WSI Mitteilungen 1/2023

: Issue 01/2023

WSI-Mitteilungen 1/2023, pp. 3-9

Tanja Carstensen

Between Working from Home, Working from the Office and Care. The Spatial and Digital Reorganisation of Work


The question of the location where gainful employment is carried out has been renegotiated since the COVID-19 pandemic. There are not only changes in the home, but there are also changes in the function of the workplace. This article addresses the question of what challenges are associated with the new daily routines between working from home and working from the office and focuses on questions of the sociology of work and, in particular, of care and gender. It is based on results from various research projects conducted before, during and after the first lockdown. The author first summarises central findings of research on working from home in general as well as the results on working from home during the pandemic. The focus is on the challenges of the spatial reorganisation of work, both in the workplace at home, which has become a more normal place of work, and working at the company workplace, which has changed significantly for many employees since the outbreak of COVID-19. Finally, some suggestions for the shaping of the working environment are named. more … (in German)

WSI-Mitteilungen 1/2023, pp. 10-18

Jasmin Schreyer, Stefan Sauer, Amelie Tihlarik, Manuel Nicklich, Sabine Pfeiffer, Marco Blank

Beyond Home or Office – Working from Home during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic


In the social science and media discourse about the new world of work that has changed as a result of the pandemic, working from home is currently mostly reduced to three essential aspects: First, the performance of employees in overcoming the pandemic has become a secondary consideration. Second, it cannot be assumed that after the pandemic people will exclusively work in their homes, but rather in a hybrid office. And third, post-pandemic the working mode will intensify from avoiding contact as much as possible to direct interaction again. The article shows why not only work from home shapes the changed world of work, but a continuum of work between home and office. Based on a qualitative panel survey of executives with personnel responsibility from various industries, the handling of the pandemic since the first lockdown is considered. Despite all the differences in the coping modes, there are similarities. Where working from home became possible for executives, self-organised overtime could be seen in the course of an increasing merging of work and private life. Where employees remained present for business reasons, but their managers were often working from home, the perception of inequality intensified. more … (in German)

WSI-Mitteilungen 1/2023, pp. 19-26

Rita Meyer, Tom Kehrbaum, Manfred Wannöffel

Does Working from Home Erode the Workplace as a Place of Learning? On the Importance of the Workplace as a Space for Interaction


The article gives insights into the possible consequences of a marginalisation of the company as a place of work and learning due to the increase in mobile work. Working from home probably reinforces the gender-specific division of labour, it also possibly exacerbates a segmentation between employees in production and indirect areas. This also creates new problems with regard to social participation in company training. The authors take these developments as an opp.ortunity to look at the connection between innovative capacity and social interaction from the perspective of work pedagogy and sociology. Based on the assumption that interpersonal interaction processes in work are fundamental as a resource for building up experiential knowledge, possible consequences of online-based cooperation are discussed in a framework of social science theories. more … (in German)

WSI-Mitteilungen 1/2023, pp. 27-37

Philipp. B. Donath, Andreas Engelmann

Occupational Health and Safety and Co-determination for the Digital World of Work. Options and Needs for Regulation of a More Decentralised Form of Work


The article first defines basic terms for newer forms of decentralised work such as “home office” (as working from home is often called in German), telework, mobile work and remote work and presents the basic legal requirements for occupational health and safety in this area. The authors show that there can be different levels of obligations for employers. They then analyse and systematise the instruments of co-determination in occupational health and safety for mobile work and discuss to what extent a legal system geared to fixed work in a company building is app.licable and transferable to digital, mobile work that is not tied to a specific location. In doing so, the authors conclude that the various instruments of co-determination can be used as a contemporary, holistic occupational health and safety system – if they are combined with each other and used consistently. Finally, the authors point out that there is a need to flank the existing co-determination rights with collective bargaining and statutory regulations. Suggestions could be drawn from recent legal regulations in Portugal. more … (in German)

