VodafoneZiggo is the first organisation in the Netherlands to develop a long-term hybrid policy in which working from home is on an equal footing with working in the office. Anyone who wants to can work from home half time, even when everything gets back to normal. The policy is expressly intended for all office workers, regardless of position or function. The works council has already approved the new policy.
To set up the workplace ergonomically at home, all 7,500 VodafoneZiggo employees who do not work in a shop or help their customers as a technician, are eligible for a monitor, keyboard and laptop stand for the ergonomic set-up of their workspace at home. Employees will be given a total of 1000 euro in fiscal allowance to invest in office furniture. This means that an employee who buys 1000 euro worth of office furniture will receive a tax advantage for this amount.
VodafoneZiggo is responding to the wishes of employees who have been working from home since the corona crisis. The company also expects the measures to contribute to more sustainable business operations. The new policy forms part of a series of policy changes that VodafoneZiggo has already introduced. Lease cars have been replaced by public transport passes and last summer all employees were given access to Unlimited Learning, a platform on which they receive unlimited education and training.
"Working from home is no panacea," explains Thomas Mulder, Executive Director of Human Resources. "Not everyone is in a position to work from home. That's why working from home at VodafoneZiggo is on a voluntary basis only. Any employee who wants to work five days a week in the office can continue to do so."
VodafoneZiggo envisages two changes to make the new policy a success:
Alongside the individual, the team will become key
As a lot of businesses are aware, flexible working has always centred around the individual. In the new hybrid way of working, the team will become just as important as the individual. All teams receive training so that they can make sound agreements about the way in which they work together. "Teams perform best when all the team members work virtually or all team members sit together physically," says Mulder. "If certain members of the team work from home, while the rest is in the office, team bonding is detrimentally affected and working methods become less effective. We feel that teams can and should solve this problem themselves. During the corona period, we’ve learned that it's best for teams to agree among themselves how to go about it."
Type of work determines virtual or physical presence
In an environment where working at the office is the standard, all tasks are carried out at the office without a second thought. With hybrid working, you first examine carefully the task at hand and then determine how it's to be done. "In this corona period, we've noticed that just about everything can be done virtually," says Mulder, “but for certain types of work, we prefer to be in the same room together. The teams meet in person for those jobs in particular that are better done when sharing the same space. Consider creative sessions, complex challenges and feedback discussions. Being in the office is also important to maintaining strong a bond with the company and colleagues. A chance meeting at the coffee machine is no insignificant part of this. In these times of corona, that's what our people miss the most."