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The future of work is hybrid

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Porsche sets new standards for hybrid working.

Porsche exerts an attraction and fascination that few other brands can claim to match. Founded as a design office for engine and vehicle construction in April 1931, by the 1990s the company had evolved into one of the world’s most coveted marques for sports cars.

Alongside first-class performance and quality, Porsche also stands out thanks to its enormous spirit of innovation. The automobiles delight customers worldwide - not only with the iconic 919 sports car, but also with the all-electric Taycan and the various hybrid models. In addition to the trend towards hybrid and electric vehicles in the automobile sector, the company itself is also seeing significant changes in the work approach of its employees – towards hybrid and digital. Although this sounds similar, it brings with it at least an equal measure of changes and new perspectives.


Virtual working: Obligation, standard or future?

This development was accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. This altered the working reality for many people – in particular so-called knowledge workers, who largely require little more than a laptop and internet access for their daily work. During the course of the pandemic the study or living room at home was also the primary workplace for a large part of the workforce at Porsche.

What began as an obligation and evolved into a convenient standard has now become a specific portent of the working world of tomorrow. Because hybrid working – the blending of work in the office, at home or other locations – is set to become an established component of the working day of the future. For some, this is a challenge and for others even a burden. This is underscored by one point in particular: Hybrid cooperation cannot be achieved at the push of a button – it needs to be learned and requires coherent framework conditions and technologies.

The goal is to enable everyone

The greatest challenge inherent in enabling Porsche employees’ hybrid work is the heterogeneity of the departments. In particular with regard to digital acceptance, comprehension and ability of the respective employees and managers, a range of differences can be observed – both from one department to the next and also within departments.

A further challenge is the complexity of the issues regarding digital work. Alongside questions concerning tools and technologies, space, and environment, this affects organization and structure as well as people and culture. To master all of these new challenges, Porsche and MHP have implemented a strategic initiative to bundle the skills of both companies and support the specialist areas in their transformation to an increasingly digital world.

DigitalSprint: Paths to the hybrid working world

One milestone along this path was the joint development of a new product that enables the sustainable enhancement of digital abilities within the Porsche departments – the DigitalSprint.

In the DigitalSprint we have not only established digital cooperation with the specialist departments, but also given the entire construct an agile structure. The agile procedures and rules prescribed a framework in which the new measures can be developed and realized in the best possible way. This approach was new for some of the departments, and therefore a further challenge.

Co-creation as important key

In a team of organization developers, change managers and agile coaches, we joined with Porsche in identifying the requirements of the departments, with the aim of supporting the adaptation of work processes as closely as possible to these and thereby redesigning the future working world – with a new mindset, tool set and skill set. The goal: To make the employees pioneers for digital working.

The three most important things learned

On the path to the digital working world three points emerged as essential, which we focus on in the course of the DigitalSprint:

  1. Social connections and interaction between people are experienced differently in the real world to in the digital world. Digital is more challenging when it comes to maintaining and increasing cohesion and team culture. This requires that time be specifically set aside, as it cannot occur parallel to other tasks or informally in the lunch breaks.
  2. All key technical prerequisites need to be provided and the corresponding processes digitalized.
  3. Fundamental effects are achieved through organizational and structural changes. For example, information research can be considerably accelerated via area-specific directory and filing structures, as well as through the reduction of information sources and adaptation of meeting structures.

Our outcome: A 30 percent increase

Within the scope of the project, we digitally enabled numerous specialist areas in nearly all departments at Porsche. In each area we conducted qualitative and quantitative surveys, with which we could gain an impression of the degree of digitalization within the department. Following our seven-week assignments, we were able to increase the digital ability of the employees by an average of thirty percent with the DigitalSprint. The response from the teams is correspondingly positive.

The joint conclusion

Hybrid work practices will be inevitable in the future. They enable numerous increases in efficiency, reduce travel costs and accelerate processes. With DigitalSprint, Porsche, together with MHP, has also launched itself into hybrid working. We are particularly pleased that we, as a subsidiary of Porsche AG, have been able to assist our parent company in this key step, applying our expertise in the areas of New Work, Hybrid Work, and Organizational Transformation.

We look forward to the coming sprints and to following the path into the digital working world together. Cooperation that shines a light on our bold purpose:

Enabling You To Shape A Better Tomorrow.


Voices

  • Madeline Klink – Product Owner, Porsche

    “The enthusiasm for molding the changing world of work together with the joint technical and methodical expertise proved decisive when it came to assisting the departments on the diverse levels of digitalization.”

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