The past few months have had a major impact on our personal and professional lives. In terms of the world of work, recent developments have paved the way for a modern and sustainable approach to the organization of work and cooperation between colleagues, regardless of their location. To fulfill the demands of the future working world, companies and their employees are calling for new ways of working as well as opportunities to make day-to-day working practices more flexible, personal and sustainable.
Anna lives in the countryside. Before the pandemic, she would drive to the Swabian city of Stuttgart every day and spend ages searching for a parking lot before finally arriving at work. Anna now spends most of her working days at home and has come to realize that this change has had several benefits for her personally, as well as a positive impact on the environment.
Anna’s average working week has changed as a result of the pandemic. She recently returned to the office for the first time in a long while and has been talking to her colleague Stephan, a sales representative in the retail clients team, about the new situation and what it means for them personally and from an environmental perspective. Before the pandemic, Stephan was on the road a lot so he is familiar with what a variety of different employees need to work effectively. He also has an insight into what initiatives his business partners and client have implemented.
Anna’s role involves actively supporting her employer with work organization concepts. Designing hybrid work models and accounting for corporate social responsibility plays an increasingly important part in her daily work. By embedding hybrid work models now, Anna and her employer are shaping the future of the organization.
Thanks to his close connections with colleagues, clients and business partners, Stephan is able to share his own ideas and insights from his work with Anna. Sharing this information means that these alternate perspectives are also accounted for in the company’s long-term plans.
Anna used to be a commuter with her own car but she has rarely been on site in the office since the pandemic. She is now much more conscious of how much she uses her car and even prefers to leave it at home if she can, which has greatly improved her carbon footprint.
In his role as a sales representative, Stephan still does a lot of driving, but he uses his car much less than before. He now arranges his appointments back-to-back so that he can use his car more efficiently and deliberately use it less on other days.
When Anna needs to work on site, she plans her visits to the office and schedules her appointments on those days. She enjoys being in the networking areas in the office and uses the designated areas for one-to-one calls. She also takes advantage of her company’s desk booking system to help plan her day. Anna also enjoys her new-found flexibility from a personal perspective because it means she can occasionally work from a friend’s or family member’s home.
Stephan uses the office more consciously than he did before. He actively plans how he will spend his time with colleagues when he is on site. Opportunities for networking and formal meetings are his main consideration. He also uses the desk booking system, but unlike Anna he mainly books rooms for meetings.
To facilitate their hybrid working models, Anna and Stephan have transferred their documents to the cloud, which allows them to access the content from anywhere, whether they are in the office, at home or on the road. In addition, printing out lots of information is no longer necessary so Anna in particular is now more conscious of how she uses resources.
Stephan also accesses his documents and processes via the cloud. In addition to his own work materials, he finds it especially useful that he can connect to his clients’ systems. He can now respond to his clients even faster and in a way that is tailored to their needs.
Anna and Stephan’s experiences make it clear that hybrid work will play a key role in making the working world of the future sustainable. Aside from the effects that they describe, there are several others that enable development. Take advantage of the opportunity to actively address this issue at your company or organization and design a flexible, personal and environmentally responsible working environment.