why many French companies are backtracking on teleworking

Having become the norm during the Covid pandemic, remote working has become less popular lately. Many French companies are reducing the number of teleworking days authorized per week, such as Amazon.



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In 2022, 19% of French employees teleworked at least one day per week. But remote work seems to be the victim of a turn of the screw by companies. Without calling into question the principle, American tech giants and many French tertiary, banking and advertising companies are reducing the number of teleworking days authorized each week.

This is particularly the case at Amazon France headquarters, in the Paris suburb of Clichy. The e-commerce giant went from 3 to 2 days maximum of teleworking per week. A measure decided by management but rather well accepted by the employees, particularly for Liliana who had even anticipated the return to the office: “I already come to the office most of the time. It allows for a more pleasant working atmosphere, but also to be more efficient: it’s easier to go see someone at their desk to ask them a question. question rather than sending him an email or a message.”

It is true that the company has made efforts to make the office attractive: gym and music rooms, relaxation area, unlimited coffee and tea. For Boris, from now on, the right dose of teleworking is 0%. He even has bad memories of these remote meetings that were not always effective: “We used all the creativity we had to try to make games and aperitifs online, but that never replaces physical meetings. I had to recruit people during Covid, young people for whom it was their first experience in the corporate world. Being trained on procedures and jobs remotely was very complicated.”

“Let the team meet again, so that there can be meetings”

There are still two days of teleworking authorized per week while trying to give employees latitude in the choice of days to allow for extended or early weekends. “What our managers try to do is find one day a week where the whole team is there,” explains Catherine Schilansky, Amazon France HR Director. Because ultimately, that’s also what we want: for the team to get together, for there to be meetings, discussions and then generally the other two days are left to discretion.”

In many companies, teleworking agreements will thus be renegotiated downwards and on the union side the CFE-CGC is rather favorable to this, assures Jean-Francois Foucard, confederal secretary in charge of the file: “Teleworking in a studio, working with several people in the same place… There are plenty of people who can have musculoskeletal disorders. Second subject: we now have a tool called video. taken in high doses it is harmful to health, at a given moment, we saturate our nervous system…” Last point highlighted by the union: tasks that would be done entirely by teleworking would be easier to subsidize, or even outsource.

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