Working from home at PROMOS – a balancing act with a digitisation effect
In the current situation, PROMOS offers many options for combining childcare with working from home. These range from flexible working hours to the company’s own online school, PROMOS Campus Junior. Would you like to know what makes working at PROMOS special in normal times? We have added new employee interviews to our careers page.
Hello Marcel, for how long have you been working from home now?
Marcel: I can tell you that exactly. Since 16 March 2020. PROMOS started allowing its employees to work from home permanently at a very early stage.
And how is your everyday life different now to a day at the head office in Berlin?
Marcel: The main difference is that, in addition to work, my wife and I now have to take care of our children all day. They are both pre-school age and are constantly coming to us because they want something. My wife and I have now arranged to split the day in half, so one of us has the morning to concentrate on work and the other the afternoon. The other one looks after the children during that time.
Does that work well for you?
Marcel: Of course it’s completely different to our usual everyday lives. When you have to take care of your children alongside work for almost 24 hours a day, it’s obviously a bit of a strain. But honestly, I have to say I’m extremely glad that PROMOS even gives us the possibility to juggle work and childcare in this way during this situation. PROMOS reacted very quickly and flexibly. We do all our work well and nothing falls by the wayside. We are still working with the same quality and intensity as before the crisis. If it’s necessary, I’ll sit down in the evening and get some more work done once the children are in bed.
In your position as a Sales assistant, you are responsible for the entire process relating to preparing quotations. Has anything changed there now?
Marcel: Not really. The consultants request quotations from us when they’re in preliminary discussions with customers. This is done via a ticket system in the Projektron Business Coordination Software. I can process these tickets as normal just like I do in the office, and obtain the relevant resource planning and approval from the specialist departments and directors. What has changed now? Only the signature process. We now do this using scanned signatures – only after obtaining the approval first, of course.
If this works electronically now, couldn’t we also view this crisis as a driver of digital progress?
Marcel: Yes, definitely. I think this will also be reflected on the market. The housing and real-estate companies now suddenly have no choice but to deal with the digitisation of their business processes. This applies to both internal processes and tenant communication.
In a video conference, Marcel Dreger, Sales assistant, answers questions about working from home.
What is collaboration within your team and with other colleagues like at present? Are you organised differently now?
Marcel: Individually, I think we are working in a more focused manner and making more intensive use of the available time. At the office, we naturally have more contact with our colleagues. Now we talk on the phone a lot and send messages via Jabber. Our Sales team is at different locations anyway, so we’ve always had regular phone conferences and made intensive use of digital communication options. This hasn’t become more frequent now. We take things as they come. Obviously I spend a lot of time on the phone with my colleague Lê. Usually we share an office, have almost the same tasks and often coordinate our work. So far, this is working well.
How would you assess the Management’s handling of the current situation?
Marcel: I find it good that we are sent regular messages and updates about how coronavirus is being handled within the company. There is also a special page on our intranet for this topic, with useful information and great tips for mobile working. The HR team set it up within a very short time, which is really excellent. The Management’s open-mindedness is also fantastic – that we can approach them at any time, and that we were immediately given the option to work remotely in agreement with our line managers, even outside the core working hours. The idea that is being conveyed here is simple: take care and stay healthy!
I also noticed in the calendar that you enter when your working hours are and how you can be reached.
Marcel: Yes, I agreed that with my line manager Thoralf in advance. He thought it was a good idea. That way my colleagues can see precisely what the best way to reach me is – especially given that I am both working and have children. This works well for us.
Do you think that the current work from home will also have an impact on the time after the crisis?
Marcel: I would like that. For one thing, it would be nice if all employees would make more use of digital communication channels, and I would also appreciate it if we could work from home more often. Of course, the Management is currently in the position of having to place a great deal of trust in us. And now we have to honour that.
Thank you Marcel for taking the time for this interview despite the current situation.
Marcel: I was happy to.