Teleworking: should new rules be instituted?

Has the Covid-19 pandemic marked the end of the metro, work, sleep? In March, the forced generalization of teleworking opened a new chapter in the history of office life. In France, 5 million employees in the private sector began to work from home, as best they could, overnight.

Eight months later, mass teleworking is a reality in the private sector as well as in the public service. According to the results of a survey, “45% of employees in the private sector have teleworked (Editor’s note: the first week of November) and 23% did so 100% of the time ”, recently assured Elisabeth Borne, the Minister of Labor. In 2017, by way of comparison, only 3% of employees practiced it at least one day a week, according to the Directorate for the Animation of Research, Studies and Statistics (Dares).

White collar versus blue collar

It is too early to say how far teleworking will continue once the epidemic is under control. But it’s a safe bet that it stabilizes at a higher level than the pre-crisis level. “We went to another shore and we will not be able to go back,” confirms Audrey Richard, president of the national association of HRDs (ANDRH).

Already, this upheaval in office life is at work. Many employees have become accustomed to videoconferencing meetings three times a day, appreciate not wasting their time in transport and enjoy a better balance between their professional and private life.

But this new reality also presents less positive aspects (demobilization, isolation) and creates fractures. In a recent study commissioned by the Ministry of Labor, 39% of working people say that their profession cannot be exercised this way. “Cashiers, delivery men, truck drivers, these people harbor a feeling of injustice”, annoys a trade unionist. “There is indeed a risk of tensions between white-collar and blue-collar workers, points out HRD Audrey Richard. Managers must find ways to guarantee the collective. “

“Guide to good conduct”

One thing is certain: the two confinements, and teleworking as a new rule, have raised a mountain of questions. Interprofessional negotiations, wanted in July by Jean Castex when he arrived in Matignon and started in September, is supposed to set things straight. The last meeting between employers and unions takes place this Monday. “It’s badly started, loose Philippe Martinez, the boss of the CGT. We want a binding agreement, the employers offer a simple guide to good conduct. “He lists a certain number of” hard points “:” the workstation, working time and the right to disconnect, compensation for meals “.

For their part, the employers’ organizations (Medef, CPME and U2P) have also defined a yellow line: no question of imposing new constraints on companies. On the contrary, they dream of making the legislation on work accidents more flexible. Why should the current rules apply “to the employee who works in his second home, his motorhome, or even on the lawn of the Tuileries garden? »Asks a negotiator.

The final round table could end in… a failure. Fortunately, many companies did not wait for the law, underlines Audrey Richard. What is being discussed at the national level is sometimes already in place on the ground. “

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