Tensions between an international health care company and its works council are currently running at an all time high. The works council has blocked the roll out of smart phones to employees.
Works council representative Guenther Mueller expressed his position: “our duty is to make sure that employees are safe from the horror of American style capitalism. Our strategy is to make sure that all employees adhere to a strict regime of work hours: from 0600 to 1130, taking a 1 hour lunch break to eat schnitzel and potato salad, then finishing at 1500 sharp. By going back to simplistic beauty of the post war era, we can be sure to secure worker happiness”. When pushed further about his vision, Guenther claimed: “Worker engagement can only be secured through them having to make no decisions whatsoever. This is just the beginning, our next step will be to replace computers with stone chips for counting: computers are evil and may be used to educate the people.”
Neither the company or the works council appear to be listening to each other or to employees and simply communicate through memos published on the company’s intranet.
Meanwhile, employees try to get on with improving their own environment by simply using social media on their own devices. Employee Timo Schmidt claimed: “it’s just annoying, they [both] treat us like children. If I want to check my mails in the evening, I’m old enough to make that decision for myself aren’t I?”. When pressed on whether or not colleagues might feel pressure to be on call 24/7, Timo answered: “look, if I had a boss that was insisting on that I would tell him where to go”.
In the company’s other European sites, employees all have smart phones with apps such as Slack to help them improve communication efficiency and be more autonomous. It seems that there has been a positive reaction.
www.managing-spaghetti.com. This is satire; nothing here is true.