The Zeppelin Group is taking a brave and pioneering step toward a new future. As of October 1, 2020, mobile working will become a permanent alternative rather an exceptional case: A new Group Works Agreement enables mobile working for Zeppelin employees in Germany as long as it is sensible and can be implemented – without any time restrictions. The primary objective of the new agreements is efficient combination of office work and mobile work, a so-called hybrid approach that enables the advantages of both worlds to be brought together.
"The coronavirus crisis has shown us that mobile working not only has a positive impact on the company in terms of flexibility, modernity and digital transformation. Employee's work-life balance and satisfaction can also greatly benefit from the individual arrangement of working hours and place of work," says Alexandra Mebus, Zeppelin Group Managing Director and Labor Director. In order to take into account the changed framework conditions, the existing regulations regarding "mobile working" have been revised – and realigned – in close cooperation between HR and the works councils. Starting October 1, 2020, this makes it possible for Zeppelin employees in Germany to work anywhere: all employees of Zeppelin GmbH and its domestic subsidiaries are covered by the new regulation.
In order to take into account the various team structures, areas of activity and tasks of the employees, the new specifications were deliberately designed without a time guideline. "We are convinced that varied forms of work are the best prerequisites for motivation, cooperation and productivity," says Mebus. Not every activity can be carried out flexibly from locations outside of the office space, but Zeppelin is clearing the way for individual solutions wherever possible.
The prerequisite for location-independent work is the approval of the manager. This is because mobile work at Zeppelin is based on the principle of "double voluntariness." This means that no employee can be obliged to work remotely, but there is also no entitlement to do so. A workstation in the workplace remains assured at all times. The possibility of desk sharing solutions is currently being examined at the large locations and where it makes sense. In addition, the topic is being closely monitored by HR and the works councils. Employees and managers are being supported with various training courses on topics such as hybrid work, mobile working and virtual leadership.
"During the coronavirus crisis, we had exclusively positive experiences with mobile working and are now using what we have learned to align our working environments with future requirements," says Peter Gerstmann, CEO and Chairman of the Zeppelin Group Management Board. He adds: "By doing so, we are transporting the agility of our start-up organizations from digitization to our traditional corporate divisions!"
Caption: Alexandra Mebus, Zeppelin GmbH Managing Director and Labor Director in her office at the Group headquarters in Garching and mobile working from her home. © Zeppelin GmbH, Photographer: Paul Träger
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