The Vinted Model – Ein Gespräch mit Viktorija Jaksebagaitė über hybrides Arbeiten.

Hybrid Work – wie kann der Spagat zwischen gemeinsamer Zeit im Büro und ortsunabhängigem Arbeiten gelingen? Ein Unternehmen, das bereits zu Beginn der Pandemie ein hybrides Arbeitsmodell eingeführt hat, ist Vinted. In dieser Hybrid Work Story gibt uns Viktorija Jaksebagaitė Einblicke in den hybriden Alltag bei Europas größtem C2C-Online-Marktplatz für Secondhand-Mode.

Viktorija Jaksebagaitė

Für dieses Gespräch haben wir uns per Video-Call mit Viktorija Jaksebagaitė verabredet, die bei Vinted seit über zehn Jahren Transformationsprozesse an der Schnittstelle zwischen Kultur und Strategie begleitet – aktuell in ihrer Rolle als Senior Director of Strategic People Initiatives and Workplace Experience.

Zu Beginn der Pandemie hat sich Vinted schnell für ein hybrides Arbeitsmodell entschieden. Dieses Modell wurde unmittelbar von den Unternehmenswerten aus gedacht und in einem partizipativen Prozess von der Belegschaft mitgestaltet.

Ein Ansatz, der hybride Arbeit bei Vinted zu einem Erfolgsmodell gemacht hat. Aber lest am besten selbst.

Hier unser Gespräch im englischen Original:

— Viktorija, today you’re going to give us some insight into your hybrid work culture. First of all, what values is Vinted’s hybrid model based on?

Viktorija Jaksebagaitė

First of all I want to emphasize that our hybrid working model is authentic and unique for Vinted as we created it to reflect and align with our values. Let me give you a quick overview how our five values helped us design our hybrid model. Our first value: We care, which means in relation to hybrid work that we do need face to face time and create relationships. But we also care for everybody’s flexibility needs when it comes to where and how to work. The next value is We grow, which means we actively adapt to the new reality and ways of working, and we see it as a process of continuous learning. Our values We co-create and We take ownership mean that we really took time to create this model, we had a big team behind the project to develop the hybrid working model, and it was very important to us to deep dive into the topic and work together to create a solution. Last value: We aim high, which means in this case it is more difficult to take this unknown path and to adapt to the new model instead of coming back to the old and known one – going back to the office work only.

Our confidence in this structure definitely grew during the last few months – although there was lots of uncertainty when we were launching it.

Viktorija Jaksebagaitė, Vinted

— Why does hybrid working work for you, to what extent is Vinted Culture a hybrid culture?

Viktorija Jaksebagaitė

To create our hybrid working model, we gathered a cross-functional project and change management team which consisted of up to 30 people developing the strategy. So we really took our time to work out how we wanted to realize it comprehensively, before we rushed to do something that would not become a long term solution. The key principle we followed was to listen to your employees and to gather their opinions. That is why we try to avoid unrelatable top down decisions with such important topics. We rather invest time and resources to co-create a strategy such as the one for our hybrid working model. We succeeded because we addressed the various needs of our employees and the organization: On the one hand we needed to ensure that face-to-face exchange takes place again and that we regain the productive connectivity we had before the pandemic. On the other hand we wanted to entrust our employees with the ownership of their time and personal flexibility. To add, communication is one of the success factors for us. If you don’t communicate changes and new processes in a transparent and understandable way, misunderstandings or push back will come up at some point and certain employees will become unhappy with the situation. At the same time, I think Vinted is successfully operating with the hybrid model because each and every employee is well connected through the values which we believe in. There is a whole lot of trust in the individual abilities of yourself and in the abilities and strengths of each co-worker. We all are continuously united by Vinted’s mission. All co-workers identify themselves with this mission while each one pursues working on their project. It doesn’t matter whether you are sitting in the office, at home or remote in a beach house in Portugal.

— What does your hybrid model look like in practice?

Viktorija Jaksebagaitė

We recommend the teams to work two days a week in the office and the teams can decide themselves which combination of two days makes most sense for them. For the rest of their time, our employees are able to decide for themselves where they want to work – either from the office, or from home. We’re happy to report that it’s working. Also, employees who return to the office a few days a week find that the lively interaction has significantly improved their overall mood and well-being, because we just miss being together. Being back in the office for two days a week, teams recognize that the hybrid work model is especially useful for integrating new colleagues. They can get a feel for the organization’s culture much more quickly, build stronger relationships with team members, and significantly increase engagement. Besides this described structure we want to maintain a high degree of flexibility – also after the end of the pandemic. That is why all employees have the choice to work from any country in the European Union and also non-EU countries for up to 90 days a year.

— What are you still learning? What can still be improved?

Viktorija Jaksebagaitė

Some fears we had didn’t come true – for example that people would book full days of meetings when they are at the office. All teams found their ways to do hybrid, and we continue learning. The overall feedback is very positive, people love especially the flexibility. We also feel more connected than during the pandemic and we have a better model for everybody’s wellbeing. Our confidence in this structure definitely grew during the last few months – although there was lots of uncertainty when we were launching it. We now see we made a good call, and we’ll keep continuously evolving our hybrid model. From the feedback we received so far from our employees we can also see a clear tendency that they feel more productive at home. In the office with their team members around them they socialize more, they can collaborate in person and thus the result is a higher level of creativity. So it is now our responsibility and task to evaluate the current system whether we fully exploit the advantages of both working locations for the individual employee and the company as a whole. 

— Thank you, Viktorija!