The Siemens Office project was introduced in Italy in 2011, at the beginning only at the company’s headquarter in Milan, and it is now envolving about 1700 collaborators all over the territory. A radical cultural change for Siemens’s workers that, since then, have had the chance to work everywhere, without any duty of clocking in or out. A concept in 6 points: agile and flexible working, new office lay-out, goal-oriented work, improvement of work life balance, not personalized workstations and sustainibility.
Alberto Cannistrà, Siemens Real Estate manager, exposed the project in the first round table “Agility and Wellness” of the WOW! Island Agile Working’s week at Cozzi swimmingpool of Milan, the last 23rd March.
“The key role in a company when it is about smartworking is the Facility Manager, a figure that has to manage togheter the spaces, the services and the people of an organization, trying to find the most comfortable environment to put his collegues in the best situation where they can express themselves.
In Siemens the facility manager had to work hard on the personnel to let the workers understand the philosophy behind the project.
We allowed all the employees to freely choose if they want to adhere, offering to whom decided to work from home a cell phone, a computer and the 80% of the connection costs, taking away the obligation of signing in”.
The creation of comfortable working environments helps the phisical and mental wellness of the collaborators: all the employees use the flexibility of the performance to schedule their work to meet the targets.
“The project has also changed the office”, Cannistrà continues. “Workers have no fixed workstation anymore, but they can choose among different environments depending on what they have to do. It is like a house with different space for different needings. Since the personal work can be done in other places, the office is becoming a place where to socialize, meet the colleagues and a reference point for the team working. That’s why we created more spaces for informal meetings, as coffee bars and cafeterias”.
Agile working, as shown by Siemens, has a lot of advantages for workers, employers and even fot the cities and the environment: it allows to better organise the mobility of the workers; the less need of space permits to cut the costs of building and energy, and both these aspects togheter reduce enviromental pollution.
“Siemens Office is a challenge we have won”, concludes proudly Alberto Cannistrà. “I think that the most important part of the project was the effort we put in meeting the people, explained them what it was about and leave them free to decide what to do.
If someone can’t cope with this way of working, is not a problem: he comes in the office all days without negative consequences from any point of view”.
Text by Gabriele Masi.