'Balanced! – Reconciling Employees' Work and Private Lives' project

Daimler has joined forces with the Faculty of Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the University of Heidelberg to initiate the 'Balanced! – Reconciling Employees' Work and Private Lives' project, a research study that also serves as a strategical HR initiative for Daimler. 

Daimler attaches great importance to a balance between work and private life. 

The aim of the project is to maintain the balance between the work and home life of Daimler employees so as to safeguard their performance in the long run. Until July 2013 the study is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and is co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF). The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is responsible for the overall management of the project.

In both 2010 and 2011 more than 6,000 employees from production and administration, including managers, were surveyed about their individual work-life balance. The responses clearly revealed which factors have a positive impact on the equilibrium of work and private life, and which have a negative impact. It also pinpointed where further improvements could be made. This paved the way for the Daimler Life Balance program.

Initial action steps resulting from the project. 

Out-of-office email policy

To ease the strain on employees' inboxes during annual leave, as of 2013 staff can choose to set their email to automatically delete incoming mail while they are away. At the same time, the sender of the incoming mail receives an out-of-office message with contact details for the deputy responsible, so that the matter can still be addressed.

Educating managers

Managerial staff at Daimler must recognize that their actions as a role model and a pillar of support are integral to the Life Balance program. Presentations have been held to advise employees across departments, units and teams about Life Balance, outlining expectations and encouraging them to take the initiative. The Board of Management has also issued guidelines specifically for the management via an internal campaign. The campaign draws on the findings of the employee/management survey and focuses on four key areas:

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