With the workplace of the future into the post-Corona era

Pilot project at a. hartrodt in Hamburg: mobile cabinets replace fixed desks.

The workplace of the future becomes reality at a. hartrodt: On September 1, 2020, a pilot project with mobile cabinets in the office starts in Hamburg. "Our IT department is located at our Sachsenfeld site. More than half of these colleagues are involved in project work, and in future they will work in a flexible manner," explains Claudia Brix, General Manager Human Resources at a. hartrodt in Hamburg. Instead of a fixed desk, there is a free choice of space every day – depending on whether a lot of work has to be coordinated with project colleagues or whether the focus is on concentrated work. "Everyone has his own cabinet in which he can lock up his work documents," says Brix.

More personal freedom improves work performance

Scientists have been investigating that creative freedom increases the work performance. And because a. hartrodt is very open to changes, the family business offers its employees mobile working. "The time schedules are reviewed with the managers," says Brix.

Online meetings and virtual training

Corona accelerated the flexibilisation at a. hartrodt: "The primary concern was to protect the employees. We implemented emergency scenarios with shift operation in the offices," reports Brix. Based on the positive experiences, a. hartrodt wants to firmly establish mobile working in the corporate culture – not only for sales staff, but also, according to Brix, "to a certain percentage" for freight forwarding specialists or in finance and human resources, for example. Online meetings with Cisco Webex for team meetings or customer contact are already new normality at a. hartrodt. "As a next step, we will offer virtual training for personnel development," says Brix.

The General Manager Human Resources must take "many organisational and labour law aspects" into account: How do the employees feel? To what extent does leadership change? What does this mean for team spirit? If the pilot is successful, the workplace of the future with mobile cabinets could be rolled out to other locations and business units at a. hartrodt.