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Yes, we at AOE have always believed in the On-Location principle – and with good reason. Close collaboration, direct exchange, the best possible working conditions and a unique spirit are at the core of our corporate DNA. But I admit: Even before Corona, the feeling had grown that remote work also holds a lot of potential for us. Mixed teams working together from different locations were giving increasingly positive feedback, be it in terms of their performance or personal job satisfaction. When the Covid shutdown started, we quickly realized that this situation could also prove valuable as an opportunity and learning field. That's why we set up a Remote Learning Group which has been meeting regularly through video calls ever since to discuss and redesign the working world during and after Corona.
How do we want to work together in the future? An important point of reference for our conceptual considerations is the trend-setting theory of self-determination of the US-American psychologists Richard M. Ryan and Edward L. Deci. This theory states that the intrinsic motivation of employees depends to a large extent on the development of three components: autonomy, relatedness, competence. We have considered these components under the current conditions and added the economic factor.
For us, autonomy includes a concept of flexible working hours and a flexible workplace. For maximum relatedness, social proximity and interaction within the teams and with the overall organisation are required; as is a common understanding of what we want to achieve as a company. Competence can develop when the working conditions for the teams are designed in such a way that they can optimally develop their potential. Of course, taken together, these conditions need to ensure the business success of the company. This includes responsible management, but also the resilience of the company in times of crisis and the ability to adapt to change.
We have been living and working with the effects of the pandemic for five months now and have gained a lot of experience. Which observations are incorporated into our concept? Through surveys and numerous intensive discussions we know that ...
For us that means:
The concept that will guide us in the future is based on two elements: agreed upon attendance times on the one hand and free choice of workplace on the other. We want to use both in parallel and unite them in the best possible way. This is why we call it the "Duality Model". Now, what does the prototype look like? "Work where you can create the most value for your current task. And: Meet with your team as often as necessary." Those are the premises. Accordingly, the decisive factor is not whether I feel like working in the office or remotely, or what is more comfortable at the moment, but what helps me work on my particular task and what benefits the team.
These considerations result in four basic principles:
100 percent remote, “just let it run”, fixed remote quotas: None of that fits AOE. Why do we do it differently than other companies? Even if the "results" are good in full remote mode, we cannot and will not accept the loss of interconnectivity. At AOE it is not just about optimizing value creation processes. Our way of working together - our community - is especially important to us and is what makes us unique. This was our credo before Corona and it will remain so. The face-to-face encounters will continue to be an essential element of our teamwork in the future.
What are our model’s benefits? Each employee decides how and where their own value contribution can be increased, for example by accordingly choosing their place of work. For deep work, i.e. focus work, either location can be the more suitable one: home office or the office (e.g. it might be quieter in one of those locations). Creative work, on the other hand, is usually easier done face-to-face, together on-site, for instance during a brainstorming session on the whiteboard. It becomes very clear that the focus is on performance rather than working time. This also means: More trust, less control and thus more responsibility and self-determination. Which brings us back to the central category of motivation and the aspect of relatedness. And, as a by-product, we also increase our attractiveness as an employer.
Without doubt, working with all these freedoms will be demanding. The biggest challenge: It will require even more and better communication. We need to describe even more clearly the employees' leeway in organizing themselves and explain our "reasons why" so that our goals are transparent and comprehensible for all. We want to continually develop and improve as an organization. We want to become more productive, more sustainable and even more attractive as an employer. We want to be able to react flexibly to changes and thus be more successful overall. We want to do it our way and I will continue to report along the way.
AOE stands out against very strong competition and takes the top spot with a score of 4.69 (out of a possible 5) in the category "Internet". or the eighth time in Germany and the fourth year in Austria, kununu, in collaboration with Freundin magazine, has recognized the compatibility of family and work, a good work-life balance, well-being factors, as well as equal career opportunities for employers.
Welcome to our blog series "Behind the Screens"! This is where we dive into the real-life at AOE. We regularly give our employees the chance to share their stories, providing you with insights into their work and passions. Whether you're looking to kick-start your own career in the IT industry or simply curious, get ready for some cool stories and exciting insights. Stay tuned! In today's spotlight: Fabian. At AOE, better known as Fabi. As a Backend Developer, he is the engine behind the scenes. The 30-year-old constructs the backend systems that serve as the "brain" behind the overall applications. He has high expectations for AI development and knows that GenZ will significantly influence the technology. Here, you will learn more about the person "behind the screen."
The idea to become a developer came to Klara only after her studies (spoiler: not computer science!). Today she does frontend development at AOE and, after more than a year, is still more than happy in her role and in her team. Here in "AOE Behind the Screens" she tells you about how she managed to realize her dream and what developing software has to do with translating. In this new blog series, various AOE employees will regularly talk about their work, their careers and everything else that keeps them busy. In this way, we want to give you an insight into different roles and tasks and into everyday life at AOE. Frontend developer Klara kicks things off this week. Read more about the person "behind the screens"!