Search Report
2019 Sustainability Report
published 2020/08/01

A balance between professional and private life is important to us

An important objective of our personnel policy is to enable all of us at VAUDE to unify working at VAUDE with all of our ideas about what makes life good. This challenge that we have set ourselves involves a great deal of commitment, creativity and – in our opinion – success.

We are proud of our flexible personnel policy

  • 140 employees regularly work in home offices.
  • Our trust-based working hours help employees design their workday flexibly.
  • We provide flexible working hours. Approximately 38 % of our employees work part-time. Among our permanent employees, the figure is 46%.
  • In 2019, 44 employees were on parental leave.  We are working hard on this issue on a case by case basis to create good solutions for everyone.
  • The VAUDE Kinderhaus childcare center serves 31 children.
  • A comprehensive employee survey has confirmed that our working conditions are very favorable.

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The foundation for our cooperation within the company is a positive view of human nature, which is influenced by trust. We believe that employees are fundamentally self-motivated. They enjoy the effort of putting their skills to use and are happy to take on responsibilities. Read more at "A foundation of trust".

We see it as our job to create the conditions in which employees can grow and learn in their own way. Personalized working hours and leave, part-time positions (about 46 % of all permanent employees work part-time, 15 % of management), childcare in the VAUDE Kinderhaus and trust-based working hours (approx.150 employees and the trend is rising) are only a few offers that help our employees live their lives as they wish while staying healthy and productive.

Full-time employees at VAUDE work 40 hours a week. Anything less than this is classified as part-time work and paid in proportion to a full-time salary.

Telecommuting – an option at VAUDE

We have been offering the option of working from home or another location for several years. Since the end of 2017, a company agreement on telecommuting has been in force, which grants this option to every employee, provided that the type of work task does not necessarily require a physical presence at the office and provided that the employee ensures the availability of adequate equipment in their home office (e.g. Internet).

Arbeiten von zu Hause aus – ein Vorteil nicht nur für Familien

The frequency and regularity of home office (or mobile work) days and the regulations that are necessary to ensure smooth working operations in the office and with others are clearly identified in the employment agreement and are determined on a case-by-case and needs basis within the employee’s team and by the manager. The aim is to unite the highest possible flexibility for the employee with the lowest possible additional effort (e.g. coordinative) for the team and others that the employee works with. Modern work tools such as Microsoft Teams, which we use consistently, make it much easier for employees in different locations to work together.

Following the introduction of our employment agreement, the number of employees participating in telecommuting increased (from an estimated 114 to 140 in 2019).We have received a great deal of positive feedback for our mobile work opportunities. Among other things, employees appreciate its impact on the compatibility of family obligations such as childcare and job requirements, as well as on time and money savings that come from reducing commuting.

Overtime should be avoided

Overtime and its avoidance are also an issue at VAUDE. In order to prevent the accumulation of overtime, we take the approach that it is not the mere presence of our employees in the workplace that counts, but their achievement of goals. At VAUDE, overtime is documented in “flexitime” accounts and compensated with time off. However, because the majority of employees work with trust-based hours, we are unable to collect accurate company-wide data.

Our employee survey "VAUDE Employee Barometer" that was carried out at the end of 2018 in cooperation with the IFBG (Institut für Betriebliche Gesundheitsberatung) and the Techniker Krankenkasse however, showed positive results: Overall, our employees feel that the quantitative requirements at work (including the need to work overtime) are lower than the comparative assessment, which is cited as representative of the German working population.

On-site childcare

In order to balance private and professional life, dependable childcare that is tailored to the needs of parents is essential. The VAUDE Kinderhaus, operated in cooperation with the city of Tettnang, has been a role model for this since 2001.

VAUDE provides the premises for the childcare center and takes on a significant proportion of the investment, adding up to approximately 50,000 euros per year - see "Creating added value through commitment". The remaining costs are covered by the city of Tettnang.

Up to 31 children are cared for in mixed age groups with after school programs and a crèche. About half are VAUDE employees' children; the other half includes children from the surrounding area.

The childcare center has become so popular that we can no longer fully meet the demand.

Read more about the VAUDE Kinderhaus

Taking parental leave & returning to work

At VAUDE it is quite normal that parental leave is used extensively by women and men across all hierarchical levels and company divisions. In 2019, 44 employees took parental leave (37 female; 7 male) during the reporting period. This also includes those whose parental leave began before 2019.

Twenty-four employees (17 female and 7 male) planned to return to work after parental leave in 2019. Of these, 21 (88 %) were able to re-enter jobs that corresponded to their previous profile or, in many cases, were adapted to the changing needs of families in terms of general parameters. In three cases it was not possible to work out a solution that would have added appropriate value from a company point of view and at the same time could have been implemented for the affected employees or their families. These cases resulted in a termination of the employment relationships on the part of the employees.

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Keeping in contact: Parental leave meetings

To ensure that the employees who take parental leave return promptly to work in a way that meets their personal needs, we support dialog during and after the parental leave period. Teams can also contribute to maintaining contact and personal relationships, for example, by integrating colleagues on parental leave during team days and celebrations. Our festivities committee attaches particular importance to sending our parental leave employees personal invitations to all major employee events.

A real challenge that we have set for ourselves

We are convinced that we are on the right track and we are proud of it! We put a lot of energy into our goal of providing good solutions for employees and VAUDE at all times. We are aware that this is a major company challenge. We currently have just as many positions to cover due to parental leave as those due to job turnover. A solution and achievement oriented approach is of great importance for this issue.

GRI:   103-1
Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary
GRI:   103-2
The management approach and its components
GRI:   401-3
Parental leave
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