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Modern working environments in municipalities - What does the "new" future of work hold?

New work, smart work, work 4.0, the future of work, modern working worlds - the phenomenon of new working worlds has many names and has become increasingly important, especially through COVID-19. In practice today, it can be observed that numerous municipalities have already set out to shape a modern working world. How do they anchor the meaningfulness of work together with digital transformation processes in a modern working world? How can and do municipalities, characterized by hierarchies, legal regulations and work tasks, realize such a working world? What does everyday practice in municipalities look like in concrete terms?

COVID-19 in particular has further increased the pressure on many municipalities to digitize. During the lockdowns, municipalities and other public institutions were forced to keep services available to citizens - i.e., largely accessible online. There has also been a discernible change in thinking with regard to the opportunities for employees in municipalities, and the lockdown regulations have increasingly made home office workplaces possible. But how this digitization push has affected modern work environments in municipalities and whether the development of necessary cultural changes and the work processes of individuals have been able to keep pace, has not yet been answered.

This question was the reason for the third study within the framework of the research cooperation between Detecon International GmbH and the funding program of the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization, and Energy for "digital model regions" of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The present study "Modern Working Environments in Municipalities" is based on an online survey to investigate the status quo of North Rhine-Westphalian municipalities in the area of modern working environments. The focus is on questions about drivers, barriers and factors at the organizational level - people and culture, space, tools, regulations - and at the individual level - self-determination, authenticity, co-determination, identification - of modern working environments.

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