Published on Nov 16, 2023 at 11:10 a.m.Updated Nov. 16, 2023 at 7:21 p.m.
Since November 14, Groupama Immobilier employees have returned to work every day at the office in La Défense. The insurer's real estate subsidiary is testing this return to the world before the Covid crisis for three months, after having established, like the majority of companies concerned, two days of teleworking per week.
“We have a workforce of 130 employees, there are 30 who have joined the company since 2021 and who have never experienced ‘full time' face-to-face work [à 100 %, NDLR], justifies the general director, Eric Donnet, to the AFP. For them, it will be an experiment with what their colleagues have experienced in the past. They think we are dinosaurs! »
“We are going through a real estate crisis, he emphasizes, and when we go through a crisis… it’s difficult to stick together through Teams,” very common videoconferencing tool in business. Groupama as a whole “will be sensitive to feedback” of this subsidiary, he adds. “We will see if returning face-to-face has an effect on productivity or not. »
“What is at stake today is a big debate on the notion of productivity,” confirms Flore Pradère, office research and prospective director at the corporate real estate specialist JLL, who has conducted two international studies on the teleworking-office interface.
“At the start, we said to ourselves: tremendous time savings, (we will) optimize the space, people will be able to work more and perhaps we will save square meters. » From now on, “there is a little backpedaling, where we say to ourselves: what about transversality, the feeling of belonging, collaboration between teams and the capacity to innovate? “, she explains to AFP.
Globally, 87% of companies surveyed by JLL require a return to the office at least part of the time, a third have implemented an obligation to be present on certain days.
For Emmanuelle Lavignac, national secretary of Ugict-CGT (executives), “there is suddenly an employer offensive on the so-called productivity or efficiency of teleworkers”, but in reality ” nothing specific “ to attest to a decrease. In London, “very few people are fully teleworking”, but rather in hybrid work with “on average one or two days” teleworked per week.
Teleworking, very common among executives – in London, 52% of them have teleworked at least one day per week in 2022, according to INSEE, compared to 19% for all categories of employees combined – has largely imposed itself on favored by the pandemic, with an increase in company agreements regulating the practice.
” Open bar “
Even if employers “have not yet denounced any agreements” or renegotiated downwards, “we rather have feedback that company management would like to reduce” the use of teleworking, confides Jean-François Foucard, responsible for employment issues at the CFE-CGC executives' union.
Logical for Benoît Serre, vice-president of the National Association of Human Resources Directors (ANDRH): the agreements signed in 2021 are “triennial, so we are entering a phase of renegotiation”. Before explaining: “Teleworking suddenly appeared as a result of the Covid crisis in a system that was a bit ‘open bar'. DThere are more and more clubs that have decided to regulate, to ensure that people cannot freely choose when they come and when they do not, or to ban certain Fridays. »
“Every company, a cursor”
On the side of the unions, “the feedback from the field is rather that in certain companies, the agreements were not really respected, that is to say that people were doing more teleworking than allowed”, reports Jean-François Foucard. From now on, “we try to apply the rules”, but “teleworking is considered by employees as a given, so come back to it” maybe a ” irritant “, he warns. An observation shared by the national secretary of Ugict-CGT (executives): “It’s going to be complicated to go back. »
“We cannot imagine a world where there would no longer be teleworking”, decides research director Flore Pradère. Each company “will find its own cursor”, And “It’s a safe bet that it will be one to two days in 80 to 90% of cases. »
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