Last summer I found a co-working space called SF17 close to Munich’s beautiful English Garden to hold one of my mental training workshops. The owner of SF17 introduced me to Florian Höfling, business coach and co-founder of peaksunited, a Munich-based coaching and consulting company. Florian supports individuals and companies with development processes for self-determined, authentic and sustainable growth. Having worked for Robert Bosch in Europe, South America and the Asia-Pacific region for over a decade, Florian has valuable insights into the cultural aspects of work topics.

Here is what he shared with me in an interview on the future of work.

We will see a race between human-centric companies and the old folks.

In 10 years from now, two things will have happened. On the one hand, there is a big trend within innovative companies of putting humans and their needs first, both in terms of work environment and work-life balance. On the other hand, especially within large companies, the majority of people still think differently about what to maximize and optimize, which is not necessarily the human capital. It is rather about optimizing output as it has been for the past 150 years. As productivity and efficiency will still persist as primary economical objective of the economy and society, we will see a race between human-centric companies and the old folks. I predict and wish that human-centric companies will lead the way.

The next generation will really strive for self-actualization.

I am torn between what I think and what I wish. I have a 5-year old boy so I can relate to this question quite well. I think that the new generation will strive by far more towards self-actualization than older generations. For them, this is linked to pleasure and fun, which is important to them. They will have less of a burden on their shoulders compared to the generation of my parents, which was born after World War II and had to build up Germany from scratch. They worked to earn money, to have a family and to step up in social rank. The resulting political and economic stability is a tremendous achievement no doubt, but also misleads my generation with regards to finding guidance for the right objectives in life. We are the first ones being really able to rethink and reset life-priorities. By continuously doing that, we are enabling the next generation to really strive for self-actualization.

Everyone will have to reinvent themselves several times during their lives.

I envision that for them there will be less of a separation between work and life. Instead, it will all be integrated. In order to tackle the world’s challenges that lie ahead of us, everyone will need to refocus within their career paths and reinvent themselves several times during their lives. This will be far more native to them than for us. Instead of thinking, “I am going to work to earn money”, they will have an understanding of “I live my life, which includes a part where I earn money for and another part which brings other rewards (e.g. joy)”. The fusion of the two will be something they will already have natively within them, unlike my generation which is currently struggling with balancing it.

Interview by ASLI TOKSAL.