Search Report
2017 Sustainability Report
published 2018/08/01

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

  • 114 employees regularly work in home offices and the trend is rising.
  • Our trust-based working hours help employees design their workday flexibly.
  • We provide flexible working hours. A good 45 % of our employees work part-time.
  • Our birth rate has far exceeded the national average for years now. In 2017, 51 employees were on parental leave. 
  • The VAUDE Kinderhaus childcare center serves 31 children.
  • We were awarded the A.T. Kearney Award as the most family-friendly company in 2016.

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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 (a good 45 % of all permanent employees work part-time and the trend is growing), 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 number and regularity of home office days, fixed home office hours and similar regulations are determined on a case-by-case and need 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. Until our company agreement was introduced, around 114 of our colleagues took advantage of telecommuting; we expect this to increase in the future.

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.

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

The birth rate at VAUDE has increased significantly since the opening of the childcare center and has been far above the German average for years.

In 2017 we again had an above-average birth rate. With 18 newborn “VAUDE children” (only those whose parents have also applied for parental leave) and a birth rate of 33.2*, we are also on a path of sustainable growth in this area.

Birthrate Germany status: 2016: 9.6*
Birthrate VAUDE 2017: 33.2


* Calculation of birthrates:

2017: 18 births/ 542 employees x 1000
2016: 25 births/ 529 employees x 1000
2004: 5 births/ 263 employees x 1000

Development of VAUDE birth rate

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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 2017, 51 employees took parental leave (41 female; 10 male) during the reporting period. This also includes those whose parental leave began before 2017.

All 17 employees who had planned to return to work after parental leave in 2017 (100 %) have done so. With 7 female returnees, there is a clear difference compared to the previous year (21 women returned to work in 2016). One rationale for this is that for a variety of reasons, several women returned to work exceptionally early in 2016 and therefore fewer cases of parental leave were still relevant in 2017.

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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. In order to stay informed about new developments and current topics at VAUDE, employees on parental leave can use our intranet throughout their leave. Teams can also contribute to maintaining contact and personal relationships, for example, by integrating colleagues on parental leave during team days and celebrations.

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.