We at Centigrade have embarked on a journey. A pretty big one. To the next stage of evolution as a brand and a company.
This journey is under the North Star Rethink.Design.Work. Each aspect, Rethink, Design and Work is important to us, and together they make up our mission for the journey.
We have respect for this journey. What is in store for us? Are we up to it?
Maybe you’re also flirting with reinventing yourself as a brand. Maybe you have the same respect for this step as we do. And maybe you can take something away from our journey for your own.
We are creative idealists. We are curious, empathetic and attentive. We inspire, reflect and create. With our work we want to help people, move markets and change the world. We believe in purpose-driven design. We celebrate individuality, personal responsibility and effectiveness.
But does our brand express all of that? Do we live these values in every minute of our daily lives?
The end of home office duty was an appropriate break for us to dig inside and ask ourselves a few questions.
We are currently discussing the following and other questions internally and on LinkedIn under the hashtag #RethinkDesignWork:
- How can we work together so that everyone can play to their individual needs and strengths?
- What are the right incentives for a sustainable, healthy, productive work environment?
- How do we really get everyone on board?
- Do we need a brand and design system? And what does that mean for our daily work?
For those just joining us, check out our LinkedIn newsletter for a summary of the conversation so far between Thomas Immich (Centigrade CEO), Florian Moritz (Branch Manager Frankfurt), Aline Barré (Head of Visual Design), Luzie Seeliger (Employee Experience Manager) Alex Keller (Head of Engineering), Britta Karn (Senior UX Manager) and Catharina Kelle (Content Design).
End of the home office obligation = end of the home office?
As of March 20, 2022, there is no longer a home office obligation. For us, this was just the right moment to question old processes and systems. We are now using the experience and insights we have gained over the past two years to turn ourselves around and create a new human-centric way of working. As easy as it would be to fall back into old patterns, it would be regressive in our eyes. Because that old pattern comes from a time with different assumptions and mindsets. And we don’t want to move backwards. We want to move forward together.
We have changed
Not only the world and our way of working has changed a lot in the last two years. We have changed as well. We have discovered or developed individual needs. We have learned.
Our most important insights:
- Not everyone can do their job location independent, but many companies can, and still don’t offer it – a wasted opportunity for employee retention, better productivity and overall satisfaction.
- Every journey starts with small steps.
- Skills shortages and high employee turnover won’t get better by sticking to old, illogical rules and obligations.
- The best changes are those that help everyone, not just a select group.
- Successful location-independent creative collaboration is very possible, both internally within the team and with customers (in one case it was even award-winning for our customer Tecan and us. Read more about our iF Design Award here)
- Remotely, we also build close bonds with colleagues and customers, even if we’ve never seen them before.
- Employees who no longer want to come into the office often simply want more self-determination; rejection often intensifies in combination with commitment.
What do you need to do a good job?
That’s what we asked ourselves internally in relation to home office or office presence. The result was surprising: 56% of us would rather work in the office, 44% at home. To better assess this result and address individual needs, we are now digging deeper. We want to know what exactly our colleagues need. After all, it’s about the right incentives, support and promotion of strengths, an accommodation without obligations, but instead with trust and encouragement for self-determination.