Audi is designing a hybrid working world
- Audi regards hybrid working as an integral part of a forward-looking working world
- Flexible and independent: all employees are entitled to work remotely, provided that doing so is consistent with the type of work they do
- Audi is banking on the responsibility of its employees and is not specifying any fixed rules
Audi is expanding its hybrid work model. After the pandemic, the working world will be a mix of remote and on-site work. Together with the Works Council, the in-house Better Normal project is developing fields of activity for every division of the company. Concrete solutions are also being developed for areas where remote work is not possible. That is how Audi is continuously promoting the company’s digital transformation.
Mobile work has deep roots in Audi’s corporate culture. We intend to keep collaboration flexible, autonomous, and independent in the future as well, as Member of the Board of Management for Human Resources Sabine Maassen explains: “It’s no longer a question of whether hybrid work will happen, but rather how we’ll handle it.” The 2016 “mobile work” labor-management agreement provides a regulatory framework for that.
Since then, Audi employees have been allowed to work at home or on the go, if that is compatible with their job. Mobile work became an everyday reality for many Audi employees during the pandemic. Now Audi is taking it to a new level.
Mobile work: individual solutions, not rigid regulations
Anyone who wants to work remotely is free to choose that option. However, employees have to coordinate with their managers. If all of the conditions are met, there is a single time restriction: employees may not work exclusively remotely.
Sabine Maassen emphasizes that “we learned to work together digitally very quickly due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are banking on the responsibility of our managers and our employees and not specifying any fixed rules. That means we're giving them freedom and creating a framework for working independently.
A working group derived from the in-house Better Normal project and the Works Council is currently developing possible regulations for hybrid work. Among other things, the team is developing tools and methods for efficient work in the home office or at the plant.
Pilot projects for hybrid work models
In addition, pilot projects (“test areas”) lasting several months will start in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm in the second half of the year. With around 150 employees each, various new office designs and equipment packages will be tried out, including a desk-sharing concept for working at the company as well as everyday remote work.
Audi will not only supply the technical equipment for working in a home office. Health care, an occupational safety concept, and company and data security are also central concerns.
Together with the Works Council, the company is also working on concrete solutions for the areas that cannot work remotely. Among other things, the goal is to make shift-working hours more flexible for better work-life balance, participating in digitization for all Audi employees, and optimization of the work environment and ergonomics.
The results will be assessed in late 2022. After that, the company and the Works Council will decide on the extent to which Audi will implement these changes.