December 26, 2022
5 minutes

The keys to socially responsible hybrid work

Create a minimum base of 24 days of telework per year, set up a "telework title", or fight against the culture of presenteeism: Terra Nova formulates a series of proposals for a "socially responsible hybrid work", in a report published in October.

The keys to socially responsible hybrid work

The "think tank" (think tank) marked to the left starts from the observation that the remote work caused "at forced march" by the pandemic of Covid-19 "is there to last". "Thetime for urgency and improvisation is over, and it is time to take a step back," it adds.

Among its 86 proposals, the report suggests that a national interprofessional agreement should establish a minimum annual base for telework set at "24 days (as in Germany)", if the employees' tasks and the company's activities allow it.

Annual base of 24 days minimum

The authors plead for the creation of an "effective right to telework opposable to the employer". The aim is to give power back to employees in the face of companies that are sometimes reluctant to work remotely in a context of "presenteeism culture" and "sometimes strongly held misconceptions", the report laments. It would therefore be necessary to create "a form of social public order in digital matters that would be imposed on the conventional and contractual order", it says.

Telework title

He also mentions the creation of a "telework title" to "encourage companies to facilitate their employees' access to shared workspaces and thus give them the choice of where to work (on site, in a third place or at home)".

The report also suggests fighting against the culture of presenteeism "which is still too deeply rooted in our country" and recommends that employers who are struggling to recruit or retain employees should consider the place given to home-based work, which is "often underdeveloped".

The authors also note that "71% of company leaders have not provided training for managers" in practices adapted to hybrid work, pointing to a risk of a managerial transition that risks "becoming cluttered".

They also invite companies to review their "social rituals" (breaks, meetings...) to adapt them to hybrid work.

Among their many proposals, they also suggest annexing to telework agreements a right to disconnect or establishing the possibility for any employee to make known his or her unfulfilled wish to telework - within a monitoring committee in companies with more than 50 employees, with the unions elsewhere.

The main proposals of the Terra Nova report on telework : 

  • Implement a mandatory two-day per month telecommuting base
  • Implement a "telework title"
  • Attach a right to disconnect to telework agreements
  • Training managers in remote management
  • Better care for children of teleworkers
  • Prevent psycho-social risks linked to telework, in particular through the practice of coworking or the implementation of formal social rituals (team breaks, weekly meetings...)
  • To conduct a synergistic reflection on the Duty Free Schemes to be proposed and the flexible working time formulas. The two issues are indeed interdependent.
  • Structure downward communication so that teleworkers are not excluded.
  • In periods of pandemic and after a warning period, implement an administrative fine of €2,000 per voluntary employee not placed in telework.
  • On the other hand, a company management that would impose a 100% TAD (more than four days per week) could not do so without a positive and written opinion from the occupational physician followed by a reasoned opinion from the CSE when it exists or a company referendum.
  • Develop a policy on the coverage of business expenses related to telecommuting, which should not be a burden on employees.
  • Integrate telework into gender equality policies and action plans.

Telework: what legal framework in European countries?

According to the Terra Nova report, some European countries have legislated to impose telework on the employer. This is the case in Germany in particular, where a right to telework for at least 24 days per year has been introduced, if the employees' tasks and the company's activities allow it. In particular, German employers would be obliged to offer their employees the possibility to work from home if there is no "compelling business reason" to come to the company site. The Netherlands has also just enshrined telecommuting as an employee right. Since a July 2022 law, if a job can be done remotely, the employee will be able to request it, or even demand it. Lithuania and Portugal have also amended their legislation on the subject.

Hybrid work figures in 2022 

  • 71% of company leaders have not provided training for managers" in practices adapted to hybrid work
  • 23% of 18-24 year olds surveyed (compared to 14% of all employees) said they had already resigned as a result of a 100% face-to-face requirement, according to the "People at Work 2022" report
  • More than a quarter (27%) of 18-34 year olds say that flexibility of hours is what they look for most in a job.
  • Only 19% of French companies have now officially adopted a flexible working policy. 
  • 43% of men say they would resign if face-to-face training is mandatory, compared to 29% of women.
  • The sectors most sensitive to this requirement are media and information (62% of employees ready to quit if access to telework is closed) and real estate (56%).
  • Only 22% of companies consider not offering telecommuting opportunities on the positions they are looking to fill to be a disadvantage, while 47% of executives are reluctant to join a company that does not offer it, according to the executive job market survey published by Apec in January 2022.
  • More than three-quarters (76%) of HR managers believe that "offering hybrid work arrangements is important, if not essential"
  • 75% of employees believe that their company knows how to mix presence and distance to work well, according to the HappyIndex At Work 2022 survey, conducted by ChooseMyCompany among 50,939 employees.
  • 78% of them consider that hybrid work allows them to feel successful, an increase of ten points compared to 2020 according to the HappyIndex At Work 2022 survey, conducted by ChooseMyCompany among 50,939 employees. 

Edmée Citroën

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