At Futureworks, the future has already begun

Photo of Borries Schwesinger and Jonas Hubacher

At Futureworks, the future has already begun

How will we work in the future? More flexibly in terms of locations and time, independently, and with a more project-driven and networked approach. At Futureworks AG, the creative and brand consultancy for Vita, the name says it all: The company is applying the working methods of the future, today.
What is exciting about Futureworks is that, apart from the founder, the management is entirely made up of women. It also includes two men who work part-time, so the situation does not match the cliché; in fact, it upends it.
Futureworks

Borries Schwesinger: "Your private life becomes a subject for discussion when you work part-time."

One of the part-time employees is Borries Schwesinger, Senior Creative Consultant. Since the birth of his first son seven years ago, he and his partner have been working a four-day week – Fridays are 'Daddy Day'. Borries Schwesinger advises his clients on how they can be better and more successful in the market and with their customers. For example, as project manager he was responsible for the redesign of the visual identity for the Vita brand, which offers occupational retirement provision. Borries Schwesinger no longer feels exotic as a part-timer. "It's not the first thing I tell my clients, but once we start working more closely together, I'm very transparent about it." He is fascinated by the fact that confessing to working part-time automatically also makes his private life a subject for discussion in business. He says that women are still obliged to justify how they can juggle work and family after having a baby: "A man gets a pat on the back, and that's it." Borries Schwesinger believes that the compatibility of children and career should be more of a consideration for men too.

A man gets a pat on the back, and that's it.


Borries Schwesinger

Film approval at a birthday party

For him, keeping his day off free of work and setting clear boundaries is sometimes a challenge: He checks his e-mail on Fridays as well – "perhaps too often." Once, during a birthday party and amid screaming children, he had to approve the sound sequence for a brand film. He also once found himself discussing Word templates in the changing rooms at infant swimming lessons. In principle, however, he has projects that he can plan well, which ensures that such collisions between family and professional life are pretty rare. Does he think that going part-time is a career killer? "I don't know, but the question doesn't even come up for me right now, since I'm exactly where I want to be."

Jonas Hubacher: "Going part-time requires discipline and trust."

Jonas Hubacher, Professional Creative Consultant at Futureworks, also works part-time: When his little girl was born, he reduced his working hours by 30 percent, as did his wife. He mainly focuses on customer experience; for Vita, for example, he supports product communication and designs product brochures or customer presentations. He finds that you need to put certain rules in place to make working part-time successful for all concerned: "You have to be disciplined, communicate clearly, keep your promises and build a basis of trust." It has to be clear to everyone what will happen on which days, he says, to ensure that no one is forced to wait unexpectedly; some proactive planning is also required here. He knows many part-time families outside of work. For Jonas Hubacher, working part-time today seems more normal, even in industries where it was very unusual until a few years ago: "Nowadays there are very different ways of living and different working models, but in the end I just want to do what's right for my family as a whole right now."

You have to be disciplined, communicate clearly, keep your promises and build a basis of trust.


Jonas Hubacher

Muddling through the lockdown

During the coronavirus crisis, everyone at Futureworks who normally uses public transport to get to the office has worked from home. Borries Schwesinger was one of the few people who could still be found in the office, as he only lives a three-minute bicycle ride away. "This meant I could work in the office in a focused manner, then when I was at home I could relieve my partner and concentrate fully on the children," he says. Jonas Hubacher settled into his home office during the lockdown and tried to coordinate as well as possible with his wife: "Sometimes we had to muddle through and get work done at lunchtime or in the evening. It was always a matter of finding a good compromise."

Read here why the Futureworks management team also applies forward-thinking working methods.

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