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New Work – New ways of collaborating

Digitalisation is fundamentally changing the way we work. It's unlocking new opportunities in temporal, spatial and organisational flexibility.

Work in times of digitalisation

Nearly everyone is affected: digitalisation is fundamentally changing the way we work. It's unlocking new opportunities in temporal, spatial and organisational flexibility. Advancing digital connectivity makes it possible for people to have more say in when and where they work. Megatrends such as urbanisation and globalisation are spurring this development.

But digitalisation is also changing working methods, organisational principles and management models. Successful internet and startup companies are examples. They feature flat hierarchies, a high degree of personal responsibility amongst employees, a strong culture of innovation and a consistent focus on client benefit.

Around the world, new forms of collaboration are being tested. The paradigm shift is particularly clear in project and employee management. When it comes to managing projects, it has become clear time and again that things not going to plan is more often the rule rather than the exception. That is why there has been a rise in agile ways of working using iterative process phases based on self-organised, responsible teams. This in turns impacts employee management, because an agile company puts its faith in a high degree of personal responsibility amongst employees, in creative freedom, and in managers acting not as supervisors, but as supporters of their teams.

However, rolling out 'new work' in a company doesn't happen overnight. Hard-earned habits and adopted behaviours have to be put to the side and replaced. Which means this 'new work' is much more than a change in methods, structures and processes; it is part and parcel of developing a company's culture and a shift in values, beliefs and priorities.

The challenge: being a pioneer

Aareal Bank Group sees the application of 'new work' principles as a critical precondition for succeeding in the digital age. For several years, it has been looking extensively at the structures and contents of the working world '4.0', and laid the foundation for new work processes within the Group with its "Aareal 2020" programme for the future.

For example, agile ways of working are increasingly common in the Aareal Bank Group so that market-ready, innovative solutions can be developed even faster. These include concepts such as Design Thinking, SCRUM and Lean Startup. After Aareon set up the Aareon DesignLab in 2016 and established the Work for Future (W4F) programme, the first open lab took place in 2017. The format, which has been instituted across the entire group, serves to spark ideas on current topics and facilitate a direct exchange of information.

Agile working at Aaeral Bank Group

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In addition to partnering with and investing in startups, the Group-wide startup programme also makes it possible to identify new ways of working and cultures, and to experiment with them – and implement them where they have had success. In this way, the startup programme acts as a platform for the exchange of ideas and innovations.

Objectives of Aareal Bank Group's start-up programme

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Business Speed Dating

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Particularly in the Consulting/Services segment, Aareal Bank Group enjoys extensive and long-standing digitalisation expertise. The BK01 procedure represents more than fifty years of digitalisation processes for payment transactions developed by Aareal Bank which it has channelled into efficient services for its clients. Aareon Smart Word is a further example of this digitalisation expertise: "With this digitally connected ecosystem of consultancy, software and service offerings, we have re-created processes related to the home," said Dr Manfred Alflen, Chairman of the Management Board of Aareon AG. “Our applications help property companies reduce costs; they facilitate new business models, and provide more comfort in the dialogue between tenants and staff members of housing industry companies. All key business processes – such as letting, customer service, or maintenance – are supported digitally, and are available using mobile devices, via the exclusive Aareon Cloud. In this way, the Smart World is not only the result of agile ways of working, but also helps our clients to be more agile," Alflen continued.

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Aareon Smart World

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Meeting with customers at the EXPO REAL

The Aareal Portal, which was launched in a pilot phase in 2017, has also taken a similar approach to Aareon Smart World. The portal's objective is to completely digitalise the document-supported client-bank relationship and make wide-ranging self-service functions available to clients. As part of this, it offers users numerous banking functions such as batch orders, a SEPA mandate administration and a recipient list. Information such as account statements in digital form are made available via an integrated inbox. The high degree of user-friendliness and security are key features distinguishing the Aareal Portal, which will be expanded steadily with additional services over the years to come.

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You immediately understand how the Aareal Portal works. What I like best: I can see in real time what happens on the accounts. In this way I can meet my clients' expectations at all times. Quite comfortable indeed! André Höhne Wohnwert Immobilien-Management GmbH, Frankfurt

Online corporate banking – in 50 seconds: experience the Aareal Portal and the Aareal Sign app for authorising payments:

In becoming involved with the Immomio startup during the last financial year, Aareon expanded its service portfolio to include a new offering that impacts working processes. Immomio software qualifies potential tenants automatically via an online application process, using a proprietary matching algorithm. This means that the tenant search process is almost entirely digitalised, thereby significantly reducing the administrative cost for property management companies and property investors.

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