We all had to adapt our working lives during the pandemic. However, this situation is also an opportunity to reconsider how we want to work together. Many colleagues slowly returned to their offices for the first time in a while. The offices which have been open for some time now have really come to life. I would like to show to you how Deutsche Telekom has been dealing with the new challenge.
What is the “new normal” at Deutsche Telekom?
As of August, all of our sites in Germany were opened up again for work. I am very happy about that because I believe the office is much more than simply a place of work; it is a place of encounter and identity.
My colleagues who work remotely are free to decide whether and how often they would like to come to their office to work. In my department, we book our office times via the desk sharing tool and also use this tool to reserve a workstation. As a result, we are able to prevent too many people from coming to the office at the same time. Appropriate protective measures for the workplace also apply to everybody. These measures are based upon a professionally developed hygiene concept. The document is continually updated in collaboration with expert virologists and adapted in accordance with the current situation. For instance, it states that a distance of at least 1.5 meters must be observed, the situations in which we need to wear a mask, and how we should act in the event of infection/suspected case.
Birgit Bohle, Chief Human Resources Officer and Labor Director at Deutsche Telekom AG, also keeps employees regularly up-to-date with a coronavirus update. We receive an email with all the key information. The updates are available on our YAM intranet site at all times. This gives us peace of mind as we always have the latest information to hand.
What have the employees experienced over the last weeks and months?
To get a closer look at how the employees at various locations are handling the gradual normalization of the working routine, Birgit Bohle visited the Bonn and Düsseldorf sites.
She met colleagues who were back in the office for the first time that day. There were also a few who explained that they hadn’t really ever been away. There were various reasons why colleagues had returned to their office from “I can’t stand being at home” to “I just want to see my colleagues”.
Maybe some people will now ask themselves whether we can feel safe at work in light of the increasing infection rate
Yes, we can. Firstly, the hygiene concept and the protective measures are implemented really meticulously. The situation is monitored constantly so that it is possible to react quickly. We are in constant contact with experts who confirm that, if we adhere to our safety measures, we are completely safe in the workplace.