What is teleworking the end?

For years, teleworking has been expected as deliverance, especially in France where the delay on other countries was notable.But now that the pandemic has led to its generalization, here is that all the evils are lent to it and that some see in it absolute evil.

For them, the generalization of telework would be the end of many things that they consider positive for the company and the employee, even essential.And so everything that would go against would be "against nature".

We are of course talking about an exclusive or high dose telework, a "limited" telework allowing to limit the negative effects ... as positive.

In this article :

The end of the informal


In a company, remotely, any transmission of knowledge or information that could happen by chance or opportunistic is no longer happening.

We have also seen that companies that had little or not formalized processes have struggled to go away remotely and, even worse, to on an employee.Please note: when I speak of formalized process I am not talking about rigid process, simply to write the way things are happening, which does not exclude flexibility.

In the same way, the corporate culture no longer diffuses as naturally over time by immersion of the employee in the work environment.

The end of the office


So of course, in the companies that have decided to switch to a complete telework and have an office (or even have never had), the question does not arise.

For the others, the office will stay but its use will change.It will be used for meetings, shared moments, reception of customers but not (or little) to work, at least not to work alone in its corner.

So this is the end of the office where people were aligned with open space to do, side by side, and often without talking about the things they can do elsewhere.The end of what I call chicken breeding in battery.

On the other hand, it will become more a place of collaboration, life, and socialization.

As long as we talk about the subject, I am not sure either that it is the end of office real estate in the centers of major cities.It will certainly be less large areas and this will allow companies that have fled to the suburbs for budgetary reasons to return to the center because more practical for employees, customers, or even more prestigious.Having to accommodate 50 people instead of 500, it changes everything.

The end of the culture of presenteeism


There are managers who think that people do not work when they do not see them, which has a consequence: they remain in the office for a long time to make believe that they work and in any case do not leave it until their managerdid not leave.

You might think that teleworking was going to permanently kill this practice of another age but nothing is less certain.With the explosion of telework, we witnessed the proliferation of digital surveillance tools.

So it's a question of culture and my point of view, the right answer to a bad question (or vice versa) but you have to expect to see very different things happening depending on a company trusts orNo to his collaborators.

The end Busy-Ness


The "busy-ann" is the art of being busy or showing that you are.It is often opposed to the "business" which consists in really working.It often goes hand in hand with presenteeism.

Teleworking changes the employees in a culture of the result, which should definitively end an end.

That said, with surveillance tools, even an unsuitable way of scoring productivity, we can have doubts, but I remain convinced that their adoption will be a minority.

But anyway, I am convinced of one thing: employees will be more judged on what they produce than on the fact that they show that they are doing something.In a way, it is also the triumph of the obligation of result on the obligation of means.

The end of managers

It depends which

About anything and anything is a pretext to predict the disappearance of managers.But no, generalized telework will not cause their disappearance.Finally ... not all.

What we learned during the different phases of more or less forced telework that we have known lately is that:

Once again, this is not linked to teleworking but the passage of distance from the organization just highlights subjects that already existed before.And this subject is not that we must or can do without managers but, like "bullshit jobs", of those who have no other value than transmit information, do control and reporting.

It remains to know the extent of the phenomenon.What was possible and necessary during an exceptional period is not necessarily tenable in the long term and I do not think that a company with leaders systematically in direct contact with the land is durable.At one point, they will need shock absorbers between them and the field to be able to resume a little height.

But it is certain that the uselessness of certain roles was proven and that teleworking will accelerate their disappearance.(I'm talking about roles, no people).

The end of personal life


What we have heard a lot lately was that employees could not make the difference between their professional life and their privacy, to cut with work and wondered if "they were sleeping at the office or worked in their living room».

It's true, but I do not agree with the analysis which consists in linking telework and end of personal life.When I spoke with people concerned by the problem, I realized that for many, once their working day is over, they had nothing to do.Of course they can watch TV, surf on Facebook…. But it is not real objectives, centers of interest, passions but hobbies.

De quoi le télétravail est-il la fin?

Conversely, that did not seem to be a problem for people who had real goals.Take pleasure in cooking, doing a sports session, reading a book on a specific subject, finishing watching a specific series, writing for a blog, painting, taking care of your children, finally classifying your travel photos….

As far as I am concerned, I know that I was not affected by the problem because, precisely, at the end of my work day I said to myself "great, I will be able to advance on this or that subject", whichwas a strong incentive to cut and move on.On the other hand, I understand that when you end a day of telework to find yourself in front of a kind of vacuum, it is tempting or easier not to disconnect.

