Audi’s new working-time model enables shift workers to also do parttime shifts in clocked vehicle production and aims to further develop a modern, teamwork culture throughout the company

Audi Ingolstadt flexible work project

Shift work with leeway: pilot project for more flexible working hours in Audi production

Employees who change to part-time work because of changes in their personal circumstances used to be required to transfer to new workplaces. But Audi has started a pilot project, which it says is pioneering potential for flexible work in clocked car production.

A new work model in the paintshop at the Ingolstadt site allows shift workers to work part time as well. This project has been developed between Audi employees, the Works Council and the Institute for Social Science Research (ISF) Munich under the rubric of the Practical Workplace Laboratory: More Flexible on Shift Duty. Trained floaters fill in the gaps in time that arise due to the absence of part-time workers. Those floaters come from areas of the paintshop that are not on the clock, such as trainees, employees with limitations, or people who normally work in the office.

Audi Board Member for Human Resources Sabine Maassen says: “The initiative in our paintshop shows that the best ideas come from the company itself. It also shows that we put the person at the centre – with his or her individual needs and competencies. That’s why we say we are advancing a modern teamwork culture for all our employees.”

Achim Heinfling, plant manager at Audi’s Ingolstadt site, adds, “flexible working hours are far more difficult to implement in highly efficient, clocked car production than in a job that’s done at a desk.

So, I’m all the more excited that this unique pilot project is coming off with a lot of creativity and practical team spirit. We’re testing how far we can use the essential insights we gain from this for other manufacturing areas as well.”

This new working-time model for flexible shift work is still a pilot project that 16 employees currently benefit from. Now, 30 colleagues are in the pool and Audi says it plans to expand working-time models like the one used in the paintshop in other areas of production as well.