Economy "It's a real change of culture", explains Audrey Richard,...

“It’s a real change of culture”, explains Audrey Richard, president of ANDRH.

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The Parvis de la Défense, the business district of Paris. – Xavier Francolon / SIPA

  • This Wednesday, June 9 marks the gradual return of face-to-face employees.
  • But the executive, like many workers, wants to keep a share of teleworking.
  • A new form of “hybrid” work which must be assimilated by companies, as Audrey Richard, the president of the ANDRH, notes.

Since the first confinement of 2020, a new media chestnut tree has grown: the one which consists in saying that “nothing will be as before”. While this assertion has shown its limits – particularly with regard to the ever-awaited upgrading of “essential” professions – it remains relevant with regard to the development of teleworking.

If this Wednesday, June 9 marks a gradual return to the offices, the protocol decreed by the Ministry of Labor advises companies to keep “a minimum number of days of telework per week”. A hybrid organization – half in the office, half at home – that seems set to last. According to a survey of 270 human resources managers by the national association of HRDs (ANDRH), 68% of them plan to set up at least two days of teleworking per week after June 9. Audrey Richard, president of ANDRH, which has more than 5,000 members, returns to 20 Minutes on the challenges of the coming months.

From this Wednesday, June 9, the rule of “100% teleworking” disappears. What are your tips for supporting the gradual resumption of face-to-face work?

Audrey Richard, president of ANDRH

The important thing is communication. The government has set this date of June 9 for a while, so companies have been able to prepare with the social partners and inform all employees.

The period from June to August will be a period of transition. It will make it possible to deal with individual cases, for example by identifying employees who fear returning for health reasons. It will also be necessary to plan collaborative projects, moments of conviviality on site, because it is useless for employees to come back if they find themselves alone. The majority of them also want to alternate between face-to-face and teleworking.

Has this hybrid form of work become the new normal?

For “teleworking” functions, this is what is now expected by employees, social partners and candidates. Especially in terms of quality of life. What is recommended by HRDs is two days at home and three days at work per week, to maintain engagement and avoid dropping out.

Has teleworking become the perfect weapon of seduction to recruit employees?

Employees see that it facilitates their personal organization. Companies that would like to return to the world before, by totally banning teleworking, run the risk of losing candidates, or even employees who will go to more flexible companies. Companies have realized this: in 2020, around 24,000 company agreements on teleworking were signed.

How should managers adapt to this new way of working?

Many companies have already taken advantage of the aid offered by the State to pay for training in remote management. Hierarchical management is over. The employees expect a management which will trust, which will be based on autonomy. It’s a real culture change.

Is there still a fear of HRDs about productivity in teleworking?

We have all noticed that productivity has been more important in teleworking, with a point of attention on the schedules. People forget to eat lunch, to disconnect in the evening, with the risk of negative impact on health.

According to the ANDRH, 30% of the HRDs questioned had to manage the impromptu move of an employee to another region. Can these employees have sanctions?

No, as long as the employee can always go to his place of work. But the real question is, will he really be able to do it? Will he be able to be on time every day if he comes to work in Paris while living in Marseille? The employees concerned assure that they will manage. For us, this is not realistic.

Moreover, if we authorize that for someone, the colleague will ask us the same thing and afterwards, it’s complicated. If the company agreement does not provide for “100% teleworking”, then yes, there may be fault.

Are we moving towards a democratization of teleworking from another city?

For some trades, this could be done. But we are against telework five days out of five, we have seen all its limits: overwork, health problems, sleep, commitment. If “100% teleworking” takes place, this will not be the case for the majority of companies or sectors.

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