Audi CEO Says Remote Work Policies Will Boost Competitiveness
The pandemic has permanently altered Audi’s approach to remote working and will lead to a more flexible approach to hiring, CEO Markus Duesmann said in an interview with Automotive news Europe.
“It could be up to 30% of white-collar workers who could continue to work from home,” Duesmann said. DONKEY. “Right now, over half of our workforce is still at home. This, of course, excludes blue collar workers from production.
A policy shift towards remote working could also make Audi more competitive in attracting talent, Duesmann said. He said the company already employed engineers located outside of Europe, describing more flexible working conditions as “the new standard”.
Despite the change in strategy accelerated by the pandemic, Duesmann said he still believes there is a place for face-to-face work. “There is some benefit to working together in one place,” he said.
One thing Duesmann said he wouldn’t miss in a shift to remote work is constant business travel.
“I am the head of our activities in China and it has not been possible to go there in the 15 months that I have been in office – and it is working,” he said. “It shows what is possible and how business travel will change in the future. I hope I never travel as much as before. I will really push that this does not happen again. “
Other car manufacturers are also moving towards formalizing remote work after seeing that it was effective during pandemic shutdowns.
Renault recently reached an agreement with the unions on remote work in which up to 20,000 employees will be able to work from home up to three days a week.
The new workplace arrangements will be rolled out in stages, starting in September 2021, Renault said, adding that it will offer support and training on how best to work remotely.
The PSA group, which merged with Fiat Chrysler to become Stellantis in January, had switched to telecommuting for white collar workers for several years. Last May, he announced a series of rules that would apply to tens of thousands of employees around the world.
Daimler, parent company of Ford Motor, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz, is among the automakers moving towards more flexible working arrangements for their employees.