In my opinion, high intensity telework is not the end of personal life but an incentive to have one.Before, you could satisfy yourself to just leave the office and go home to do nothing, there we will stay at home or go out to do something.Because teleworking will not always rhyme with fire cover and confinement and we have seen it at the end of the fire cover: people who used to be content to go directly home after their work day have taken the habit ofGoing out for a walk, go have a drink with friends etc after a day at home.

Teleworking is not the cause of the absence of an active and intense personal life, but it makes life more difficult for those who do not have one.So it's not the telework that is to blame but the employee who has to learn to cultivate his personal space.

The end of the feeling of belonging to the company


The employee has different levels of sockets to cling to his business, to develop his commitment ... or his disengagement.

These are the company, the team in which we work, their manager, the projects on which his work.Remotely, it is obvious that the link with the company will distend and that the other factors will take an increasing importance.

I am quite convinced that in intensive teleworking, the importance of being part of a given company will still count in relation to social benefits, to its social and salary policy, compared to the careers it offers.But we are in the rational and the objective, not affect and the subjective.

Affect and subjective will be at the team, manager and project, the task.The role of the manager in the development of commitment will therefore become essential.

Employees' commitment will not necessarily decrease, he can even increase according to the interest of what he is doing, his manager and his relationships with his direct colleagues.On the other hand, everything will be called into question if the manager changes, if the employee is assigned to another project ...

The commitment will not be less strong but more provisional, questioned more regularly, to rebuild more frequently.

The mission and the context in which it takes place will be more important than the company for which it is done.We will come to accomplish something interesting with people with whom we want to do it, we will want to leave when it is done or when people are less motivating, inspiring, nice.

In this context, I agree with those who say that employees will behave more and more like freelance: operate in the spot, by project, and want to move on as soon as their work context and their environment asimmediate work no longer suits them.

The end of the wage


I just talked about freelance and that makes the link with something else I have heard a lot: teleworking is the end of wage earners and companies will only take free.

Already, let's put things in context: for many people freelancing is a choice that they have made for a long time before the pandemic.For them, freelancing is chosen and not suffered.

Then, who says Freelancing does not say degrading work, poorly considered and poorly paid.On the contrary, this is increasingly concerned very specific expertise on critical missions.

Finally, precisely, companies did not wait for the pandemic and teleworking to "varietize" the part of their non -essential and non -critical workforce if that was part of their strategy.And conversely, they want to "secure" their most critical skills and retain them.

But I would like to draw your attention to the opposite phenomenon.There were employees, and often among the most experts, who could no longer do the train metro-work-dodo, who wanted to change the living environment and planned to resign to build a freelance future ... that teleworkingencouraged to remain employees by allowing them to keep a job they like and have abandoned against the heart while exercising it in a frame they love.

Teleworking is not the end of wage earners, far from it.It should not be confused with policies that have already existed for a very long time and will always exist until we see any limits.

Frelancing will continue to develop and teleworking has nothing to do with it.

The end of employment in France


Another intention of intention that I often hear: telework will make it possible to recruit cheaper employees based abroad.

Let's be honest: I am sure that some people think about it.But I can also tell you that some of the companies who tried ended up backing up because it is not as simple as it looks and that they often lost so much as execution thatEven the savings made were not enough to justify the approach.

But what I also saw is that the possibility of getting rid of borders has made it possible to recruit rare skills.There, we are in a logic of skills, no salary economy.

But indeed, this also interests French employees who have "desires from elsewhere" and who can thus live their expatriation project without leaving their job.Win-win.But that will only concern a minority.

The end of creativity


If we disregard the personal context (accommodation, children at home ...) work from home alone, on individual tasks, is quite easy.Collaborating is more difficult, coordinating with many even more and, on the other extreme of collaborative uses in telework, we find creativity.

Being creativity in many, even in the office, has never been spontaneous and requires a certain context, the implementation of certain management and facilitation techniques and tools.

From a distance, it's even more complicated.In too many companies we try to redo online what we were doing in the office in the same way and it doesn't work.

The good news is that many tools allow today to animate and facilitate online creativity meetings.But they are not yet disseminated enough and sometimes require a change of approach and state of mind that has not yet been done.

Being creative with several and distance is possible, but it requires a change of practices that will take a little time.

The end of introverts


According to some, teleworking and distance meetings suffocate certain personality types that can no longer exist, weigh, be heard.

I think it's quite the opposite.

Teleworking leads to a multiplication of formal and informal, synchronous and asynchronous, oral and written channels.

What I see is that people who previously did not manage to speak in a meeting and who, today, exist more in chats and "written" canals which allow them to better weigh theirWords and take their time before expressing themselves.

What I see is that in remote meetings, we are more vigilant in the distribution of speech times than at the office, we interrupt less or not those who speak.

