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The Corporate Human Ecosystem

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  • Writer's pictureHans J. Schmolke


The pandemic has flushed to the top an aspect of everyday work that has certainly always been underestimated in its importance: autonomy. The dispute over the continuation of home office is an eloquent expression of this.

But it also sheds light on management princples, which are naturally also subject to change. As an employee, do I sell 8 hours of attendance per day? Or is the company entitled to the corresponding work performance? What is the corresponding work performance?

An important aspect from the company's point of view is the team presence. Inspiration comes more easily in the team, a balance of stress occurs spontaneously, the self-image as a group strengthens the individual. A family structure is created.

But let's not fool ourselves! Autonomy is also an important aspect here. A spontaneous compensation of stress is possible, if the empowerment is there. Who makes the decision is also not yet said.

Individual autonomy and team autonomy, both are elementary adjusting screws in everyday work. There is too much and too little of both. Finding the right balance is a central management task that cannot be standardized.

But the problem also sheds light on the state of efforts in digitization. It is proving to be powerful at the process level, but not at the social level. Mobility of the workplace is, as we can see, a logical consequence of general digitization and omnipresence of cloud structures. The consequence is a lower social connection to the company. This is a weakening that is due to technology. There is a lack of social competence.

It's easy to digitize a work process. But it is difficult to consider the effects on social interaction. Yet they are an important success factor. Companies' digitization strategies are still largely blind to this.

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