Audi is consistently driving the hybrid working world of the future within the company. On October 1, 2022, the company agreement “Hybrid Working” will come into force at the Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm sites. The company agreement provides for an even higher degree of flexibility for employees. They are free to choose their place of work and there is no requirement for fixed days in the office. The expansion of desk sharing, the redesign of office space and financially supporting employees in ergonomically working remotely are making remote and on-site work even more compatible.
Together with their managers, Audi employees can individually determine which days they will work remotely and when they will come into the office, as long as this is compatible with their tasks. The rules do not specify any rigid requirements. This gives employees even greater freedom to find a work model that suits their own life and to work in a self-determined and flexible manner.
The new “Hybrid Working” company agreement is a further development of the “Mobile Working” company agreement that has been in place since 2016 and with which the four rings have since gathered extremely positive experience. “We already had a high degree of flexibility, and now Audi employees can combine the best of both worlds – remote working and the office”, says Xavier Ros, Board Member for HR and Organization. “For us, the new company agreement is a consistent step on our way towards a hybrid working world. At the same time, it is an expression of a corporate culture characterized by individual responsibility and trust, which we will continue to consistently drive forward in the future.”
Chairman of the General Works Council Peter Mosch (Ingolstadt) and his deputy Rainer Schirmer (Neckarsulm) emphasize: “Hybrid working is the new standard of the Audi working world and heralds a new era at the four rings, from which all Audi employees will benefit in the future. Of course, we are also thinking of staff who cannot work from home because of their tasks. Together with the company, we are currently working on new room concepts and more flexible working models to improve working conditions in the plants.”
More responsibility for teams strengthens motivation and sense of belonging
Together with the University of St. Gallen, Audi scientifically investigated the positive effects of making work models more flexible. For the study, the company and researchers surveyed more than 1,500 employees from over a hundred departments. The main result is that teams that had worked out joint agreements developed a clearer understanding of hybrid cooperation. Mutual trust and commitment are significantly more pronounced in these teams. “The sense of belonging and authenticity increase, and we were also able to measure a positive effect on diversity of perspective and equal opportunities,” says project manager Carina Behrends from Diversity Management at Audi.
At the same time, working together in the office remains an important part of the corporate culture. Personal contact strengthens the sense of belonging and allows innovative ideas to emerge through joint exchange. Audi is improving the technical and spatial conditions for collaboration in hybrid teams at its Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm sites. New working environments including modern creative spaces, meeting rooms, project corners, lounges or meeting areas for communication, networking and collaboration will gradually be created over the coming years. The company agreement gives greater importance to desk sharing, in which Audi employees can participate voluntarily. Instead of personal workstations, the participating employees share the space flexibly. They can use a digital tool to conveniently book the room or desk they require.
Equipment packages for IT and ergonomic office equipment
Audi is supporting employees on their way to hybrid collaboration with generous equipment packages. Audi employees who participate in desk sharing and who can work on the move are entitled to an “IT package” or a “Furniture package”. These employees also receive a voucher for 500 euros or, temporarily limited until 30.06.2023, for 750 euros, which they can use to purchase ergonomic office equipment for mobile working.
The “Hybrid Working” company agreement is a fundamental component of the “better normal” concept, which gives Audi employees maximum flexibility. The culture of trust and personal responsibility practiced at Audi, is also the basis for modern working models such as job sharing, part-time solutions and sabbaticals, which are increasingly being promoted.
More flexibility also in production
“better normal” will also bring noticeable progress to Audi employees who cannot work in hybrid mode, for example, employees in Production who are bound to a specific cycle. The company and the works council are currently working on more flexible work models in shifts, new room concepts to make time spent on-site more pleasant, more varied offers in catering and easier access to the digital world of Audi in these areas.