Home office at Miele: Arrangements made for the future
Employees in Germany have a choice between two options
Up to 80% of work possible from home
'Next Campus' to trial new offices and worlds of work launched
Not having to drive to work each day saves time and money, takes the strain off the environment and helps reconcile family and career. These benefits are now set to remain beyond the Covid pandemic. With a set of rules which have applied Germany-wide since February 1, Miele is offering its employees a choice between two flexible models – and, depending on the task and field of activity, allowing staff members to work up to 80% of their hours from home.
'As a forward-looking employer, we are doing everything in our gift to provide our employees with a contemporary work environment', says Rebecca Steinhage, Executive Director Human Resources & Corporate Affairs. 'Hence, we have addressed the issue of how best to square the benefits of working from home with coming into the office in great depth'. More specifically, employees in Germany can now choose between two attractive work models – individual tasks and the ergonomic design of the employee's office at home permitting: The two models are 'Mobile Working' and 'Home Office'.
In the case of the 'Mobile Working' option, employees are permitted to work up to 40% of their regular hours away from their office in any given month. To compensate for the communication and energy costs this entails, Miele agrees to pay all employees opting for this model a monthly flat-rate contribution towards costs.
Moving beyond this model, employees can choose the 'Home Office' option. In this case, they are allowed to work a maximum of 80% of their regular monthly hours from home. To offset additional communication and energy costs, Miele grants all employees participating in this model a slightly higher monthly allowance – plus a one-off payment to equip their office at home. At the same time, employees forfeit any right to their own desk in the company – when in the office, they agree to use a vacant desk within their department.
With the new ruling, Miele has agreed to a generous and flexible framework for working from home at all its German locations and, in arriving at this agreement, has taken all the valuable experience gained over recent years on board. 'The job now in hand is to put this skeleton agreement into practice to the benefit of both sides and to organise the details in the various teams', Steinhage elaborates. After all, working from home is a question of corporate culture: 'It all has to do with placing trust in our employees, the responsibility for organising one's work independently and consideration for teams. Even working from home is still team play', says Steinhage. As per the end of February, around 5000 employees in Germany had availed themselves of one of the two contract types.
'Next Campus': Modern and open workplace atmosphere in offices
To gather further experience with future working patterns for those without their own desk, Miele opened a new area in January as part of 'Next Campus', where a total of around 100 employees from IT and Sales work. 'With the new office landscapes, we aim to promote exchanges and collaboration among employees and to create more space for innovative ideas and cooperation with the open-plan design of these spaces. In total, there are 78 desks and spaces available for joint working – fixed, assigned workplaces and a rigid arrangement of desks are a thing of the past. Employees are free to select their workplace according to topics and tasks. 'This area is one of the most modern workplace environments we have created at Miele, and the feedback from staff is highly positive', Steinhage maintains.
Company profile: Miele is the world's leading manufacturer of premium domestic appliances including cooking, baking and steam-cooking appliances, refrigeration products, coffee makers, dishwashers and laundry and floor care products. Their product portfolio also includes dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers for commercial use as well as washer-disinfectors and sterilisers for use in medical and laboratory applications. Founded in 1899, the company has eight production plants in Germany, one each in Austria, the Czech Republic, China, Romania and Poland as well as two production plants belonging to its Italian medical technology subsidiary Steelco. Sales in the 2022 business year amounted to around € 5.43 bn. Miele is represented with its own sales subsidiaries and via importers in almost 100 countries/regions. Throughout the world, the family-run enterprise, now in its fourth generation, employs a workforce of around 23,300, of which approx. 11,900 employees work in Germany. The company has its headquarters in Gütersloh in Westphalia.
Since February, Miele has been offering attractive 'Mobile Working' and 'Home Office' models to its German employees. (Photo: Miele)
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Offices with glass partitions, height-adjustable desks, a new lighting concept, open-plan work areas which promote creative exchanges and freely bookable workplaces – with 'Next Campus', Miele is offering a modern and open work atmosphere. (Photo: Miele)
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