“Reluctance to telecommute may not survive the current crisis”

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The use of telework has increased sharply since the introduction of measures to fight the coronavirus epidemic, according to a survey published Wednesday by HR service provider Acerta. This sudden increase could have an influence on practice once the crisis is over, it is expected.

The share of employers who have introduced or relaxed telework has quadrupled in a week since mid-March, notes Acerta. More than six out of ten companies now use it.

“The increase is logical because the government’s call was clear: introduce telework where possible,” said Amandine Bosseret, expert at Acerta Consult. “At first it was only a recommendation, it is now an obligation, under penalty of sanction.”

For companies which already practiced telework partially, the adaptation was not very complicated. For the others, however, the procedures had to be put in place. “At the IT level, for example, but also with regard to employment contracts, operating rules, availability times, additional costs …”, adds Ms. Bosseret.

Given the current emergency, the implementation of telework sometimes precedes the conclusion of agreements in due form, notes the specialist, however. Putting agreements in writing is essential to prevent conflicts in the organization of work. These could also occur later when people are installed in this new rhythm, continues Amandine Bosseret.

The evolution was already underway, but the containment situation considerably accelerated the movement, according to the expert. “The reluctance towards telework could be overcome for both employers and workers after the coronavirus,” she concludes.

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