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How does Orange invent the « New ways of Working » of tomorrow ?

How does Orange invent the « New ways of Working » of tomorrow ?

By Maya sérigné, orange's work organisation innovation and hr data intelligence manager - February 20, 2018

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Sofrecom M Serigne

Part of Orange’s strategy to become a leader in social innovation involves detecting, anticipating and trialling new work practices in order to capitalise on those that add value before deploying them within the group.

How is digital transforming employee working methods?

Digital is revolutionising traditional work schemes as it challenges our understanding of unity of place, unity of time and unity of action. After all, digital is everywhere and can be seen in the boom in mobile applications, unified communications suites and even collaborative platforms. Nowadays, we can communicate and share things with a variety of different people in quasi real-time, from anywhere in the world.

This development is shaking up the way we work because of how it affects our processes (jobs, projects, innovation) as well as our behaviour: digital is truly driving the removal of barriers while also promoting a kind of opening up both internally (end of silos, de-hierarchisation) and externally (crowdsourcing, open innovation, enterprise networking).

For this reason, collaboration – whose key features include autonomy, entrepreneurship and mutual trust – is becoming increasingly critical.
The role of manager is also undergoing transformation: in the digital age it will be managers in conjunction with HR who will be responsible for employees’ engagement in relation to their work and the company. They will develop employee autonomy alongside collaborative practices both within the team and more broadly with a wide range of partners.

What challenges does digitalisation pose to companies in terms of work organisation?

Changing our work organisation in order to simultaneously meet both our employees’ needs and our customers’ requirements is an absolute must here. How do we explore and understand those operating practices and methods that will add value for our workers in the future before we roll them out throughout the organisation? To make its transformation a success, Orange opted for a test and learn approach based on experience gained by employees inspired by a WorkLab.

What role does the Worklab play in transforming working methods?

The Worklab facilitates (either independently or on behalf of different divisions) a variety of experiments, which are conducted in close proximity to teams and representatives of all our various departments and focus on 5 components of our work organisation:
- collaboration (working in project mode, reducing silos, transversality, etc.);
- the work space (see the Villa Bonne Nouvelle initiative)
- management (new forms of corporate governance, evaluation and recognition through follow up on a collective feedback initiative, for example);
- relationship to time (flexible working hours, digital nomadism, work/life balance);
- opening up to our partners and clients whom we want to put at the very centre of our processes.

The WorkLab relies on a handful of internal ambassadors who come up with initiatives and assist in their implementation. They organise team leaders according to a strict, time-regulated analysis protocol, which allows for continuous improvement throughout the testing period. They run “share meets” all over France where all of our various divisions can voice their opinions and concerns, while also holding quarterly capitalisation meetings in order to identify the positives, any obstacles encountered and our key success factors.

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