SEAT has set up a new work model to promote a flexible, dynamic working environment that favours the work-life balance. This initiative, called Smart Work, aims to implement a new, more agile and sustainable corporate culture, as well as to take a further step in the company’s digital transformation.
SEAT’s new Smart Work, agreed with the trade union representatives, combines in-office presence with remote working and is mainly based on mutual trust between the employee and the company. Those who join this initiative will be able to perform their duties online up to two days a week from any location, organising their own schedule between 6 am and 8 pm.
“Continuous improvement, professional growth and the well-being of employees are a priority for SEAT. With Smart Work we want to consolidate a new digitalised, flexible and sustainable work model, which enables a better balance between people’s personal and professional lives”, said SEAT executive Vice-president for Human Resources and Organisation Xavier Ros. “After the experience of the last few months, it has become clear that remote working is here to stay. At SEAT we want to continue to move in this direction and this initiative demonstrates the company’s commitment to being an innovative, agile employer, capable of retaining internal talent and attracting new professionals”, Ros added.
This new way of working includes a digital disconnection agreement that states that the employee has the right not to respond to any type of communication outside working hours. To apply for Smart Work, it is essential to hold a position that enables distance working and to have completed a training course on Occupational Risk Prevention (ORP). Of the 5,554 people at SEAT who can are eligible for this new model, more than 1000 already signed up during the first week of implementation. The project has been designed ad-hoc to meet the needs of the workforce as much as possible, and to this end, more than 2,400 employees have actively participated through surveys in the development of the main points of this new flexible system.
Furthermore, SEAT’s commitment to sustainability is also reflected in the implementation of this new model. It facilitates the reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, as an average of 7.2 kilos of CO2 per day are reduced for each person working remotely.
COVID-19, a testing ground for Smart Work
During the lockdown caused by COVID-19, SEAT put the company’s digital infrastructure to the test with a robust, swift transformation that enabled more than 5,000 employees to work remotely. During these months, improvements in the organisation were identified, such as greater agility, duration and efficiency of meetings, which increased the productivity of the teams working remotely. The number of daily users connected to a VPN network also increased sevenfold during this period, and meetings via Office 365 (Skype and TEAMS) increased fivefold. To this end, the SEAT IT team adapted quickly to the new circumstances, expanding the number of portable devices, increasing bandwidth and doubling and strengthening the capacity of VPN connections.
In this sense, all the changes experienced during the months of lockdown served as a pilot test to confirm that productivity and Smart Work are two perfectly compatible terms.