Work patterns are changing rapidly as there is a strong desire for a real quality of life in office environment. The boundaries between professional and personal lives are increasingly fading. Indeed, due to the rise of new technologies and digital innovations in the workplace, both the way we work and our relationship to nomadism are being modified. How can companies benefit from the opportunities that arise from telecommuting and mobility?
1 / Mobility in the workplace: a trend that is gaining ground
Telecommuting: nomadism in the corporate world
Even if a societal evolution of work has been under way for some years now, the trend is now towards mobility at work. Telecommuting is the flexible way of organizing work that finds the best echo among businesses executives and workers. Teamwork, new digital equipment and the well-being of employees have de facto led to a rethinking of office environments and behaviors.
In France, the law has started to catch up in 2009 and is now framing contractual principles, employee commitments as well as obligations for companies.
Promising figures show a forthcoming and radical increase in mobility in the coming years
According to a survey, 77% of employees in France still go to work every day and the time spent at their assigned office has steadily been decreasing. Meeting rooms, external meetings, flexible office facilities are thus becoming all expressions of a new nomadic company already anchored in mentalities.
16% of employees in France have stricken an agreement on telecommuting with their employer. So far, satisfaction rate among employees who opted for remote working is over 95%.
2 / Telecommuting: the benefits of a mastered nomadism
Increased quality of life for employees
Considering the average journey time of an employee is 37 minutes in Paris region and 24 minutes in the rest of France, telecommuting gives inevitably back valuable minutes for employees. Overall remote working represents less transport, also says less fatigue and stress, moreover less pollution. The flexibility of distant work brings a balance between private and professional lives that has a positive and relevant impact on productivity.
Tangible businesses outcomes
Nomadism undoubtedly does a lot more than increasing workers’ well-being for companies.
Improved management and increased efficiency
Still being cautious about telecommuting, companies have yet to face the real managerial challenges that it imposes. This is a blessing in disguise. Remote workforce managers and HR departments have no choice but to practice human management based on trust. They owe to reinvent their very corporate culture and the sense of belonging in their organization. With telecommuting, efforts to keep in touch with employees, setting goals or planning, need to be permanent and lead to more exchanges and better communication.
Improved management and reduced costs
Telecommuting has a real economic impact for companies: better productivity of employees, less absenteeism and turnover can lead to a costs reduction in HR and IT costs. Given the fact that one of the most important operating costs for businesses is rent, telecommuting enables to achieve considerable gains in real estate through the sharing of offices.
3 / Efforts towards nomadism to be strengthened
The rise of technologies for “distance work”
To optimize and maintain telecommuting in a company, the use of collaborative and digital work tools is essential. Nomadism now extends to a multitude of occupations thanks to common and widespread tools such as laptops, smartphones, videoconferencing, tablets… Digital and technological advances undoubtedly make it possible to work remotely. The challenge to manage this flexibility still lies ahead though.
Any hinders to this long-term trend?
Telecommuting has long been well established among European neighbors. There is definitely a delay in the way French organizations have embraced this change. This could stem from the lack of telecommuting facilities closer to residential areas, the fear of isolation, or – even worse – a lack of innovative and indispensable digital tools to embrace changes in the workplace.
The banalization of digital tools has led to the constitution of a nomadic workforce. Communication and resources efforts have yet to be maintained to support this change and the transition of employees and companies into a world of mobility at work. The revolution is on though: by 2020, more than 40% of workers will be flexible workers!
L’espace de travail en Europe, Actinéo/CSA – Juillet 2014
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