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Trust is the key – Flexible work at Schneider Electric

The Talent Acquisition DACH Team & Jana Classen-Heizmann and Verena Schrahe-Bueth

Schneider Electric is a leader in the digital transformation of power management and automation in homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure, and the manufacturing industry. This Tandemployer is committed to innovation, sustainability, and diversity. Flexibility also plays a big role. Key components include a flexible workplace, a flexible, integrative work environment, and flexible working hours.

Jana Classen-Heizmann and Verena Schrahe-Bueth planned a classic job share at Schneider Electric in early 2018, but then Verena got pregnant again. Without much ado, things were pragmatically and flexibly rescheduled: Jana took over as Head of Talent Acquisition DACH, while Verena worked very closely with her as a project manager. Until recently, both worked with the Talent Acquisition Team on the ideal “candidate experience” and transformed the recruiting field – part time and with a lot of responsibility. At the moment, Verena is on maternity leave, so we talked with Jana about flexible working, Flex@Work, and the corporate culture at Schneider Electric.

Verena is now on maternity leave. How did you divide your tasks before that? And in what ways do you tick similarly? How are you different?

I am largely responsible for the management of the team, while Verena’s best at projects. Of course, I also do projects, and we both clearly distinguished our roles and responsibilities. Basically, I find our thinking, as well as our work ethic, is similar and I am sure that this contributes to the success of the job share. In addition, we both think strategically. Verena is very good at seeing projects through and stands out because of her perseverance and will power. I try to look at topics from different angles, like to go new ways, and always pay attention to cost–benefit effects.

What do you think is important for flexible work to succeed? Do you have any tips?

I think that a common wavelength is an important factor, especially in terms of the way it works. For example, if one person works unstructured and the other loves order, it becomes difficult. We have always informed each other and trust each other. Also, giving regular feedback was very important. Fortunately, we also had overlapping working hours, which was certainly helpful. We also had to learn not to challenge the team at the same time, but to prioritize it. It also helped that we’ve faced similar private challenges, especially with regard to the organization of work and childcare. We’ve had a great understanding for each other.

Flexibility generally plays a major role at Schneider Electric. What working time models are still available at Schneider Electric? And how would you describe your corporate culture?

As in any business, culture is not completely identical across the enterprise, but we’ve recognized what “New Work” means. That’s why we launched the Flex@Work initiative, a decision to be as flexible as possible. Home office and part time are there, of course, when possible. In addition, we would like to fill even more jobs via job sharing. Unfortunately, we are still missing applications for our eleven open positions.

With “Flex@Work,” we’ve taken an innovative step as a group. It’s the results of the work that count, not when, where, and how the results were achieved. The chimney sweep is coming between 08:00 and 18:00? Then you can come to the office later or work from home. The highway is full again or your child is sick? Then the meeting will take place virtually, and on short notice. Trust is the key to productivity and we are happy to provide that confidence.

Thank you for the interview!