Overnight, millions of us found ourselves at work...at home! For many, this was a complete novelty. At Res publica, we were already practising telework, in small doses, as if we didn't dare go too far with this somewhat incongruous form of work... at the time.
From day one, we organised a daily 30-minute meeting at 9am. To check in and give us a rhythm.
Very quickly, we wondered if others were experiencing the same thing as us and how they were organizing themselves. We contacted a few partners, Métis Europe, Terra Nova, the CFDT, Liaisons sociale Magazine and Management & RSE and launched one of the first major surveys on remote and confined work: #RemoteWork, I'm talking!
We discovered that the Covid crisis was causing, with telework, profound changes in the organisation of work and in working relationships, particularly between managers and their teams. While there were of course criticisms, the general impression was that we had an extraordinary experience which had all the characteristics of a trial to be transformed, as Gilles-Laurent Rayssac described in Métis Europe and what Terra Nova called the "telework revolution".
Then came the long awaited moment of deconfinement! Freedom returned with the good weather and work could resume its normal rhythm. With the same partners, we launched the survey #Monretourautravail,Jenparle! And how employers were prepared to welcome them. Above all, we wanted to know whether the promises made at the end of the winter, the increased trust between managers and their teams or the changes in work organisation had been kept.
The truth is that the end of the lock-in has been a 'returnto reality', and that it raises a number of fears, but also that the employees who answered our questions strongly demand that their companies organise more dialogue about work organisation, teleworking, work-life balance or quality of life at work. Telework has left hopes and regrets.
But in the end, the year 2020 ended with the conclusion of a National Interprofessional Agreement (ANI) on telework; one of its main virtues is that it invites companies, management and employees (with their representative institutions) to dialogue about a work organisation that would include more telework.
Meanwhile, at Res publica, we have been experimenting with "open bar" telework from May to October 2020: everyone has been teleworking whenever they wanted. We are in the evaluation phase before finalising a company agreement that will really change our relationship to work compared to what we were doing until 15 March 2020...