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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

Future Work – working in the digital age

We support mobile working models and give our employees the freedom to shape their working environment. The working environment of the future – Future Work – is based on four modules: open-plan offices, desk-sharing, mobile working and a new type of collaboration. We provide the corresponding IT solutions. Since the launch of the Future Work concept in 2014 in Germany, we have equipped Group headquarters in Bonn and the Hamburg and Frankfurt locations with open office areas, the option of desk sharing, networking rooms as well as project and creativity rooms. We continued down this path in 2017. The focuses were:

Virtual and self-organized cooperation
More and more, our employees are no longer working in inflexible, closed project teams but rather are developing cross-functional and cross-hierarchical solutions. This also helps them expand their knowledge and better see the big picture.

In 2017, for example, there were 30 Communities of Practice (CoPs) at T-Systems working on strategic topics such as cyber security, clouds and Industry 4.0 img – less than in the previous year (40). The reason for this was a concentration and bundling of the CoP topics. A guideline introduced in 2017 and a platform for sharing best practices are helping to continuously improve this form of cooperation.

The T-Systems' HR Academy focused, among other things, on the topics of digital collaboration and new working methods in 2017. One highlight of the year was the Virtual HR Convention. About 400 employees from 21 countries took part in 14 virtual workshops and presentations. In this context, we handed out seven HR Awards to teams who worked together particularly successfully. The most important ideas stemming from the workshops – on topics such as attitude, strengths and a positive culture of dealing with mistakes – will be further elaborated and implemented after the convention.

Agile project work – effective and success
Customer projects are becoming more complex and dynamic. That's why instead of using classic project planning, we rely on agile working methods, so that we can be flexible in responding to customer requirements. Simple methods, combined with the right agile tools, ensure communication, effective teamwork and a coordinated approach in the team. In 2017 we launched the GSI Goes Agile program to consolidate the many agile initiatives within Global Systems Integration at T-Systems, some of which were established years ago. Our Agile University offers employees training and certifications on agile methods and roles, such as Scrum Master, as well as design thinking. About 1,000 employees have taken part so far.

Of course, we need the right framework conditions in order to make agile working successful. That is why in 2017 T-Systems became a partner of the diGAP (Good Agile Project Work in the Digitalized World) research project sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. This project is investigating agile working in order to derive recommended actions for designing the working environment and the cooperation of agile teams. Agile project methods have been on the agenda of T-Systems' Global Systems Integration (GSI) department for quite some time now. That's why a preliminary study on diGAP entailed a survey of GSI employees, asking about their experiences. In September 2017, the results of the survey were presented to the diGAP project, where they will serve as the foundation for further data collection and measures. The research project will run for a term of three years.