SSI Schaefer moves to hybrid work model

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by Emily Atkins

SSI Schaefer is moving to a flexible remote work schedule.

The new Flexi Sched program, named after the company’s SSI Flexi robotic shuttle, will include both completely remote and partial hybrid employees. For those positions that must be in the office to do specific tasks such as warehouse, resident maintenance, and other customer service positions, those team members will still be onsite.

“We have been working in a hybrid work model since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Rita Sjoberg, vice-president of human resources and safety for North America.

“For our organization, it works and we’re a large technology firm, so it is an easy transition.”

Sjoberg said employees were overwhelmingly in favour of flexible scheduling. “However, we still need to continue to meet our business goals and key performance indicators (KPIs), which will be measured monthly,” she added.

The company hopes that the new program will help it attract new talent, including software developers, mechatronics, and controls support engineers. “The Flexi Sched will enable us to grow without geographical constraints,” continued Sjoberg.  

The company said it will look to reduce its real estate footprint by moving several satellite offices to flexible office accommodations that are closer to customers and additional workforce members. Employees who are in current office buildings will continue to work within those geographical areas but will work remote or locate into smaller leased office spaces when or if needed.

“It just doesn’t make sense to keep office space when no one is using it,” said Art Kostaras, SVP and CEO of North America Region. “We pride ourselves by being a sustainable company and keeping a facility up and running with utilities isn’t a sustainable approach when only a few people are using them.”

Kostaras also said the new Flexi Sched model will help reduce CO2 emissions thanks to staff not needing to commute.

Schaefer Systems International, Inc. provides storage, materials handling, robotic, warehouse management software, and autonomous driverless solutions to businesses throughout North America. The company is part of the SSI Schaefer Group, which has offices in over 70 countries, seven manufacturing facilities, and more than 9,000 employees.