Reunion at a distance also ceases to give an advantage to those who traditionally impose it by their physique or their bowl.As a friend told me recently, "from a distance I let me speak and no one sees that I barely do 1m60 next to my neighbor of the table which is 1m90".

So rather than the end of the introverts, I will talk about the end of the big mouths.As the study mentioned in this article shows, remotely we exist by its ability to get things done, not by its ability to occupy space.

The end of a certain type of employee


Today, there is an image of Epinal of the ideal employee.He is attached to the company, likes to be with his colleagues, it is a "team player" more than a "solo player", we love him a little sensitive but not too much (which proves that he is "human ").

This type of profile has no problem to telework but not 100% and not for too long.Then he feels bad, suffers, wants to come back to the office, wants to see his colleagues otherwise than on a screen.

Some are experiencing real distress today, suffering, before which their employers cannot remain inactive.But that also impacts their work if they are not at the point where the work stoppage was necessary.

At this stage, companies cannot save a reflection on the qualities that make an employee effective in long -term telework."All terrain" employees, who work less or not affect, make their job effectively with a level of "professional" interaction with their colleagues but do not need a social life at work.

In recent days, I have heard two managers in different companies tell me about the same thing: "Given the context of current uncertainty I will need people capable of crossing turbulence and storms without being affected, aLittle different from those I was recruiting so far.A little less "alive" in the collective but solid in the distance ".

Of course we are talking about a given context.But with hindsight it is obvious that:

The end of the company place of socialization


Logically if no one returns to the office anymore or that only those who want it will be difficult for the company to remain the place of socialization it has always been.

This does not mean that it will not be anymore but she will have to learn to be otherwise, to bring together her collaborators not to work but to get to know each other and live things together, to create moments of virtual meeting (evenIf the right scale to do so is that of the manager).She will end up resuming a role but nothing will ever be like before.

And to give you the bottom of my thought I think this is excellent news.I have always been worried by people who only had their business in their lives.Outside the business and colleagues no social life for them, hence a real teleworking discomfort, real trauma in the event of job loss and a tendency to refuse to leave your business for bad reasons.

If teleworking results in a decrease in the place of colleagues in the employee's social life and that it encourages them to have a life "to their own", "by themselves" alongside their work I think that will be an excellent thingfor them.When professional life caught up which makes resilient is what we have next to work.

The truth: few people know what telework is

With almost a year of hindsight it is easy to say that telework, if it worked well, was not the expected dream either.But you have to be careful not to make too hastous conclusions: almost no one (at least in France) knows what telework is.

The only ones who really know it are those who practiced telework before the pandemic.

For the others they simply experienced a relocation of their work from the office to the home without organization or preparation, under sanitary constraint, and with, most often, the ban on having a life out of their accommodation when they did not work.

Teleworking is not a simple HR benefit, a gift that we give to deserving employees or according to their status in the company but a mode of production.

A mode of production is planned, tests, requires an individual and collective practice.None of that happened.Everything has been done in the greatest improvisation.

So before projecting on the effects of long -term telework you still need to know what we are talking about and have experienced it in an organized and normal context.In France this is almost no one.

The truth (2): the end of a paradigm

I do not think that, if we start from the principle that teleworking will become otherwise the standard, at least one possibility largely offered to all, we can judge the effects or in any case say if they are positive or negative in the lightWhat was business and business life so far.

The "family" side of the company is no longer what it was and in any case more what people are looking for.They know that they will no longer have a career in a single business.

Do you have to be in the business to work?No, for a large number of professions.It may seem obvious, anecdotal, but it determines a whole design of management, the role of the company, even offices.

The company no longer has to provide a workplace.A person can work without being seen.The office is no longer intended to accommodate (piled up?) Employees so that they are working under the supervision of managers.

We talk a lot about feeling of belonging and it is in my opinion interesting to think about the senses of words.While this suggests the will of an employee to belong to something, to a collective, this often hides the company's will to own its employee, time, life, attention, exclusively.Revolved conception at a time when precisely, the demand for balance between personal and professional life is increasingly strong, and when the company is asked to stay in its place to leave the personal life ofWhat to take his own.

The idea that we have of what is good or bad for the company or the collaborator comes from a construction which has almost a century and which is no longer relevant to say what is good or bad todayHui.

The expert:

Bertrand Duperrin is Head of People and Delivery for Emakina, a digital agency present in 13 countries.Throughout his career he has officiated at the crossroads between technology, the performance of talents and the performance of the organization.Previously he has held director positions in the world of management consultancy or in software publishing.He is also passionate about the travel industry in general and the air in particular.

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