Optics specialist asphericon shortens working hours from 2023 onwards
Jena, July 2022: As the first medium-sized company in the region, asphericon, a specialist for aspherical optical systems, is introducing a 36-hour week in 2023. Along with full wage compensation, this also corresponds to a wage increase of over 5% for all employees. After reducing working hours to 38 per week last year, the company will soon implement a new working time model as a way for the workforce to share in the company's success and for the company to become even more attractive for new employees.
asphericon as an attractive employer
The working day at asphericon ends after 7 hours and 12 minutes for employees as of January 2023. As the first photonic company in the Jena region, the technology leader in aspherical manufacturing is introducing a 36-hour week. The company is not just following a trend: The main aim is to increase the attractiveness of the company for existing and new skilled workers and academics. "It's certainly no secret that the competition for the best minds is already in full swing. We want to make asphericon even more attractive to a wide range of people. In addition to a great product, it takes a motivated workforce. The new working time model is a central aspect of our ability to remain an attractive employer in the future," explained Sven Kiontke, Technical Managing Director of asphericon. The company wants to continue to grow in the future and is already creating the framework conditions for this.
"Currently, we are on the right path. Customers appreciate our services, banks have confidence in our work and we collaborate very successfully with numerous partners. Furthermore, our employees have more and new opportunities than ever before. We want to make a difference here together," added Alexander Zschäbitz, the company's Commercial Director.
An expanded product range, increased sales of system solutions and the growing proportion of services relating to optics development have ensured full order books at asphericon. The company is currently looking, in particular, for skilled workers for the production area, as personnel manager Susann Kurschel explained. "The focus of our interest is on filling manufacturing-related job profiles, such as CNC machine operators, metrology technicians, quality control and coating employees. In addition to recruiting skilled workers, we specialize in integrating career changers with a strong technical understanding. Our in-house software significantly shortens the training period for new colleagues." In addition to increasing the size of the workforce, the company intends to ensure that it can continue to process all customer orders on time by offering additional working hours. "With the introduction of the 36-hour week, we are also offering our employees the opportunity to work more if there is a desire to do so. Of course, in this case the remuneration increases accordingly," said Kurschel.
Participation of all in economic growth
The basis for the new working time model is, in addition to general considerations for the further development of the company, also the positive economic development of the company. "We can consider ourselves fortunate and look back on a very robust H1 2022 in terms of our sales growth," Zschäbitz said. “Our order intake doubled in comparison to 2021 and has enabled us to make investments in our Jena location. All colleagues should benefit from this growth." With full wage compensation, the reduction in working hours corresponds to a wage increase of over 5%. But that's not all. The new model is seen by asphericon as a continuation of existing measures. "The genuine 36-hour week ties in with a number of benefits already in place, for example performance-based pay, above-average nighttime bonuses, numerous fringe benefits, such as company car/bike, daycare and after-school care allowances, continuing education allowances and much more," continued Zschäbitz.
As an independent and recognized specialist, asphericon is the leader in the field of aspheric optical systems. The basis of production is a self-developed and patented technology for controlling CNC grinding and polishing machines. With this equipment, which is unique worldwide, small quantities up to large series can be produced with a very high degree of accuracy. asphericon accompanies its customers from optics design, manufacturing and coating, full-area interferometric measurement and documentation up to the installation of optical assemblies as well as their optical characterization. On this basis, asphericon, with locations in Jena, Liberec (CZ) and Sarasota (USA), serves a growing global customer base. The company is regarded as an enabler of numerous applications, e.g. in laser material processing (laser cutting, laser welding), in aerospace technology (camera systems for the observation of earth) and in the life sciences (ophthalmology, laser surgery).
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Dr. Thomas Hegenbart