women and men
took parental leave
A given? No. Possible? Of course! After the birth of his daughter, Matthias Pelm-Lindecke took some time off work in order to take care of his newborn. Just like him, many colleagues have to reconcile job and family every day. Read on to find out what this has to do with us and our “Passion to innovate | Power to change”.
Let’s be honest: job, family, friends and hobbies – it’s not always easy to accommodate for everything. And sometimes there are special circumstances that require us to set new priorities or question the status quo – for instance if a child is born or a family member needs to be taken care of. For many people, possibilities to adapt their working time to their needs are a decisive factor when choosing an employer.
Kids can turn your life upside down. Matthias Pelm-Lindecke, Marketing Communications Manager at Crop Science, experienced just that when his daughter was born. He took one month off work right after birth and another month after a year. “That way, I could be really close to my family and fully take care of them. That was extremely enriching and I am extremely grateful to Bayer for giving me the chance to do it,” says Pelm-Lindecke. After all, something like that only works if the company accommodates for its employees’ wishes. Michel Hertrich, Head of Talent Management and project lead for Employer Branding in France, is convinced that there is also something in it for Bayer as an employer: “Today, it is much more important for companies to clearly understand the motivation of its employees and to provide room for them. Both sides benefit,” he says.
Those who give, will receive. If Bayer provides room for my private life, my family in turn will back me up when Bayer needs me.
The time off hasn’t had any negative effects on Pelm-Lindecke's work. On the contrary: “I am relaxed, motivated and able to set clear priorities. That’s also good for my job,” he explains. For example, when he has to go on a business trip. After all, his job as a Marketing Communications Manager sometimes requires travel. “In these cases my wife takes over at home,” says Pelm-Lindecke. “This could also be the case during a particularly ambitious project or the annual closure, which requires some extra time – everybody knows these situations.“
Even though an increasing number of moms and dads seize the opportunity to take some time off work for their kids, like Pelm-Lindecke did, it’s still not a given, especially not for men. “You do need a little bit of courage. But Bayer provides the ideal framework conditions,” the marketing manager confirms.
The family leave for mothers and fathers is only one building block in Bayer’s approach. The company offers a full package of possibilities to provide room for employees who want to individually manage their working time and adapt it to their needs: be it to pick up the kids from school or kindergarten or to take care of relatives who rely on their support. Employees may also be granted leave for volunteer work and social commitments. And if certain tasks can be completed just as well – or even better – at home, they may also work from there if their supervisor agrees.
No matter what the solution will look like – home office, flextime, job-sharing, part-time or paid leave for volunteer work: flexibility is what counts at Bayer. There’s no one-fits-all solution for flexible working conditions. After all, the possibilities depend on individual requirements and local conditions. While the frameworks vary from country to country, the underlying corporate goal remains the same around the globe.
Of course, there are limits to flexibility – they are reached whenever there’s a serious interference with the working processes. A production shift, for instance, cannot end earlier. But there are still possibilities to account for employees’ individual requirements: for instance, with working-time accounts or personal agreements. “Many potential conflicts can be avoided through thorough planning,” Pelm-Lindecke knows from experience. Work and home – both is part of his life, he says. “I don’t separate the two. My job is also an important part of my life. And I really enjoy working.”
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Work and Life in balance
This employer brand photo was inspired by all the Bayer employees who take advantage of Bayer flexible work concepts to support their families.