Teleworking: an increasingly common practice

05/11/2018 by Hicham HMICHE

Remote work

Telework is what exactly is telework?

Telework is a practice that began in the United States in the 1970s and then spread rapidly around the world to meet the demands of modern life. Designed to improve working conditions, it is based on new technologies and digital technology. It allows the teleworker to relocate his workplace away from his employer's premises. He then chooses to work from home without losing his efficiency or workload.

How to set up telework?

In France, the ordinance of 22 September 2017 has made it possible to better supervise and structure telework. It has also made it possible to facilitate the implementation of telework within the company by making its conditions more flexible.

Today, it is no longer necessary to include in an employee's employment contract the possibility of teleworking in order to claim to practice it. It is now sufficient that telework is provided for in the company's collective contract. It may be of an occasional nature or may be the subject of a simple mutual agreement between the employer and the employee. Currently, in France, two out of three workers are in favour of teleworking and 15% of workers have already used it.

For the company that decides to set it up, it remains first of all to define the type of telework best suited to its needs. These may be four different forms of telework.

The benefits of teleworking

If telework is becoming increasingly successful, it means that it allows the company to have more efficient and less stressed employees and that it offers employees a certain flexibility in the organization of work as well as great flexibility. Everyone seems to have something to gain.

Employees who telework from home can thus better reconcile their work with their family life. It is he who sets the organisation of his day with tailor-made schedules. It will still be necessary to ensure that the teleworking space is well defined or even a little far from home (verandah, cottage in the garden etc...) where the rest of the family lives.

Less stressed and therefore less often absent, teleworkers contribute to the smooth running of the company and to improving its performance. The teleworker's motivation must be increased, which has a direct influence on the productivity of the company on which they depend.

From a financial point of view, the company and the employee find each other. The employee will save time and money that he or she used to spend on travel. At the same time, the company saves on maintenance and operating costs related to the now unoccupied premises.

Finally, the teleworker who works from home must be trustworthy. This improves the relationship between employers and employees, and the teleworker feels more valued and recognized within the company.

The disadvantages of teleworking

Adverse effects:

While teleworking has many advantages, it can also have some perverse effects. Working from home can, in the long run, become a burden for the teleworker. His loneliness in the face of work and the lack of daily contact with the rest of his employees can be difficult to bear. He may then suffer from isolation, which can be harmful or even dangerous for his psychological equilibrium in the long term.

An adapted workplace:

Telework requires a workplace adapted to its activity and a minimum of calm at home to avoid being constantly disturbed by children, for example. This requires a restructuring of the home beforehand and can lead to development, insulation or construction work. Some teleworkers are building an extension to their home or installing a converted and connected cottage in their garden. Peacefulness therefore has its price to pay.

Organization and trust:

For telework to be able to take place in good conditions, this requires certain qualities that the teleworker must develop in order to be efficient and maintain the confidence of his employer.

You need to be well organized by setting clear and achievable daily goals that take into account the vagaries of family life. In addition, it is necessary to develop a sense of priority in the tasks to be performed. Telework requires being rigorous, orderly, organized and vigilant.

This is in the sense that it is sometimes difficult for a teleworker to always be efficient and that it is often complicated for an employer to closely monitor the work of a home-based employee.

In conclusion, some tips to see more clearly

In the context of total telework, the employee cannot remain too isolated. It is necessary to organise meetings and set up regular interviews with the employer for better follow-up. This can have an impact on the company's organization. Telework must be the subject of consultations between voluntary employees and their employer and must be adapted to each other's capacities to be effective. It should under no circumstances be imposed. It may be necessary to give more priority to alternating telework than to total telework, thus avoiding the excessively long isolation of the teleworker outside the company and allowing more regular contacts with the rest of the team as well as more frequent meetings with his employer.

Nevertheless, telework remains a great opportunity to experience a new and different work organisation. It makes it possible to increase the company's performance by offering employees a better quality of life and more professional equality. The motivation of the employees who practice it and their greater autonomy are assets to be highlighted in the context of telework. Teleworking is perfectly adapted to today's digital world and helps companies meet tomorrow's challenges.

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