Avoid travel time, do the dishes at the same time as your meeting, work at your own pace… For most employees, a little remote work here and there is an undeniably cool practice. But the deal is growing into something even bigger. According to the report People at Work 2022: the Workforce View study*, more than half (53%) of 18-24 year olds in France would consider leaving their company if their employer required 100% attendance. And across all age groups, 36% of respondents would be willing to slam the door if teleworking wasn’t an option.
In just over two years, since its forced march in March 2020 with the first containment related to Covid-19, teleworking has therefore evolved from a discovery for many workers to a necessary criterion for hiring a worker. Caroline Diard, teacher-researcher in Human Resources Management and Law at ESC Amiens, looked at this development, which is as extreme as it is pronounced: “Teleworking has become the norm, even a sine qua non. Currently, with the recruitment crisis in several sectors, young people know they are better able to enforce their terms and teleworking is one of them.” Marina, 23, who responded to our call for testimonials, believes that “it there is no longer any question of working on site five days in a row. The teleworking criterion takes precedence over the salary criterion. »
In Search of Lost Time
But what excites you so much about working from home? The young woman has several arguments: “It is a consolation in life that allows you to find a personal balance. I also feel less pressured, I take my time more easily where I rush to finish on time to do all the tasks that await me at home… . I save a lot of mental burden and financially on the level of the trip. Amira, 23, puts it soberly: “Teleworking allows me to master work and private life, and working alone is better for me.”
And now, Caroline Diard comes with a new wave of benefits: “Teleworking allows you to have fewer distractions from co-workers or corporate life, and therefore better focus on the cash register. By maximizing efficiency and eliminating transport times, it provides more time for leisure.” Swearing that she doesn’t want to “do her boomer,” the expert notes: “Work is less of a priority among young people than previous generations . Saving time is all the more important to them. »
Freedom Equality Telecommuting
For Agnès Duroni, specialist on future of work issues, “the coronavirus has broken the glass ceiling of teleworking, giving employees much more freedom. And once you’ve tasted freedom, it’s hard to give it up. “For some employers, who feared this system like the big bad wolf, the restrictions proved that yes, employees – most anyway – are correctly working remotely.
Sophie Prunier-Poulmaire, Lecturer in Industrial Psychology and Ergonomics at the University of Paris Nanterre, puts the puzzle on its head: If teleworking has become so indispensable for job applications, it is mainly because face-to-face has lost its taste. In particular with the flex office, which according to a study** is aimed at by 55% of companies in 2021. “The employee has lost his fixed territory, his specific space, his peers and his habits,” notes the researcher. Teleworking would also tend to be self-sustaining: “The more employees stay at home, the less interest and added value the presence offers for those who go there, the more these local people will tend to telework.” , and so on, and so on further.
We must rescue the current soldier
However, face-to-face has undeniable advantages: collective, greater separation between private life and work, dialogue, easier exchanges and consultation… Advantages that are largely disappearing with the associated reduction in staff flex office and … to teleworking. Consequence for Marc, 25 years old and working in IT: The office no longer seems to have any advantages over at home: “Everything I do face to face can also be done remotely. Therefore, there is no point in wasting time on transports just to satisfy filling an office. Everyone wins: I work more and better. I’m less stressed, and ecologically it’s just obvious.
A feeling that Agnès Duroni develops: “Young people today no longer want to be presentist. Joining a company has to have a purpose, an added value. And the problem is that face-to-face loses interest over the years instead of gaining it.”
Caroline Diard confirms this growing disillusionment between young people and face-to-face: “Companies need to understand that teleworking is now a necessity for recruitment and that 100% face-to-face is a rejection criterion, as is low salary. “Same analysis with Sophie Prunier-Poulmaire:” Just look at the current recruitment crisis: gastronomy, hotels, services… Only professions where teleworking is impossible. We talk a lot about the subject of income, but this absence also plays a role. »
In the study cited above, young people are the most favorable age group for teleworking. A paradox when you know that they are the ones who have experienced the labor market the shortest. Not really, defends Caroline Diard, definitely not a boomer: “It is a tech-savvy generation that has completed many courses and distance learning courses during Corona episodes. Somewhere she has already experienced the worst of the distance with the lessons, it is normal that she also wants to have the advantages. Face-to-face teaching is often required for dual courses of study and internships, which is already perceived as an injustice. »
However, when remote working is desired by many employees, “they generally prefer two, three days a week, not 100%. Coming to the office, the physical presence of people, leaving home remain important issues for employees,” added Sophie Prunier-Poulmaire. At the same time, the world of work is also discovering its own: obligatory telework, indispensable face-to-face.