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Remote Working, the new professional El Dorado

June 29 2021
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The telework was born in the 1950s in the United States thanks to the work of Norbert Wiener on cybernetics. It is however a notion that seems to us rather recent due to its generalization during the health context related to the COVID-19. Before that, only 3% of French people were working remotely at home regularly, at least once a week (according to the Dares, the statistical service of the Ministry of Labor, published in November 2019). In a difficult health context, many companies had to adapt quickly to this new work organization and LINAGORA is no exception.

So what is telecommuting? Are there several ways of teleworking and why choose this way rather than another? Today, we tell you everything.

What is remote working?

First of all, let’s set the legal framework of telework in France.

Since March 2012, telework has been included in the labor code. It refers to “any form of work organization in which work that could have been performed on the employer’s premises is performed by an employee outside these premises on a regular and voluntary basis using information and communication technologies within the framework of an employment contract or an amendment to it.”

According to this definition, only employees can telework and it is essential to be able to communicate one’s work by all means of communication available thanks to the new technologies.

In addition, telework must be a will of the employee, it cannot be imposed.

Finally, it is possible to telework from home (80% of the cases according to the ONISEP) or in a third-party location like a co-working space.

Different ways of teleworking

a. Ad-hoc Telework

One-off telework, as its name suggests, is intended to be occasional. It occurs in exceptional circumstances such as strikes or a global pandemic, among others. This type of telework is tolerated but is not the preferred and majority mode of work in the company.

When there is no other choice.

b. Frequent telework

Frequent teleworking is not dictated by the vagaries of daily life. It is desired and practiced by 3 out of 10 employees in France. Frequent teleworking is when one or more days are dedicated to working outside the office.

More and more employees are asking for it (9 people out of 10 would like to have one and a half days of telework per week).

c. Remote and Nomadic

It is the opposite of punctual remote work. This mode of telework is the most extreme because it implies being in 100% telework and to come to office location exceptionally (for a customer meeting for example).

d. Flexiwork

And finally, we have the hybrid version of telework, an “à la carte” telework if you like. This is the organizational model that consists of arranging the working conditions to promote flexibility. This type of organization does not imply regularity. The place chosen to work will depend on the context or the tasks to be performed.

There is a particular case of itinerant work which implies permanent movement as for certain sales representatives for example who, depending on the areas to have prospected, will work from the office or will be on the road.

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Why choose to telework?

a. On the company side

Although some companies may have been reluctant at first, the advantages of teleworking are many.

First of all, there is an economic advantage, with a significant reduction in overheads and expenses (fewer space costs, fewer transportation costs, fewer energy costs). Usually, the rent is the second-highest expense in the company, so offering a few days of telecommuting allows to reduce the number of workstations and consequently the rent.

Then, there are advantages related to human resources, in particular, an increase in the productivity of the employees is observed. A French study by Obergo and CFDT Cadres shows that 85% of employees feel more productive when teleworking. This increase can be explained by the time saved due to the absence of transports, which can be reallocated to high value-added tasks.

As for motivation and involvement, it would also be on the rise. This can be explained by the relationship of trust between the employer and the employee, which encourages the latter to give the best of himself. Despite the isolation that is a real risk and the distance from colleagues, the social benefits of teleworking are greater. The improvement of the QLW (Quality of Life at Work) and the balance between professional and personal life would allow to increase the foresight concerning the projects and to have more peaceful professional relationships.

According to the study carried out by Malakoff Humanis, nearly 51% of managers think that telework contributes to reducing absenteeism.

Finally, recruitment, which is a real challenge in sectors like ours, is greatly facilitated. On one hand, because the geographical criterion is no longer an issue. On the other hand, because today’s talents want more flexibility in their work, having a company that favors telecommuting allows to capture the best talents. But also for disabled workers who can be recruited even if the premises are not adapted to the standards.

b. On the employee side

Telework being a win-win situation, the employee can also feel the benefits of telework. Starting with the reduction or absence of travel time. More equality between employees and less fatigue and stress. The working hours are also more flexible, ensuring a better work/life balance.

Telecommuting also allows employees to gain autonomy and responsibility. Each employee organizes his day according to his schedule and priorities. Work is also more efficient because employees are in a calmer environment, are less interrupted and do not suffer from the noise pollution that can be felt in an open space. Concentration is therefore optimal. Nearly 90% of employees feel more autonomous when working from home. This organization favors encouraging employees to make decisions, it is good for morale and saves the company time in certain managerial burdens.

Finally, according to the European Economic and Social Committee, telework is also a necessary condition for greater equality between men and women, allowing a better distribution of domestic and parental tasks, which are often taken on by women.

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At LINAGORA, how does it work?

At LINAGORA, we have for a long time been in favor of the on-site method to promote social bonds between our employees. Like many companies, the arrival of COVID-19 allowed us to put our organization in perspective and to try teleworking.

Today, we are still at a stage where we are looking for the best organization for our employees. We have experimented with remote à la carte, which means being able to choose the place of work according to the employee’s wishes. However, with the relaxation of government recommendations, we also feel necessary to take the time to meet for a few days in person and to strengthen the social bond, if only to give the latest arrivals a chance to discover the wealth of profiles that constitute LINAGORA.

To strengthen our bond, we have developed weekly meetings to get together at least once a week, either face-to-face or by video: these are the Fantastic-Meeting. During these meetings, we share company news.

Concerning our tools to better collaborate, we use tools that we develop such as Twake, our digital Workplace or Linshare for file sharing. Of course, other Open Source software complete our office suite: Jitsi for video conferencing or OnlyOffice for document collaboration (both included in Twake by the way - https://twake.app).

We know that at LINAGORA our performance depends on the environment that surrounds us. Sometimes, team meetings allow us to move forward more quickly and other times, we perform better in a quiet environment, facilitated by telecommuting. Finally, we believe that by telecommuting and trusting our employees, they are more fulfilled, more motivated and more successful.

Of course, some situations require adaptation, such as when our experts are working at a client’s site. In this case, the client’s policy applies.

Our commitment to #GOODTech4Good takes on its full dimension in the search for the best possible organization for our employees and our company.

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