How does a person’s working environment affect them? And what conditions need to be in place to make work a satisfying and productive experience? Zalando’s dynamic and innovative culture mean that flexibility and responding to individual needs play an important role in our workplace design.
At Zalando, we aim to create a working environment that enables and encourages every employee to take responsibility, that boosts creativity and collaboration, and that helps our teams to find innovative solutions which make a difference. We currently employ more than 15,000 people in highly varied fields like tech, fashion, logistics and customer care. As such, we are committed to establishing a culture that embraces not only different individual needs, but also different ways of working in teams. This includes topics like office space design, flexible working hours, and providing a technological infrastructure that caters to different users and use cases.
“As a digital company, we need a working environment that makes it easy for employees to work on projects whenever they want and wherever they may be. We want to give them access to the information, data, and files they need at any time and make our work transparent for our employees, including those working in other departments”, explains Boris Ewenstein, SVP People & Organisation.
Our Management Board regularly holds meetings at which it answers questions from employees.
Our tech hub
We are committed to transparency and an extremely open corporate culture. For example, our Management Board regularly holds meetings at which it answers questions from employees. We also seek to integrate transparency when designing workspace concepts.
In the Fashion Department, teams are surrounded by fashion items in order to make the product a tangible experience. We are working on different ways of offering a similar experience to other teams which are working with rather intangible products and hence seamlessly connecting the virtual and real worlds. At our tech offices, for example, big screens display visualized data so that people can better understand the implications of their work.
The data answers questions like: What is happening in the Zalando Fashion Store? How many people are browsing our site? What are they buying? What items are performing well?
We also want to connect our employees no matter where they are located. With offices in Berlin, Dortmund, Helsinki, Dublin, Lisbon and many other cities, we provide the right tools to make cooperation as smooth as possible. This may take the form of hardware for video-conferencing or software solutions for data sharing and collaborative projects.
A dynamic and
– employees and
SVP PEOPLE & ORGANISATION
Flexibility at Zalando also feeds into topics such as working hours. In terms of our defined working processes, we want our employees to be able to structure their daily routine as they see fit. For example, we support parents with flexible work models and give our employees the option of working from home if needed. “Very often, we’re not talking about big changes here. One team member might want to attend a yoga class on Tuesday morning and come in half an hour later, while her colleague needs to leave an hour early to pick up his child. None of this makes a big difference to the company, but for our employees it can turn a bad day into a good one, and that has a big impact on their motivation. This is why a dynamic and flexible working environment benefits everyone – employees and the company alike”, says Ewenstein.
Speaking of accommodating different requirements, we also want our employees to be able to personalize their working space. Do they prefer to work while sitting or standing? Do they need some quiet time in the library to focus or do they want a place where they can brainstorm in a creative environment with whiteboards and sticky notes? This is an area where we can cater to individual needs, allowing our employees to decide which working area best suits their daily work.
in the living room area.
Standing desks are available
for those who want a change.
The silent room allows for
calm and concentration.
Coworking spaces promote
We also want to give employees more opportunities to get to know each other. Our aim is to complement their desk-based work with informal conversations and discussions. This means providing a workspace where innovation is free to develop – playfully or with more structure, but always in a relaxed environment. Instead of small kitchen areas for every team, we have created community workspaces which we call “living rooms.” Individually designed and with plenty of space to work, chat or chill, they encourage the exchange between employees from different departments.