Agile work
Collaboration tools open up new horizons for Swiss companies also regarding homeoffice

Half of all Swiss employees would be able to perform their work on a mobile basis. A study carried out by Deloitte reached this conclusion. According to the same study, freelancing is a current trend. 25 percent of all Swiss working-aged people pursue project-based, temporary work and the more mobile and independently they work, the less important classic offices become. In their place, home offices and co-working and cloud-working structures are gaining in importance. However, they function only with high-performance information and communications technologies that can be used at any location.


Work Smart initiative

More than 150 Swiss companies have signed the Work Smart initiative since 2015 and have committed themselves to promoting flexible workspace models. Sunrise is one of them. Most of these companies make it possible for their employees to work from home or in co-working spaces. The specialists at Deloitte who carried out the study agree that freelancers offer companies greater flexibility and lower costs. That is especially important for start-ups, which often only need special expertise for specific projects. However, freelancers also give SMEs the chance to bring additional knowledge to their companies without increasing fixed costs by co-working or cloud-working, for instance.

Desk sharing instead of fixed office workspaces

But the following generally also applies: All employees are present at the same time in very few companies. Some work from home, others are visiting customers, and some are ill. So why spend money on large office spaces if you can get by with less? Collaboration tools are allowing many innovative companies to use what is referred to as the non-territorial office concept. That means employees can choose their desks in an open office landscape instead of having fixed workspaces. Everyone can sit where they want. At home, too. In Switzerland, over 200,000 employees already no longer have their own workspace.

Especially large companies like Credit Suisse, SBB, or the postal system have introduced desk sharing in recent years. That increases space efficiency and reduces costs. It's no surprise more and more medium-sized Swiss are rethinking their existing structures. In the end, flexible work environments make working methods more agile as well.

Flexible use of co-working

Co-working designates a collaboration among freelancers and smaller start-ups from a wide range of sectors. They usually rent working space in larger, open rooms and either work independently and share only the infrastructure or push temporary innovative projects forward together. To do so, they rent co-working spaces. Most co-working offices can be rented for a daily, weekly, or monthly rate. In some shared offices, people have their own desk with a postal address and phone, and in others they choose a new spot every day. Rental costs usually include a desk as well as (fair) use of WLAN, a kitchen, conference room, and printer.

Cloud-working instead of costly team building

Many tasks can be performed more efficiently and quickly by experts in the global community. In the cloud, employees can work together with a virtual team of service providers and documents and follow changes live. They can also monitor, inspire, and help one another. That is how crowdsourcing increases processing speed, quality, flexibility, scalability, and diversity at reduced costs. But be careful: Consumer cloud solutions carry risks.

The Swiss office landscape
  • Cubicle offices usually branch off to the right and left of a central hallway. Between one to four employees sit in each office. There are also often individual meeting rooms.

  • Open-plan offices are usually at least 4300 square feet in size and normally provide space for at least 20 desks. Some are completely open. Others use partitions to separate space, sometimes right down to individual cubicles.

  • Office landscape is the term used for modern open-plan offices. One of their characteristics is an organic distribution of desks throughout the space. Large groups of desks and tables alternate with smaller ones. Plants, design elements, and seating areas subtly divide space.

  • Business clubs follow the spatial precedent provided by traditional British clubs with comfortable seating areas and libraries. Instead of personal workspaces, therefore, there is a large number of different places to work.

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