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New Work: 10 Terms You Should Know

New Work has become an established term in the modern working world. It means turning away from dusty routines and opening up to flexible working models. But despite all the euphoria about the change in the world of work, the new terms often still cause frowns among colleagues. Let's clear things up!

What this post is about

  • Recognize connections better
  • Know what you are talking about
  • Using new technical terms purposeful
  • Raise communication to a new level

A new era has begun! With the establishment of the New Work idea, the classic office concept and rigid nine-to-five jobs have slowly but surely been pushed to the side. Mobile working, home office, and desk sharing have arrived in many companies and define innovative working concepts.

Nevertheless, not every colleague is aware of the details behind the numerous new buzzwords that have been part of the extended vocabulary of the new work generation for some time now. In order to provide more clarity on the most important terms, read on for the perfect cheat sheet.


In the context of project management, the word agility is often combined. If you want to make your implementations more agile, you have to say goodbye to fixed constructs, elaborate plans, and the "we've always done it this way" mentality.

Being agile means incorporating spontaneous ideas and feedback into the constantly evolving process and - possibly - scoring with a better result in the end. Not to be confused with flexibility: Flexible is who reacts to changes and continues to pursue his defined goal. Agile is the one who makes self-determined adjustments and in the end discovers new possibilities.


Even small children experience that learning through play can be extremely effective. Through reward systems or the collection of points, typical game elements are seamlessly integrated into daily work or projects.

This creates a challenging character that awakens inner motivation to complete tasks in a more goal-oriented manner. Gamification can be implemented, for example, through ranking lists or visual progress elements when milestones are reached in projects.


Welcome to a new world! VUCA describes a society in which companies must consciously position themselves - with an openness to further development in order to always be able to adapt to new requirements.

The term is a combination of the English words Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity and describes the challenge for companies to observe the present, evaluate potentials, recognize opportunities and implement ideas. This is the only way to serve the fast-moving world with suitable products and services.

Best Practices

In the past, a best practice example would have been described as a model or exemplary implementation. In other words, it describes a process or product that has proven to be successful or has set a good example. It can be used as a showcase and serves as an orientation. If a colleague tells you about a best practice in the near future, he or she is expressing admiration for its successful application, which could inspire you.

Check-In And Check-Out

Meeting culture has opened up a new area with the advent of New Work routines. Check-in and check-out are among the modern components that are likely to elicit a smirk from some team members, no doubt.

The check-in opens the meeting and offers each participant the chance to arrive in the group. In this context, it is often asked with which expectations they are here.

The check-out performs the same function for the conclusion of the meeting. Which feelings do the participants have now leaving the meeting and devoting themselves to the next steps?

This collaborative approach of check-in and check-out is usually controlled by a special question that is answered in turn. In this way, everyone present in the room is noticed.

Deep Work

Do you feel like you're constantly being pulled out of your work by incoming emails or phone calls? New Work has just the right working method for you!

Deep Work is the name given to the intensive concentration phase in which the attention is fully utilized. Distracting factors are completely blanked out and switched off for a set period- and your focus is ramped up.

Superficial tasks that are done on the side and without deeper concentration are called Shallow Work, by the way.

Fishbowl Discussion

Simply talk in a more structured way! Fishbowl discussion is defined by two (symbolic) circles of chairs, one on the outside and one on the inside. In the outer circle sit people who listen to the discussion. The inner circle is allowed to have an animated exchange of ideas. This form makes it possible to have focused conversations between the discussants, just like in the plenum.

In the inner circle can be an additional unoccupied chair, which can be taken at any time by one of the listeners. In this way, one of the listeners has the "right to speak" and can contribute his or her thoughts. The aim of the method is to facilitate a condensed conversation.


Give up superfluous work steps and simply make your project management lean! Complex processes have no place in New Work. Lean processes lead quicker to the goal and please project planners and team leaders. With a lean way of working, you implement what is necessary and do not get lost in endless but not very goal-oriented embellishments.


In 2022, it means being attentive, as well as understanding and taking into account social contexts! Outdated power structures, marginalized groups, and discrimination against people are just two of the existing social problems that are present globally. Standing up for important issues and taking a stand means showing wokeness.

Internationally operating companies that have a certain influence are currently challenged more than ever to take a stand and stand up for people who do not have a large and audible lobby - in the work context and beyond.

Open Space

Open Space refers to a moderation method that is used with particularly large groups of participants. By dividing the participating people into smaller groups, which then exchange ideas on one topic, several topics can be dealt with more quickly (as the exchange in the large group is always more protracted).

In addition, it is allowed to join another group after the end of one round, which may have come together on a different focus topic. Finally, all results can be collected and organized again in a large group.


Understand New Work better! With these ten terms, you are well prepared for the next business small talk and intensive technical discussions with colleagues and externals. In case you still don't know what they're talking about: stay calm and ask openly and directly. Being part of the work change also means having to learn new things first.

  1. Agility
  2. Gamification
  3. VUCA
  4. Best Practices
  5. Check-In And Check-Out
  6. Deep Work
  7. Fishbowl Discussion
  8. Lean
  9. Wokeness
  10. Open Space
  11. Summary
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