks to modern technology and changing social values, our work will be characterized by more freedom and self-determination than that of our parents´generation. But this does not mean that we have to cut back on performance and career. On the contrary, you would feel more productive, relaxed and competent when communicating with superiors and other staff members. It suggests that we would finally be able to combine our job and your leisure time in a way that we would never have thought of some years ago. And even that, en passant, we might become happier individuals.”
Dr. Wilhelm Bauer at Fraunhofer Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation says: “Is this real work – sitting with your notebook in a café or in your garden? The ‘Easy Economy’ as outlined by Markus Albers promises a world of work that is marked by more independence for permanent employees as well as creativity and motivation. The development depicted in the book is sustainable and irreversible. In retrospect, we will eventually refer to it as the revolution of work.”
Markus Albers is political scientist and journalist. He lives in Berlin as a free-lance author reporting for magazines such as Vanity Fair and Monocle. Before this, he did journalistic work for stern, SPIEGEL, SZ-Magazin and Welt am Sonntag. He held the position of directing journalist with the German edition of Vanity Fair. The biography of his career shows a repeated change between free and employed occupations, so the subject of his book also reflects a subject of his life.
More information about Easy Economy and Markus Albers