The demands on each individual and on the collaboration of all associates have changed rapidly in recent years. That’s why the Bosch Group launched the “Inspiring Working Conditions” (IWC) project; its aim was to set up a framework that is right for Bosch for developing basic conditions for HR management, IT tools, and office and working environments. Following international field tests at a number of Bosch locations, the IT department of Bosch Packaging Technology launched a pilot phase for IWC in late 2014. This phase also included telecommuting.
Anyone who works outside the office occasionally or on specific agreed weekdays is telecommuting, also called mobile working. This includes both work done at the computer and, for instance, work done on printouts of project documents. Such work is typical for an IT department: associates are scattered throughout the world and, in some cases, they are even organized in virtual teams. This requires a great deal of flexibility in terms of working times and location. The pilot project gives associates the opportunity to spread out their working time flexibly over the day. They can use this flexible arrangement to participate in meetings from home early in the morning or late in the evening, or to read and write e-mails while on the train. In between, they can attend to personal business as well.
The intermediate result of the project: Telecommuting is much appreciated by most associates. The focus is on target fulfilment, not on attendance. Nonetheles, the launch of IWC is a cultural change for everyone involved, so it’s understandable that it will take some time for the new IWC components to fall into place for everyone. It’s important to take misgivings seriously, and to continue the dialog and offer each other support for any questions that arise. From the perspective of the IT department, IWC is the right approach to meet the challenges of the working world of today and tomorrow. Meanwhile telecommuting was introduced at various additional locations. A decision about how to proceed will be made next year.
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