By Hugo Berger : Why telework will survive Covid-19, in 5 points.
In 2020, apart from the policies for managing the global health crisis, few subjects were as polarizing as telework. Love it or hate it! Some could not do without it anymore, while others strongly disapprove of this way of working which has experienced an unprecedented boom due to the pandemic. But with the media announcing the imminent end of containment, the question arises: was telework only a temporary constraint or is it a change in the reality of workers and their employers? An international study conducted by Anita Kamouri, co-founder of Iometrics, tells us why the progression of telework has only just begun and that 25% to 30% of the workforce will be teleworking by the end of 2021…
1st: employees request it
Before the crisis 80% of employees already wanted to work remotely, at least occasionally. Currently 56% of workers are employed in a job that is compatible with this mode of work. The more employees are exposed to some form of telework, the more they appreciate and adopt this new paradigm. They tend to be happier, more engaged and less
stressed without the travel, traffic jams, office dress standards, etc., that are associated with it. The human capital so appreciates this mode of operation that more than a third would accept a reduction in salary to keep this option!
2nd: bosses are no longer afraid of it
The reluctance of corporate decision-makers to use telework is almost exclusively motivated by mistrust. They simply do not trust their employees if they cannot monitor them directly. This resistance is even more pronounced among managers who practice micromanagement… the reality is that we may “breathe down our employees’ necks”; we are no more certain of what they are doing than if they were at home in their slippers. For over 40 years, experts have been saying that “managing for results” is the best possible practice, and now even the most recalcitrant leaders are starting to see this. Results take precedence over a manager’s sense of control – period!
3rd: it’s disaster insurance
The devastation caused by the coronavirus on the economy is not about to be forgotten by organizational leaders, entrepreneurs and shareholders. Many companies have even had to shut down their business operations. Among all the compromises and pirouettes that the majority of companies have had to make to keep their ships afloat, telecommuting is undeniably the lifeline that has ensured the survival of many of them. This fact cannot be ignored by decision-makers in general and investors in particular. Integrating telework helps to better prepare for the future.
4th: it costs less
It’s well known, cost reduction is unanimously supported by the treasury managers. The massive use of teleworking has revealed that it is possible to be more productive while reducing our real estate holdings. This observation is supported by an office space occupation study that tells us that, in any case, face-to-face employees are at their posts only 50 to 60% of the time! If we add to this the savings on operating expense invoices from companies that have experienced teleworking, it is not surprising that financial managers are becoming more and more ambassadors for teleworking.
5e: it’s the green alternative
A fact that has marked the imagination in 2020, from the beginning of the global response to Covid-19, is the spectacular reduction of traffic and pollution in general. Of course, nobody is fooled, we
know very well that sustainable development is not yet the priority of the business world … however, the positive impact of telework on the environment, imposed by the crisis, made us glimpse the environmental benefits of our new practices which also result in an improved quality of life for the employee and a nice capital gain for the employer.
Let’s face it, we’re not going to stop teleworking anytime soon!
*Based on the international study by Anita Kamouri, co-founder of Iometrics.