The company is among one of the first major global organisations to adjust working models permanently following the challenges brought by the coronavirus.
For the vast majority of people, work has been as much a place that you go as something you do. That radically changed for employees around the world though with the outbreak of the coronavirus forcing many to work at home or away from their traditional workplace locations.
With infection rates at different levels, and countries bracing themselves for a second wave, organisations around the world are setting out plans of how best to move forward.
Siemens has become one of the first major organisations to tackle the challenges on a permanent basis by establishing mobile working as a core component of its “new normal”. The global technology and industrial company, will make it “a permanent standard”, both during the global pandemic and beyond.
A project team made up of employees from strategy, human resources, IT and Siemens Real Estate, as well as representatives from the businesses, developed the New Normal Working Model during the coronavirus pandemic. It applies to more than 140,000 of the company’s employees at over 125 locations in 43 countries and is effective immediately.
Siemens said its aim is to enable employees worldwide to work on a mobile basis for an average of two or three days a week, whenever reasonable and feasible.
Cloud-based working has enabled Siemens to scale its services quickly to put 300,000 employees in a position to work from home. The infrastructure also facilitates more than 800,000 online meetings per day.
Worldwide surveys of Siemens’ employees confirmed their desire for greater flexibility and for personalised solutions when it comes to deciding where they work. The company has also stressed that mobile working “explicitly” means more than just working from home. Instead, employees – in consultation with their supervisors – are to choose the work locations where they’re most productive.
“These changes will also be associated with a different leadership style, one that focuses on outcomes rather than on time spent at the office”
As a result, the hybrid working model specifically includes working environments such as co-working spaces. Work in person at the office is to supplement mobile working as appropriate.
“The coronavirus crisis has triggered a surge in digitalisation. We’ve always had mobile working at Siemens, but now we’re taking it a step further. The basis for this forward-looking working model is further development our corporate culture. These changes will also be associated with a different leadership style, one that focuses on outcomes rather than on time spent at the office,” explained Roland Busch, deputy CEO and labour director of Siemens AG.
He added: “We trust our employees and empower them to shape their work themselves so that they can achieve the best possible results. With the new way of working, we’re motivating our employees while improving the company’s performance capabilities and sharpening Siemens’ profile as a flexible and attractive employer.”
The approach will be tailored to local legal requirements, the demands of various job profiles, and individual preferences. It will be founded on mutual consultations between employees and their supervisors.
A centralised IT platform will provide supervisors and employees with all relevant information regarding the new work model, and specific training sessions for supervisors will support the model’s launch.
“The New Normal Working Model fits seamlessly into our concept for the future of work. We’re using this model to pursue the goal of developing new ways of working together on a mobile, digital basis," said Jochen Wallisch, head of industrial relations and employment conditions at Siemens AG’s human resources department.
“We trust our employees and empower them to shape their work themselves so that they can achieve the best possible results”
“The new normal will also strengthen our ability to recruit and retain the best talent for Siemens and to increase diversity on our teams.”
While mobile working is a major focus, Siemens has also announced that it is also rolling out a workplace experience solution Comfy across its global offices to help promote a safe return to the workplace for employees during the pandemic. Employees will be able to register their presence and obtain local information about their office, to make informed decisions about how and when they can safely return to the workplace.
This will also enable daily occupancy limits to be defined and met, ensuring offices comply with local return-to-work regulations on physical distancing.
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