According to a study by Malakoff Médéric Humanis conducted in January 2018, a third of employees in the private sector, as in 5.2 million people of which 97% have a permanent contract, were telecommuting in 2019. This practice of remote working is becoming increasingly widespread, although French businesses are still rather fearful of implementing it. But here is an argument you can’t ignore if you are still hesitant. Did you know that working from home would improve the productivity of your workers by almost 30%? Here are 8 things to know about telecommuting before getting on board.
Remote working now benefits from a clear and precise framework (since 2017):
From the law passed on 22nd March 2012, the legal framework for working remotely wasn’t particularly thorough. And it’s only in September 2017 that a clear and precise definition of remote working was established. According to article L.1222-9 of the labour code, telecommuting means, ‘any form of work organisation in which work could be carried out by an employee on the premises of the employer, just as much as outside these premises, on a voluntary basis, using IT technology and communication’.
The labour code does not set any criteria or particular conditions in which to determine the possibility or the opportunity to implement remote working within in a business that benefits the employees. It is therefore up to each company to decide whether or not to operate in this way and to implement it.
Remote working operates on a voluntary basis for both the employer and the employee:
Even though it is included in the labour code, telecommuting is not an employee’s right. The company can refuse employees working remotely and there won’t be any way around this decision. Equally, it is possible that within the same business, one job description prevents the implementation of telecommuting, whilst other positions benefit from it. As such, employers can authorise certain collaborators to work remotely yet deny this from others, without this decision being discriminatory. In the case that remote working has been refused for an eligible job, the employer will however be required to justify their decision. Likewise, refusing an employee to switch to working remotely, while they were present on a daily basis on the business’ premises, cannot constitute a reason for dismissal.
As for which occupational categories could able to implement it, in theory, there is no limit. All professions that are able to put a home office into practice can make use of telecommuting.
Remote working doesn’t necessarily mean working from home:
Effectively, teleworking doesn’t necessarily mean that an employee is working from their own home. Rather, this can be working in a co-working space, a satellite office put in place by the employer, a café, a means of transport (e.g. train, plane).
The organisation of remote working no longer has to be outlined in the contract of employment or in an amendment:
Remote working can be put into place, whilst in keeping with certain rules, upon the employee being hired or thereafter. It is not therefore obligatory that remote working must be written in the employment contract which binds the employee to the company. Effectively, a simple agreement between the employee and the employer will do, whether this be written or spoken, and this has been the case since 1st April 2018. Although this agreement can be formalised at any point, it is nevertheless recommended to keep a written record authorising the employee to work remotely. Telecommuting may equally be the result of a collective agreement or a charter drawn up by the employer after consulting the social and economic committee.
Remote working can be permanent but also occasional:
Being in ‘remote working’ mode doesn’t necessarily mean working full time outside of the business’ premises. Work can sometimes be carried out remotely and other times in the premises of the employer. In this sense, remote working can be regular (particularly with set days and a schedule agreed in advance) or occasional. Unlike the home office set-up, this type of organisation is very normal. The telecommuting days will therefore be set in advance, if this is not a permanent agreement. In the cases where telecommuting is more occasional, employees would be out of the office 7 days a month on average.
The employer is no longer required to pay all costs relating to remote working:
Following the ruling on 22 September 2017, article L.1222-10 of the Labour Code has been modified. The employer is no longer required to pay all the relative costs of remote working. Such costs include: Internet, phone, software, repairing hardware if necessary, amongst others things.
The telecommuting set up allows costs of the company’s structure to be reduced:
Less employees working on site, means less surface area needed, and therefore a reduced rental cost. This also reduces the overall running costs (e.g. insurance of the premises, electricity, provision of a childcare center, a canteen etc.).
Telecommuting increases production and productivity by around 30% and more:
Businesses are starting to see the numerous benefits that remote working can have on their activity. In 2017, a study was carried out with 25,000 people across 12 countries by Polycom, market leader in collaborative solutions that help businesses to improve work of the team, its performance and its productivity. Polycom claim that confidence and autonomy instilled by the manager contributes to a better productivity of the associate in working remotely. For 98% of the people asked, the possibility of working in any location has a positive impact on productivity, inasmuch that employees can work in an environment where they are the most efficient. Furthermore, 92% of respondents also said that video collaboration improves teamwork.
Another survey, led by the Observatory of Working Conditions and of Ergostress (OBERGO) in 2018, confirms this trend. 85% of respondents note an increase in productivity and 84% an increase in the quality of work being produced.
About TeamRH :
TeamRH, a recruitment firm in Paris, is a leading player in the legal and financial sector. We work with a national and international clientele, helping them to strive for a top performance. Our consultants benefit from an extensive knowledge of the market and of legal professions in order to better understand their task. We also offer Career & Life Coaching sessions (stress, demotivation, professional strategies to handle burn out).
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