Business Unit Manager Automotive IT Solutions Jens Fehrling reports on an assessment and experiences
Last year, VWGIS adopted the "Hybrid Work" company agreement. This stipulates that employees can choose between different hybrid work models.
In this article, you can read about Jens Fehrling's experiences with the hybrid work model at VWGIS and his personal assessment of it as a manager.
Dear Jens, can you explain to us what benefits you as a manager derive from the hybrid work model at VWGIS?
"Above all, I see a better work-life balance, increased productivity, the ability to access an expanded talent pool and, of course, cost savings as major benefits of the hybrid work model. For example, the previously common changeover times between meetings have been completely eliminated, which significantly increases productivity. As VWGIS, we are now hiring nationwide, which allows us to reach talent that otherwise would not have come to us at all. This helps us continue to grow in the current tight job market and pick up new, interesting topics."
Are there any drawbacks to this model for you as a leader, or challenges you face as well?
"Of course, there are also disadvantages or risks. Effectively leading hybrid teams brings special challenges and requires careful planning and communication in particular. Social ties with colleagues are more difficult to build and maintain. This can lead to the employer becoming more interchangeable and employees changing companies more frequently. This is where managers need to develop and implement new forms of employee retention."
What constitutes a good work-life balance for you? Has the possibility of hybrid working changed your work-life balance, and if so, how?
"For me, a good work-life balance includes good time management, where working hours are carefully planned and priorities are set. Here, I think it's important to set clear boundaries between work and private life. One should also pay attention to one's own physical, mental and emotional needs, such as doing enough sports and maintaining social contacts.
Hybrid work allows me to organize my working hours more flexibly and better reconcile my personal commitments with my professional role. For example, on home office days, I save 1.5 hours of travel time to work, which I then naturally have available for other things."
What are your tips for continuing to maintain contact with colleagues while working on the go?
"I see a variety of possibilities here, e.g. regular virtual meetings or teambuilding activities that can be held virtually or in presence. If it is spatially possible, regular face-to-face meetings should definitely continue to be organized. Otherwise, my tip is to go for a coffee together - virtually or on-site."
How do you envision the workplace of the future?
"In my opinion, the workplace of the future will be characterized by flexibility and remote working. Of course, virtualization will play a major role in this. The classic office workplaces will disappear and be replaced by co-working spaces. International collaboration will play a stronger role and instead of acting in isolation, there will be an increased focus on partnerships and cooperation. Artificial intelligence and automation will gain relevance in supporting work processes and routine activities."
Thank you dear Jens for your feedback and sharing your personal experience on the hybrid work model!