As for the majority of companies, Schibsted was forced to make major changes during the early spring of 2020 due to the pandemic. Now – two years down the line – these changes have become a natural part of everyday work life.
According to the Head of People and Culture, Håkan Halvarsson, employees have a better work life balance than ever.
“A few years back, there was an established truth that we physically had to be at the office to get our work done. To some extent, that can be the case, because not everything can be solved from a distance. But the future is coming towards us at express speed, and we need to adapt to that. When the pandemic hit, it was a bit thrilling to leave and go home that very first day. Our large newspapers were staffed to a minimum in the office and we even managed to publish Svenska Dagbladet with all editorial staff working from home. That proved to us that anything is possible,” Håkan Halvarsson says.
A new normal
What Håkan Halvarsson describes came to be the beginning of a new way of work at Schibsted. With closed down offices, management had to find new ways to keep both production and mental health levels up, especially when life slowly went back to normal. The solution soon emerged – a hybrid office.
“We have worked hard on recognizing what our companies need and tried out several policies. What we have landed in, after collecting feedback from our employees, is that there are plenty of opportunities to allow more flexibility. To be able to combine working from home, with working from the office, or having more say in what hours one works, has reduced stress levels throughout Schibsted,” Håkan says.
All necessary tools in place
But, introducing and sticking to a hybrid way of working, also comes with responsibilities. Work environment, safety and health are three areas that should be taken seriously, even when employees work remotely. Schibsted has therefore introduced HomeSted – an internally built web platform where every employee can choose amongst approved ergonomic desks, chairs and other utensils to use when working from home. The structure of HomeSted helps Schibsted make sure all employees end up with high quality furniture that creates an ergonomic base for remote work.
“We want to give every company the necessary tools to be part of the hybrid office. How the companies choose to implement it, is up to them and what works for their specific needs. This is what Schibsted is all about – the ‘team first’ attitude. I like to think of Schibsted as a pot of nourished soil that gives every company and employee what they need to thrive and grow into the beautiful flower that they are,” Håkan says.
The team attitude and general openness between colleagues was what first caught Håkan Halvarsson’s attention when he joined Schibsted 12 years ago. Today it is something that makes Håkan proud to still call Schibsted his employer.
“When it comes to our culture I think we have a lot to thank our journalistic history for. Our news desks have always worked with such curiosity, which I think set the foundation for Schibsted as a whole. Having an open mind at work makes everything so much more personal. We see each other for who we are, and we care about each other’s success, which traces all the way up through top management. Focus lies on personal growth and future development down to the very last employee. That is what makes Schibsted unique – everyone is allowed to be an individual, Håkan says.