Flexibility at Novartis: Robert Gschwentner and Stefan Lackner

Gschwentner and Lackner discuss the advantages of their job share.

Oct 26, 2018

The “Flexibility at Novartis” series spotlights associates who have one thing in common: They work flexibly. As a result, they are able to manage the demands of their work and private lives. Flexible working can boost employee engagement while increasing efficiency and productivity. This series provides a glimpse into flexible working at Novartis.

Robert Gschwentner and Stefan Lackner have a job-share arrangement as Process Unit Heads at Novartis Technical Operations in Kundl, Austria. They share their story below.

We share one job

Everybody has different needs, which keep changing in the course of one’s life. Our job share gives us the possibility to be successful in our work without having to neglect our family and our private life.

We discuss important decisions together, which we think leads to a better solution.

We are responsible for the manufacturing processes in a sterile production unit with a team of around 80 people in Kundl, Austria. We both work 62.5%, with at least one day each week when we are in the office together. Our different experiences and strengths complement each other. One of us focuses more on human resources, financial investments and engineering matters, whilst the other takes care of audit, compliance and microbiology. We do not separate tasks and responsibilities too strictly, though. At the end, we deputize each other in all areas.

What makes our job share so valuable is that one of us is always accessible on site. In very busy times, we can both work, as needed. And we discuss important decisions together, which we think leads to a better solution.

The greatest challenge is to keep track of all processes and projects going on. We use Wednesdays, when we are both in the office, to update each other and align. What definitely made it easier to job share successfully is the fact that we both have worked as a process unit head before and we have known each other for quite some time.

Our motto is, “Never say never.” If your manager supports you in your choice of flexible working, just go for it – try it out – as almost everything is possible.

For us, it is clear: Our decisions are much better and we are more innovative, as we can bring many more different perspectives together than we could ever do as individuals.

What does flexibility at work mean to you?

Flexibility for us means to be motivated and balanced, as we are able to combine a job we love with our personal life.

Two Process Unit Heads at Novartis Technical Operations describe what it’s like to share a job. #flexibleworking

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