Flexible working: It’s not about where you are, but what you do

Philipp's Home Office

In many companies, the following mind-set is still quite common: Flexible working (e.g. home office) means having no control over your employees and questions about whether they are really working. In my opinion, employers who have this mindset have a totally different problem to a lack of control: They don’t trust their employees.

At Testbirds we see this differently. It’s part of our company culture to put trust in our employees. We don’t focus on where you are, but on the work being done. For some colleagues, home office is a very good place to work. Others don’t use it at all, because they can concentrate better in the office.

Flexible working means that time tracking is not required at Testbirds. There is no reason needed for home office, you tell your colleagues upfront when you will be working from home and mark it in your Outlook calendar for everyone to see. It also shouldn’t cause any additional work for your colleagues. Furthermore, we have core working hours between 10 am and 4 pm during which all employees are expected to be available on the phone, Skype and e-mail and of course you have to make sure to take part in meetings – in person or via Skype. This ties into our concept of self-leadership (more about our organisational principles, which we call Orga 4.0 here).

Personally, I use home office more often since the birth of my daughter. Sometimes I take a break of several hours over lunch to spend time with the family. To compensate for this, I start very early in the morning and work late in the evening. I use the flexibility also on the road. I have to travel quite often and e.g. do phone calls in the train. It’s very important to me that not only I can do it, but everyone here in the company.

What do you think about it? Do you offer flexible working at your company and if so, how?

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