Readtime: 7 minutes

time for „Valuable Space“

Free space & flexible working - why it pays to look closely.

Aug 1, 2022 1:09:36 PM

Not all free space is the same

Freedom, flexibility, personal responsibility in the job - "Yes, we can, we have! Practically every company will claim that at the moment. And why not? Self-responsible and flexible working sounds attractive, of course. Like work-life balance, a new working world, job satisfaction and motivation in its purest form. And the desire for more flexibility and freedom is immense. Take flexible working hours, for example: 71% of all employees find them "important" or "very important". In fact, in Germany, for example, three quarters of companies offer flexible working to all or some of their employees. So let's get on with the subject of freedom and flexible working! Anyone can do it. Can they? I fully agree. The question is, how well?

It is worth taking a closer look. Colleague X, who suspiciously asks what colleague Y in the home office "actually does all day", permanent availability, responsible tasks as a monopoly of managers, disregard for personal initiative - one or the other will have to say at this point at the latest: "Been there, done that. Unfortunately." So not all freedom is the same. And there is much more to it than setting flexible working hours and locations.

This is how freedom is lived at the all for one group

We love and use the opportunities to act on our own responsibility. This sentence is almost a mantra within the group of companies and sums up what is behind the corporate value "Valuable Space" at the All for One Group. As part of the Value Months, the All for One Group devotes an entire month to this "Valuable Space". Various discussion rounds in which agile working and work-life balance were controversially discussed and how we implement them, the election of "value champions" and photo competitions. All this ensures that the topic is perceived more consciously in the corporate group.


Because in fact, it's not so much about setting up new things. The confidence in employees to do their job remotely has always been there at the All for One Group. In addition, there is the opportunity to organise one's time freely and the expectation to assume a high degree of personal responsibility and to work in an agile manner. But what else is meant by freedom and flexible working?

„Valuable Space“ – drei greifbare Beispiele

For colleague Kira (Digital Sales Lead), "valuable freedom" means two things in particular: entrepreneurial freedom and personal freedom. "Entrepreneurial freedom for me means having the freedom every day to freely shape my area, my function, to bring in new ideas and to make quick decisions that are in the interest of the group and the team," says Kira. "Personal freedom means that every day I can use my experience and personality to freely drive this shaping and combine it with things that are important to me personally and in my private life."

Peter, a value champion and business expert in SAP Excellence, uses his freedom specifically to take his own initiative. He deliberately takes time to try things out and get creative. Time and again, completely new solutions and services are created that make it to the most important customer events of the All for One Group as a show case. "I can think of ideas, discuss them openly and then also implement them - I use the momentum and the high motivation to push something forward," says Peter. For him, it plays a big role to approach other colleagues, other departments at any time. "We are listened to, we exchange ideas, we get impulses - that is the All for One spirit.


For Laura, values champion and assistant for the All for One Group location in Dortmund, free space has other aspects to offer again. Her hobbies are very time-consuming. She rides a lot and often goes to the gym. At the All for One Group, she can easily combine both with her job thanks to trust-based working hours. For her, however, the topic of freedom and flexible working is not only about herself. "It's important to me to give my colleagues their freedom," she says. Some prefer home office, others one of the company locations. For both sides, she is always coming up with new things and actions to make their daily work easier. Laura always consciously encourages her colleagues to engage in a joint exchange. Those who know the isolating effect of home offices from their own experience know how valuable Laura's ideas are. It's about maintaining a sense of community, of cohesion. And there is no doubt that a home office as a permanent state harbours the danger of losing sight of each other.

Flexible working as a competitive advantage

The All for One Group also looks at flexible working and digital work from a strategic perspective. It is a clear competitive advantage and a key factor for corporate success. Managed in the right way, autonomous and flexible working ensures more motivation, more satisfaction and more productivity. But this competitive advantage is not a foregone conclusion. Freedom obliges employees and the company to observe certain rules.

Just do it - those who are used to a different way of working are quickly overwhelmed. Leadership therefore remains indispensable. "Some simply want clear guidelines, and they get them from us," says Jochen, Leading Expert in the area of Managed Cloud & Collaborations. What else is important? Make clear, transparent agreements on how agile and flexible working will be handled, adapt the meeting culture to the new circumstances. Self-management, setting goals, scheduling time for recovery, communicating properly, finding your own work rhythm.

Flexibles Arbeiten – was kommt nach Corona?

A few questions remain. Will all the newly created freedoms and routines remain in the post-Corona era? Will remote work become the new gold standard? Will offices become less important or more important? Will client meetings be predominantly virtual or on-site? There are no blanket answers to this. "What is likely is that we will see a hybrid model that combines the best of both worlds," says Dirk, manager at Avantum. Sounds sensible. The All for One Group set the course early on and created the right cultural environment to preserve its own freedom for the future. Physical and virtual presence, home office and office, guard rails and personal responsibility - every single aspect has its justification if it is used wisely and in a targeted way...

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