Pioneering a flexible working culture

Hiab stories | 28 january 2022 8:04 AM | Ghita Jansson-Kiuru, Vice President HR, Hiab

How the pandemic has helped us to unlock the potential of flexible working

The global business world is changing. Shifts in technology, the rise in Millennials and Generation Z in the workforce coupled with tailwinds of the pandemic have signalled new expectations from our employees when it comes to having a flexible work environment.

Our global teams work across different continents at Hiab. Bringing knowledge and expertise across markets where, to some degree, a flexible working culture has been essential. The past two years have, however, brought about new perspectives on flexibility.

To match our employees expectations around flexible working, Hiab is establishing a flexible work culture and, as our parent company Cargotec has done, we have established guidelines when it comes to flexibility in the workplace. Our flexible working culture brings flexible work schedules, coupled with a mix of office work, remote work or hybrid work. Our offices remain key touchpoints for us to meet, work and come together as a working community whilst respecting local practice and legislation. Together each team determines the most efficient ways of working for them. Ultimately it is about balancing office work and remote work to further improve the employees overall satisfaction and engagement.

In a short amount of time we have already seen improvements highlighted in our monthly employee surveys where our leaders are becoming more available, caring and empowering. We have also received positive feedback from employees throughout the world:

The US:
“I love working from home for a few reasons, since I save ninety minutes of travel, I am able to login and start working earlier in the morning. It allows me to do paperwork early and then find more new business during the remaining working hours. Since my wife works part time, I am able to take a few minutes of my lunch hour and make sure food is cooking in the crock pot ready when she gets home. Lastly, I am also able to get up early to exercise and read to get a good start of the day.” 

“Flexible working has helped me build a better life work balance by reducing my commuting time, in addition it has really helped in the periods where a member of the family is isolating or unwell. I can build my working hours up as needed and still care for my family.”

"Implementing flexible work has for me meant a lot, to balance my work-life balance. In combination with more time in the home office, I have had the chance to implement good routines, for example exercise in the morning. This has given me more energy and focus in my daily work, but has also contributed to me being more "in place" in the evenings with my family. The flexibility has contributed to better planning in my commuting, and less time spent in my car. Together this makes me feel mentally better, having more time and focus with my family."

The preferences for when and how to work have fundamentally changed and perhaps the introduction of the home office over the past two years (throughout the pandemic) hasn’t been at all bad. For many it has been a big adjustment. We have lost the daily commutes, the quick catch ups by the coffee machine, all a large part of the traditional office based culture. But we have gained time, a greater balance between our work and personal lives and become closer to our global colleagues than ever before.

People do, however, miss their colleagues and being part of a closer working team. The changes have been huge for some teams who have been used to sitting next to each other every day. This brings an extra effort from everyone to stay in touch, do regular check-ins to stay connected and have the feeling of being part of a greater purpose and wider context. 

As our Employees First journey continues we strive to provide the best working environment so our employees enjoy coming to work everyday, feeling engaged and empowered. This is how we become the best partner for our customers and deliver the best customer experience every day. 

Click here to learn more about Employees First at Hiab