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New Work & New Learning

How the new world of work is transforming corporate learning


New Work: A New Era of Work

New Work is a term that represents a revolutionary shift in the world of work. Originally introduced by social philosopher Frithjof Bergmann, New Work describes a future of work characterized by flexibility, self-actualization and meaning-driven activity. Compared to the classic world of work, in which tight hierarchies, fixed working hours and a clear separation of work and private life prevailed, New Work focuses on flat hierarchies, flexible working time models and a better balance between work and personal life. The focus is on the autonomy of the individual and the opportunity to develop oneself and find meaning in work.

New Work is not limited to office jobs or the so-called "white collar" professions. New Work can also bring about significant changes in traditional "blue collar" occupations such as skilled trades, production or logistics. For example, flexible working hours, greater participation in decision-making processes, or the opportunity for further training and professional development could also lead to increased satisfaction and productivity in these areas. New Work thus has the potential to transform the entire work landscape and bring benefits to both employers and employees.


The Concept of "New Learning"

In light of the shifts brought about by the New Work movement, the concept of workplace learning must also change. "New Learning" is the learning concept that meets the requirements of the New Work movement. It stands for an understanding of learning that is based on self-responsibility, continuous development, networks and cooperation.

New Learning requires a culture of openness and trust. Employees should be encouraged to explore their own learning paths and acquire new skills and knowledge that go beyond their current tasks. This fosters the development of a learning culture in which continuous learning and improvement becomes the norm. Workplace learning is no longer just an additional skill that an employee must learn. It is now an essential part of professional development. In the New Work movement, the focus is on continuous lifelong learning, rather than one-time training.

In addition, New Learning must also be digital. As technology advances and work becomes more connected, it is increasingly important to use digital learning methods. Digital learning platforms, online courses and e-learning modules are examples of how companies can leverage digitalization in learning. 


The New Work movement also brings with it a range of new learning methods. Instead of traditional training sessions, the focus is now on learning formats that emphasize collaboration, self-discovery and experiential learning. Learning platforms, hybrid learning, peer-to-peer learning and social learning are some examples.


New Work and New Learning: Parallel Needs

To understand the impact and needs of New Work and New Learning, it is helpful to consider them side by side. Both movements are closely linked and build on similar principles - such as flexibility, the individualized approach, and the importance of continuous development. The following table provides an overview of the needs of New Work and New Learning and how they complement and reinforce each other.

New Work

New Learning

working time

Flexibility in working hours and the ability to work remotely

Flexibility in learning times and locations


Flat hierarchies and decentralized decision making

Collaborative and self-directed learning


Increasing employee satisfaction through meaningful work and work-life balance

Individual and continuous competence development


Using digital tools for communication and collaboration

Use of digital platforms and tools for learning and professional development

Staff Development

Viewing employees as individuals whose skills are constantly being developed

Viewing learning as a continuous and lifelong process

Value preferences

Promoting diversity, inclusion, and employee autonomy

Recognizing and supporting individual learning styles and needs


Culture of open communication and regular feedback

Continuously review learning progress and adjust learning based on feedback


Unbeatable Benefits

Why New Work and New Learning will catapult your business into the future

At a time when the world of work is changing at an unprecedented rate, understanding and adapting to innovative concepts is essential. New Work and New Learning, have become the future of modern working life. They offer more than just a new perspective on the design of work and learning in the enterprise. They offer you the chance to reshape the relationship between the company and its employees. Given the increasing importance of factors such as flexibility, individual self-fulfillment and lifelong learning, New Work and New Learning can be seen as the driving forces behind your sustainable and future-oriented corporate development. They help to shape a modern, future-oriented company that is both attractive to employees and able to meet the challenges of the ever-changing world of work:


Strengthening employee engagement and motivation

Create a work environment based on the individual needs and preferences of your employees. Employee satisfaction and retention are strengthened through flexibility in working hours and location, opportunities for self-fulfillment and continuous learning. This leads to higher motivation and productivity, which in turn boosts the company's performance.

Improving Organizational Structure

Promote flat hierarchies and participative decision-making processes. This leads to improved communication and collaboration within the company and greatly increases the potential for innovation.

Promote learning and development

Through New Learning, learning is seen as a continuous process that contributes to professional development. Use digital learning platforms and methods to teach employees new skills and develop existing ones. In this way, you improve competencies in the company and help to master future challenges and changes.

Improving employer attractiveness

Companies that practice New Work and New Learning become more attractive to talented professionals. In particular, younger generations such as Millennials and Gen Z place a high value on a flexible and meaningful work culture, as well as opportunities for continuous learning.

Resilience to Change

New Work and New Learning help your employees better adapt to change. By focusing on self-organization, continuous learning and development processes, and the use of digital tools, your organization responds flexibly to change and adapts effectively to new circumstances.


Digital Platforms and Technologies in New Learning

To successfully implement the concept of New Learning, you need not only the right corporate culture, but also the right technologies. Not only do they facilitate learning, but they also allow your employees the flexibility to meet their needs. 

A key technology in this area is learning managementsystems (LMS). These digital platforms support the management, tracking and delivery of online courses and training. They enable learners to consume content on their own schedule and track their learning. LMSs can offer a variety of learning materials - from texts and videos to interactive quizzes and discussion forums - to accommodate different learning styles.

Authoring tools and Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) allow you to create and manage customized learning content specific to the needs of your audience. With these tools, you can create interactive courses with multimedia content, self-tests, and feedback loops. This increases learner engagement and promotes sustained learning.

Conversation trainers, especially for scenario-based learning, are another effective technology in New Learning. They simulate realistic dialogues and scenarios in which learners can practice their communication skills in a safe and controlled environment. Dialogue simulations can be used in a wide variety of settings, from customer service and sales training to intercultural communication and conflict management.

Gamification, which is the application of game mechanics in a non-game context, has also proven to be an effective tool in learning. Apps that use flashcards, for example, can transform repetition and self-testing into a gamified format, which increases learner engagement and makes learning more enjoyable.

A combination of different technologies and approaches, tailored to learners' specific needs and preferences, promises the greatest success. Provide diverse and customizable learning resources to create an effective and future-proof learning environment for your employees.


The bottom line.

The New Work movement is having a profound effect on workplace learning and workforce development. It is leading to new learning methods and approaches, a greater emphasis on individual development, and a more intensive consideration of diversity and inclusion. For organizations, this means rethinking and adapting their learning and development programs to meet the demands of the New Work movement. The concept of New Learning provides valuable guidance in this regard. It stands for an understanding of learning that focuses on the autonomy and continuous development of employees while taking advantage of digitization. Companies that successfully implement this concept will be better able to meet the challenges and opportunities of the New Work movement.

Nadine Pedro
[Translate to English:] Nadine Pedro, chemmedia AG
Nadine Pedro
eLearning author

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