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Interview with Markus Wolf, Sascha Fedderwitz, Emilia Fries
We asked some of our colleagues a few questions on the occasion of the International Day of Families. It remains a topic that employers should regularly revisit, so we at HENSOLDT Cyber did the same. As an employer, we are not only responsible for our employees, but also have the compatibility between work and their families on our agenda.
What characterizes a family-friendly company?
Sascha: A family-friendly company should give the employee the freedom to organise the office time itself (as far as possible). Furthermore, it should always be clear that the family has the highest priority. In case of an urgent family related issue, the company should support the employee by e.g. making it possible to let the employee take care of it (even if important topics for the company need to wait).
Markus: The chance to stay home on short notice. The availability of a family office space inside the company. Access to (company funded/operated/sponsored) child-care facilities. Invitation of family members to social events. The understanding of co-workers and company to prioritize vacation requests during school holidays for colleagues with kids.
Emilia: Flexibility of place and time. Does the scope of tasks fit? Some tasks that are subject to deadlines and have tight lead times may not be suitable for parents without “backup”.
What are important tips for combining child and work?
Sascha: Try to start working early in the morning to have time in the afternoon for the family.
Markus: I think you should not combine the two but make it possible for both to co-exist “peacefully”. Both areas need to bring a certain amount of flexibility for short-notice urgencies.
Emilia: You have to be aware that something is ALWAYS coming up. A child is sick, a parent is infected by child, or the public transport was cancelled. The planning and also the workday should not be fully “scheduled” unless you have a backup like your partner, grandma or something similar.
What should be talked about more in the context of family and work?
Sascha: An employee who has time for the family is also a highly motivated employee at work. So, try to find solutions for reducing overtime at work.
Markus: I think that the right to all-day care is something that, while already implemented to happen from 2029 on, needs to be prioritized. Only when this is fully available, everyone with kids who wants (or needs) to work, has the flexibility at hand to do so.
Emilia: In an emergency, colleagues should not have to compensate if work has to be cancelled spontaneously. Even if the employer is not allowed to ask this, but it must be clear what happens if a work stoppage occurs spontaneously. It is difficult to find out whether someone has a backup at home for the emergency who can also spontaneously step in.
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