WSI-Mitteilungen 1/2023, pp. 38-45

Andreas Pfnür, Yassien Bachtal, Felix Gauger

Work from Home in a Conflict of Interest. Empirical Analysis of Changing Work Locations and Practical Implications


The article examines the impact of the working from home experience on work environments during the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily from the perspective of the property sector. The goal is to understand the interrelationships between place of work and work success from the view of different actor groups and to derive implications for the employees and companies. Methodologically, a conceptual app.roach to the relationship between working from home and work success is made, which is then empirically verified by means of a survey of 1000 employees in Germany. As a result, the article draws a picture of the reality of working from home, the success from different perspectives and the connections to the personal, work-related and spatial framework conditions. Based on the empirical data, an evaluation of the work-from-home phenomenon is made from the perspective of employees and companies. more … (in German)

WSI-Mitteilungen 1/2023, pp. 46-54

Daniel Lorberg, Holger Janusch

Path Break? International Developments in the Spatial Dimension of the World of Work after the COVID-19 Pandemic


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, tele working remained far below its actual potential. Path dependencies can be cited as the reason for this. The origins of which can initially be traced back to positive coordination effects, learning effects and effects of adaptive expectations, but which over time have led to rigid routines and thought patterns. In the context of these path dependencies, the pandemic constitutes an external shock. It forced companies to relocate work to the private home wherever possible. Thus, there is currently the possibility of a path break that could lead to new path dependencies. Should this be the case, however, it is to be expected that large companies and highly educated and better-earning employees will benefit from this. The expected new path dependencies thus complement the current trends of transnationalisation and global market concentration, but may challenge the increasing clustering as a feature of the current global economy. more … (in German)

WSI-Mitteilungen 1/2023, pp. 55-61

Monika Grubbauer, Katharina Manderscheid

In the Area of Conflict between Workplace and Living. Socio-ecological Challenges of Location-flexible Work


The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated both the transformation of the work environment and the dynamics of spatial change. Working from home and location-flexible forms of working are at the centre of this development. Depending on the individual household and lifestyle, this poses different challenges for employees in their everyday lives. A sustainable decoupling of company location, workplace and place of residence also results in effects for the ecological restructuring of settlement structures, transport and mobility. The article provides an insight into the state of the debate in research, identifies connections between the change in work and the lifeworld as well as the requirements with regard to settlement structures and transport and social infrastructures. Finally, corresponding relevant research gaps are identified. more … (in German)

WSI-Mitteilungen 1/2023, pp. 62-68

Detlef Gerst

New Work: Between New Freedom and Externally Determined Flexibility


New work currently is an important guideline for the modernisation of work. Different from the original concept formulated by Frithjof Bergmann, New Work today is largely limited to measures to create flexible work. Nonetheless New Work is furthermore linked to the hope for meaningful work and autonomy. How realistic are these aspirations? The answer depends on two factors: one is the dissolving of the boundaries of work, locations of work and the organisation of work by implementing New Work. A second is the possibility that employees can use the scope of flexibility to accommodate their own interests. Employees are confronted with the task of managing the boundaries between the demands of the job and personal interests. Co-determination can create a favourable framework to manage these boundaries. more … (in German)

WSI-Mitteilungen 1/2023, pp. 69-72

Christiane Kalka, Ruth Reuter

Future of the Street. A Positioning Using the Example of the North Rhine-Westphalian State Competition "Future Urban Space”


The use of public street space has long been under great pressure due to a variety of demands. The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to a new perception of the value of public (street) space. Particularly in local neighbourhoods, this is leading to a reassessment of the distribution of space for the various road users and different uses. Against this background, the "Future Urban Space" competition of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia aimed to initiate innovative projects for the redesigning and redistribution of street space for more meeting space, more green space and more equality for all road users and to promote the realisation of the best projects. The example of three award-winning projects shows that there are innovative and courageous ideas for street redesign in urban and rural areas. more … (in German)

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