Faurecia’s Digital Workplace: fostering collaboration & facilitating learning
While Faurecia has been undergoing this digital transformation for some time, the sudden transition to having all staff working remotely for a prolonged period presented certain challenges. As the pandemic and ensuing crisis led to a suspension of most industrial operations, many teams had to rapidly pivot towards the needs of the moment as well as a reassessment of priorities. But as our transformation had already created the shift towards agility and resilience and as learning has always been an integral part of the Faurecia culture, our teams adapted quickly. Not only they adapted to the current situation, working from home on existing projects, but also used the digital tools at their disposal to maintain ties to their colleagues and teams.
We began deployment of Microsoft Teams in the middle of 2019 and during the lockdown the number of users more than doubled, going from just under 15,000 to over 37,000, with chat groups, cloud storage, and online events fast becoming the norm across the company.
In terms of learning, since January, we’ve registered + 150% increase in the number of hours with more than 1,000 hours of learning through MOOCs related to remote working and more recently the safe restart and health and safety guidelines. 1.5 million questions were answered in April in our Learning Lab - our digital learning platform giving access to MOOCs to 85,000 people - close to 4 times more than in December.
I often heard people saying that whilst they had more frequent meetings, these were more efficient and created a new dynamic within teams. Collaborating and working around reduced-hours schedules, and even sharing a bit more of their personal life and environment reinforce the links between people. This lockdown has been a real time extensive test for our Digital Workplace and digital capabilities but also for our culture and working habits. Not only are we proud to see our teams using the digital tools to assure business continuity but also to keep in close contact with colleagues, partners, suppliers and customers around the world. We have all adapted to exceptional circumstances and discovered new working methods together.
While it is too soon to tell what tomorrow will look like, it is clear that this pandemic will have taught us a lot. Remote working has proven to be working effectively at Faurecia but the need for face-to-face contact in building convivial workplace cultures remain. We are now launching an initiative to evaluate how to leverage these new working practices in the long term.
My firm belief is that companies with a strong culture and shared values will fare better beyond the crisis. And above all, agility & resilience remain the keys to operate effectively in this new context.