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Distance Working in an Operational Environment

dhl"The process approach of Move!, was also adopted for another project I have been involved in. A year ago we merged the customs departments of Belgium and The Netherlands in one new custom department in Antwerp.

Instead of trading small buildings for a new big one, and have our employees hours in massive traffic jams, we opted for a new workplace organization that allowed people to work 4 days out of 5 from home.

That project got a pretty smooth start, but still a number of questions stayed unanswered. Clement’s approach involved all employees of that new organization in looking for answers to questions such as :

  • How can we involve people more in ‘rethinking’ the organization and create buy-in for future evolutions ?
  • How do we prevent ‘social isolation’ over time ?
  • How do we integrate new employees in that organization ?
  • What about training, coaching and competency development of new employees (and others) ?
  • What can be the specific role of management to support self managing professionals ?

We organized a ‘Team day’ where all employees in small groups shared their experiences and reflected on how the organization should develop further. These small group activities were facilitated by internal facilitators (volunteers) and they are now working on six “improvement areas”.

Clement’s role was to bring in the participative methodology to do that but even more important to create the confidence with management and internal facilitators that this could work and would lead to effective improvements. His approach was very much in line with the philosophy of ‘distance working’ : away from physical control towards engagement and empowerment."

Annick N.,  Recruitment, Development & Internal Communication Manager.  DHL, Diegem

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