Reasons to introduce Work Smart
Work Smart, the flexible, mobile way of working, is typically Swiss: vocational training, team culture and work ethic provide the perfect conditions in Switzerland.
Text: Hansjörg Honegger, 01 March 2018
Work Smart seems to come more naturally to the Swiss than any other culture. Work ethic, teamwork and training create the ideal conditions for decentralised, self-reliant and conscientious teamwork. Five convincing arguments for introducing Work Smart into Swiss companies:
A survey conducted in 2012 compares the team spirit of Swiss employees with those of their German colleagues. It reveals: The Swiss are consensus-oriented. They spend more time in discussions at meetings, listen for longer before presenting a proposal for a solution, and return to their workplaces with a more in-depth understanding of their shared task. The political tradition of direct democracy is likely to play a decisive role in this approach. A shared understanding of projects is an essential prerequisite for Work Smart. And that’s second nature to the Swiss.
The majority of Swiss people exhibit 'outstanding motivation', as a survey conducted by the market and opinion research institute BVA in 16 countries revealed: 92% are happy, or more than happy, to go to work. Could there be a better argument for Work Smart? In their book, «Wirtschaftswunder Schweiz (Switzerland, the Economic Miracle), both authors, James Breiding and Gerhard Schwarz, even attribute a «unique balance between individual and personal responsibility and cooperative solidarity» to the Swiss. These are exactly the character traits that Work Smart requires. In their book, Breiding and Schwarz explore the question of how a small, resource-poor country like Switzerland could become so rich.
Nowhere else in the world are employees as well trained as they are in Switzerland. This is demonstrated by a study called the 'Human Capital Index' by WEF, which was released in 2016. It is important to exploit this advantage. After all, well trained people are eager for more responsibility – and they’re being given it, thanks to Work Smart.
The Swiss economy is subject to an unceasing pressure to be efficient. However, there's something that the experience of Francogeddon has also shown us: it is outstanding at dealing with this pressure. A desk of one’s own or a job location close to the centre of the city for each and every employee are cost factors that are often unsustainable. Accordingly, larger companies in particular are increasingly relocating their back offices out into the urban agglomeration or even into neighbouring countries. Shared workplaces are another way the efforts to cut costs are being manifested. Nonetheless, Work Smart makes seamless cooperation possible.
Now that there is increasingly keen competition for the best talent around, it is also important to take the demands of employees seriously. And according to the Flex Work Survey 2016 by the FHNW (University of Applied Sciences and Arts North-western Switzerland) commissioned by the Work Smart Initiative, these demands are as plain as day: Swiss employees would like to work more flexibly. Around 30% of the workforce would like to have more opportunities for working on a mobile basis, while only 6% don't want to at all, and only 3% want less mobile work. There is an immediate potential for more flexibility among around 11% of employees – and while they could benefit from this in their work, they do not have either the technology (4%) or permission to do so (7%).
Switzerland seems predestined for Work Smart. Motivation, training and, not least, a positive internal attitude to work practically make Switzerland the mother country of flexible work. It's important to make the most of this potential.
More on the topic