Dolder is a distributor of speciality products in the fields of plastics, speciality chemicals and filtration media. As such, our biggest assets are our employees: Their energy, knowhow and commitment. Daniel Pink states in his book "Drive" that there are three drivers to our intrinsic motivation: Purpose, mastery and autonomy.

Thus, because we value our employees and we want to keep their engagement, we give a lot of autonomy at Dolder. Part of this is the autonomy about where, when and how to work. In accordance with the Swiss Initiative, we call this WorkSmart. While the specifics of this differ from country to country in the Dolder Group (due e.g. to legal requirements), there are some basic aspects that can be summarized as follows.


Whether you are here five days a week or three, we know that you will give your best and provide a valuable contribution to our success as a company. We also understand that needs regarding working pensum change over the course of your employment relationship (our colleagues stay an average of slightly over 10 years with us). Consequently, we offer working contracts from twenty to a hundred percent or even on an hourly basis. We also facilitate changes in pensum once you are working here.


There are always some constraints to when you are working: The reception needs to be manned during the usual office hours, clients are looking for you to discuss their projects, your colleagues are on the road or (sometimes) on holidays and their suppliers are needing your support. All these topics need to be discussed and arranged in your team. Apart from these internal constraints, there are also legal requirements to the distribution of the working hours over your days, weeks and years.

These differ markedly from country to country: A situation that is reflected in how WorkSmart is arranged in the different Dolder nations. But even if the needs of the business and the government’s guidelines give us a certain framework for when we are working, there is still quite some room for individual arrangements: Are you a morning person, doing your best work early in the day? Do you like a long midday break to go out and do some sports? Or are you an owl, working better late in the day? At Dolder, you have a lot of freedom to decide when you do your best work.


Your office desk might not always be the best place for your work. Indeed, it may be more efficient for you to do your mails first thing in the morning over a coffee at your kitchen table. Also, work that needs you to concentrate for a longer period of time might best be done in a single office or at home. Other work is made easier by having colleagues around to discuss topics and get input. Because of this, we believe that you should choose the best place to work for yourself. Indeed, most of our employees move between working from home, being with clients and suppliers, participating in external trainings and spending time in the office.


Apart from choosing the right pensum, working time and place, working smart also means doing your work in a smart way. This is an important point for us: We want to be clever in what we do. Because of this, we are continually learning and training – not only in what we need to do our core jobs but also in ways to work more efficiently. We also like to test new tools and experiment with different ways of working. Thankfully, we have a great IT department supporting us in this.


This is how Dolder Group puts WorkSmart into practice. While certain aspects are consistent across all locations, there are country-specific differences. For instance, in Italy, employees have two office days: Monday and Thursday. On these days, those not engaged with clients or suppliers congregate in Saronno, often having lunch together.

In Switzerland, staff members also come into the office at least twice a week, with one of those days being the official team office day, where everyone gathers and enjoys the bustling environment. The second office day is flexible and can be chosen by the colleagues themselves.

Similarly, Spain also has two office days, with Friday being the designated day for the entire team to come together and share breakfast. The second day is flexible and is usually for back-office workers.

Meanwhile, in Turkey, the team comes into the office three days a week, with Monday being the team day. There are also two smart working days per week.

Petra Schultheiss
HR Manager
phone: +41 61 326 66 15