POST-PANDEMIC WORK SHARING OR TELECOMMUTING

Work sharing/telecommuting

Teleworking is called the work activity that is carried out outside the company’s facilities, without the presence of the worker, through the internet, thus being able to exercise the work activity partially or completely remotely.

The initial idea was that simply a telephone line would allow you to work from home. That was the reality of the first teleworker in 1877, in which a Bank of Boston executive made decisions with his employees from home.

There are three types of telecommuting:

Autonomous Teleworking: These are those independent workers who perform their tasks through new technologies to develop their work, carrying it out anywhere.

Supplemental Telework: Workers who use a hybrid system in which they combine work in the office with remote work in the place they decide, an example would be remote work Tuesday and Thursday and face-to-face work in the office Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Mobile Teleworking: That in which workers use mobile devices to carry out their tasks. This type of telework gives total freedom to the worker to decide the workplace, they do not have a defined place.

The person who created the word telecommuting was Jack Nilles, in 1973. Teleworking has been gaining weight over the years, although not exponentially due to the tradition of physically going to the workplace. One of the factors that have exponentially driven autonomous work has been new technologies and their progressive improvements that have allowed easy communication, fast and comfortable.

Teleworking in pandemic and post-pandemic

The pandemic has been one of the factors that have driven teleworking. Its adoption has been improvised; most companies opted for the combination of face-to-face and remote work, seeing that their companies benefited from this unexpected event that “forced” them to have their employees work from home.

But looking at it in perspective, the current figure is actually the lowest since the lockdown, which reached 16.2% in the second half of 2020. Despite this fall, teleworking today is still at 8%, almost doubling the numbers registered pre-pandemic, which were 4.8% at the end of 2019.

A significant picture of this percentage increase is the exponential growth of video conferencing. As a result of the pandemic, people who used Zoom (a platform to hold virtual meetings) went from 10 to 300 million, 3000%. Other platforms also stand out, such as Google Meet, which has multiplied its downloads by 10 or Microsoft Teams with 75 million daily active users.v

Advantages and disadvantages

Teleworking has a series of advantages, among which the autonomy offered by working from the place that the person decides, the savings in moving to the workplace, both in time and money, and the reduction of the cost in infrastructures for the company. In addition, it can also be a cause of increased productivity, as the person is in a work environment that is more adapted to it. Therefore, it is the person who teleworks who decides where to do it and in this way will look for the most comfortable place that best suits their needs.

The objective of this article is not to give the advantage to teleworking, but we believe that in many cases it is a Win-Win, both for employees and for organisations.

· Greater efficiency, productivity, as well as the competitiveness.

· Greater flexibility.

· It promotes the reconciliation of professional, personal and family life. Which implies more work performance.

· And it contributes to the sustainable development of companies by reducing costs.

However, despite the advantages and benefits offered by this type of work we know that everything that glitters is not gold and here we expose the main disadvantages that are extracted from teleworking.

· The difficulty of working in a team.

· The elimination of the work environment. When working from home (or any other delocalised site of the workplace) you do not cooperate with co-workers physically or share space with them, especially considering that doing it telematically does not have the same warmth.

Large companies that are committed to teleworking

Large companies are joining this revolution of teleworking and one of them is Airbnb. Its CEO, Brian Chesky, reported that all his workers could work from the place they decided, which for him is a very efficient way to improve the productivity and work-life balance of many of his employees.

To this is added Cabify which is committed to a flexible work model. It is not a question of strict teleworking but of combining face-to-face work in the offices, with autonomous work from the place that the employee decides.

The company Campofrío is not far behind and its workers are offered the option of teleworking 3 days a week, completely optionally and workers who do not want to opt for this type of autonomous work can continue working from the offices.

Renfe, the Spanish multinational, is also committed to this work model, which is a great advance in the company. In addition, companies such as IBM, AON, Xerox, Repsol, Iberdrola, Microsoft, Vodafone, Dell, Sap and Amazon have also set their sights on this work format to move forward.

Large companies have embraced telecommuting sympathetically, as can be seen in their corporate releases and press releases saying that it is the working model of the future, due to the natural evolution in which we live. Thanks to the digital era in which we find ourselves, with all the software and hardware that has been developed to date and which we will enjoy…

It’s here to stay.

As a result of COVID-19, millions of people have had to work from home. And what is becoming increasingly evident is that the past situation has accelerated and reshaped the future of our way of working. Seeing employee performance smoothly despite what everyone assumed was to stay at home, business leaders have understood that productivity is not only feasible in the face-to-face context in the workplace and physical interactions, but can also be achieved remotely.

According to statistics, most people prefer to continue teleworking. A positive domino effect would be harmony and flexibility between the work sector and personal life. The point of balance between work and staff was the number one reason given by four out of five people who said that working from home had been beneficial to work and to their personal well-being. As people get used to balancing their work-life with their personal lives, people and companies will realise that the change to remote work will make the reevaluation and improvement of all current teleworking processes, and achieve happier and more committed templates.

If, as commented, the general well-being of the employee and the productivity of the companies do not enter into confrontation, but benefit from each other, we can certainly say that teleworking is here to stay.

Tips for teleworking

If you are clear that teleworking is the future or your company is one of those that bet for it, we leave you here some tips that you can implement in your work at home or any other delocalised space, to be more productive.

  • Start your work routines early. It is clear that you will save yourself the travel time, but by starting early in a disciplined way, you will see how the day yields you much more.
  • When working from home you must be strict with your schedules, and set a start time, lunch break and a finish time. Just as you would not neglect your personal aspects to go to the office do not fall into that trap of trying to do overtime.

  • Make a list of the tasks you must accomplish each day. Do it realistically and that you can fulfil, always start with the most complicated tasks.

  • Whether with your work team or boss stay connected, talk to them about the goals you have to meet during the day and in the week and above all keep them informed of your progress and listen to theirs. Try to meet often so as not to neglect your contact with your colleagues.

  • We all need a real break in which we completely disconnect from the computer and can relax for a while before continuing with our work. That’s why rest and have some time for yourself in the day.

Rise of business centres

Another implication of the growth and normalisation of teleworking is the rise of coworking spaces and business centres.

For years now, it has been possible to observe a changing need when looking for a workplace that adapts to the needs of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs who do not have a large amount of money and time to rent a large office. Therefore, if we also add as we have already indicated the rise of teleworking, the rise of coworking spaces and business centres is clear. For example, according to a study by Deskmap, in 2020 the estimated growth of coworking was 195% worldwide.

In addition, working in a business centre can also generate synergies, contacts and collaborations with the different clients of the centre and this is one of the key points for both entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs to decide to bet on working in them. Not to mention the added advantages that it can suppose at the level of cost reduction, added services, etc.

Conclusion

Telecommuting is undoubtedly here to stay. Due to the pandemic, many companies have been “forced” to adapt to the circumstances and opt for self-employment. A good proof of this is the rise of business centres or coworkings, which facilitate this transition to companies through more flexible and adaptable work sites to their needs offering comfortable and efficient options for workers

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