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Elisabeth Fichtner: "Consulting goes quite hybrid."

– Company and Culture

"We are a straightforward company."

ABSTRACT

Flexible in a team is successful

Committed and professional, flexible and relaxed at the same time; all this goes together at IKOR. The example of IKOR consultant Elisabeth Fichtner illustrates that employees and employers develop synergies through evolving circumstances: In the seven years she’s been working at IKOR, Elisabeth has developed from a working student into an accomplished consultant. As a Senior Business Consultant and Cargo Lead she is now responsible for the Quality Management team in the Project Excellence department. Her work processes also changed significantly before, during and after the Corona pandemic. Elisabeth's credo: Together, flexibility makes for success.

While looking for a student job, Elisabeth noticed an ad for a technology consultancy. That was in 2015 and it was about student support in sales. The ad read, "We are a straightforward company." "I liked that," says Elisabeth. The polyglot Hanseatic native applied there. It was a good fit. IKOR and she quickly came to an agreement, and just six months later the next step was taken: whether Elisabeth would be interested in working as a consultant? "I first had to find out if consulting was something for me. What I understood very quickly: Counseling aims to find solutions. In doing so, you are not alone, but part of a team," she says. She liked that, too.

Consulting goes quite hybrid

The synchronization of geographically dispersed project teams and - due to the zeitgeist - more openness to hybrid work have long since had an impact on collaboration: Elisabeth's work processes in the virtually interlinked team are a mix of mobile work on site at the customer, remote workplaces and finally, the classic office environment. The mix varies depending on the project framework and requirements. In principle, the following applies: Work is possible almost anywhere for IKOR.

"Many of us were already well prepared for remote work before 2020 due to our cross-regional deployment. The pandemic showed that many processes also work completely remote or hybrid," explains Elisabeth. "There has long been a considerably greater openness to new, flexible and agile forms of work. "This is true not only with regard to software tools for collaboration, but also in regard to appointments: Project members have long since no longer had to attend their meetings in person.

The first years of her career as a consultant were different: Elisabeth led a classic consultant's life and looked after a client in North Rhine-Westphalia. Every Monday, she took the train to Cologne and returned to Hamburg on Thursday evening. On Friday, Elisabeth sat in the Hamburg main office. When she supported a customer in her hometown in 2019, her travel reduced significantly. Since Covid-19, Elisabeth's routines changed substantially: "Since the pandemic, I work remotely a lot - like many colleagues. Nevertheless, I always try to be on site - be it with the customer or here at headquarters. I consider a certain basic presence to be important, because no tool can permanently replace personal contact," she emphasizes.

On-site mode is also welcome

Despite the benefits, Elisabeth also sees the other side of the coin when it comes to mobile work: the self-evident fact of driving to work in the morning and back home again in the evening is no longer a given due to the current framework conditions. This also affects the organization of joint meetings on site. Due to the very individual structure of a working day, however, the coordination effort has also increased significantly. After the long months of the pandemic, the close proximity of consultants like Elisabeth is inspiring. Her greatest wish is "that we get together again more in-house. It doesn't have to be 100 percent travel anymore. "But when it comes to meetings or project work, I would like to see a common and regulated 'on-site mode'," she emphasizes.

"Always open for new things"

In the end, it is important to balance hybrid work in a sensible way, to enable more possibilities yet also to make a compromise or two oneself, to be flexible. At the same time, the spirit must be right: "At IKOR, things are relaxed, the team sticks together and we can develop professionally in many ways," emphasizes Elisabeth. They are always open to new ideas - and are very committed to their employees. Elisabeth also liked that "right from the start.

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