Search Report
2020 Sustainability Report
published 2021/08/02

Work-life balance is important to us

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

We are proud of our flexible personnel policy

  • Our trust-based working hours help employees design their workday flexibly.
    • We provide flexible working hours -– 40 % of our employees work part-time.
    • About 220 employees regularly work remotely (from home offices, for example).
  • Earning the "New Work Award" confirms that our culture of trust allows us to offer modern and employee-friendly forms of work.
    • In 2020, 41 employees were on parental leave. 15 employees returned to work in 2020 after their parental leave. We work hard to find individual solutions for each and every one of these employees.
    • The VAUDE Kinderhaus childcare center serves 31 children.
    • A comprehensive employee survey has confirmed that our working conditions are very favorable.

The foundation for our cooperation within the company is a positive understanding 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. Flexible working hours and leave, part-time positions (about 40 % of all permanent employees work part-time, 21,5 % of management), childcare in the VAUDE Kinderhaus and trust-based working hours (approx.150 employees and the trend is rising) are only a few measures that help our employees live their lives as they wish while staying healthy and productive.

Part-time leadership

»I run my department with a 90 % work week so I can spend more time with my family. That doesn't mean my team can do less. I focus on the delegation of responsibility and high efficiency.«

Gernot Moser, Head of Sales Department Bike Sport

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.

We try to prevent overtime

Preventing overtime is also an issue at VAUDE. In order to achieve this, 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 compensated with time off. However, because the majority of employees work with trust-based hours, we are unable to collect precise company-wide data.

Our employee survey "VAUDE Employee Barometer" that was conducted for the second time at the end of 2020 in cooperation with the IFBG (Institut für Betriebliche Gesundheitsberatung) and the Techniker Krankenkasse however, revealed encouraging 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.

Mobile working for a good work-life balance and as a protective measure during the pandemic

We have been offering the option of working from home or another location for several years. A company agreement on mobile working has been in force since late 2017 which grants this option to every employee, provided that the type of work task does not necessarily require a physical presence at the office. Since the beginning of the Corona pandemic in early 2020, we have strongly encouraged all employees to use mobile working wherever possible.
Modern tools for mobile work such as Microsoft Teams, which we use consistently, make it significantly easier for employees to work together from different locations. If necessary, we support employees by providing additional equipment, for example ergonomic office chairs that could be taken from employees' office workstations to their homes, or telephone systems that replace the infrastructure in the office. In 2020, an estimated 220 employees predominantly used mobile working.

Arbeiten von zu Hause aus – ein Vorteil nicht nur für Familien
Even before the Corona pandemic, we received a great deal of positive feedback regarding our mobile working options. During the pandemic, mobile work became an important protective measure for staying healthy. Our employees appreciate the impact is has on being able to balance family commitments such as childcare with work demands, as well as the time and money they save by eliminating their commute.

Childcare in close proximity

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 2020, 41 employees took parental leave (36 female; 5 male) during the reporting period. This also includes those whose parental leave began before 2020.

To ensure that the fathers and mothers in our workforce are able to return to work quickly after parental leave in a way that is tailored to their personal needs, appropriate discussions are held with employees in our HR department before, during and after their parental leave. In 2020, 15 employees (10 of them female, five male) planned to return to work after parental leave. All of them (100%) were able to re-enter jobs that matched their previous profile or - in some cases - were adapted to the changed needs of families in terms of framework conditions. All 21 employees who returned to their jobs from parental leave in 2019 are still employed at VAUDE.

A major 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 consistently providing good solutions for employees and VAUDE. 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. This issue requires an approach that’s focused on solutions and achievement.

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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