Foto: Thorkild Amdi Christensen

Let us seize the opportunity for a more flexible working life

Wednesday 18 Aug 21

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Anders Overgaard Bjarklev
President
+45 45 25 10 00

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In september 2020 DTU's Cooperation and Joint Consultation Committee formulated a sub policy for more flexibility in the working day. The sub policy can be found at DTU inside (requires login)

The corona pandemic turned working life upside down as we knew it. The experiences with homework now give us a unique opportunity to create a more flexible working life. Let's grab it.

Finally, back again. Home offices, zoom meetings, and colleague-free lunches have been replaced with the work community as we know it. It is redemptive, but the joy of returning must not mean that we return to the usual course. Too much has changed.

We bring lots of positive experiences into the new working life. Many of us experienced a better work-life balance, fewer disturbances from colleagues meant increased efficiency, and we replaced the transportation to and from work with a greener everyday life. We must now use those experiences to think creatively and find solutions that provide a more climate-friendly, flexible, and efficient working life.

From physical presence to virtual accessibility

So far, we have considered physical attendance and fixed working hours as the cornerstones around which we build our working day. But 100 percent presence is not the recipe for a happy and efficient working life for everyone. Therefore, in September 2020, DTU's Cooperation and Joint Consultation Committee formulated a sub policy that proposes that we look at our working life differently.

"The art is to strike a healthy balance between homework and attendance, a balance that considers the needs of the individual and the workplace."
Anders Overgaard Bjarklev, President, DTU

The basic idea is that we will use the tools digitalization gives us to be available in the workplace without being physically present. We must find solutions that ensure that knowledge sharing and sparring continue to be prioritized so that the commitment to the work remains large. At the same time, we must be aware that an employee who always works at home quickly misses out on the more spontaneous talks, the community, and the informal knowledge sharing, which is also an essential part of working life.

Therefore, the art is to strike a healthy balance between homework and attendance, a balance that considers the needs of the individual and the workplace.

Innovation and tolerance are vital words

Therefore, I urge managers and employees in the coming time to remain open and engage in a dialogue about the organization of working life. There is the freedom to try new solutions, and there is an understanding that challenges will arise.

It will require a high degree of innovation on the part of managers, and it will require openness and tolerance for differences among employees. The Cooperation and Joint Consultation Committee will evaluate the experiences that arise along the way and then adjust and improve. Then we will take one more round. And one more.

The important thing here is not to find a one size fits all model that can be implemented as soon as possible. How to thrive best and work most efficiently differs from person to person and from task to task. The important thing is that together we seize the opportunity to find the solutions that create the best results and the greatest well-being. For the benefit of us all and for the benefit of society.

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