Apparently, many employees use this to devote themselves to lazing around. (Photo: Drew Kaufman for Unsplash)
Cursed job! Oliver Schmouker’s segment to answer your most juicy questions [et les plus pertinentes] About the modern business world… and, of course, its flaws. Appointment to read Tuesdays And yet Thursdays. Do you want to participate? Send us your question to [email protected]
Q. – “Our boss warned us that the boss of our SME is going to stop teleworking. Explanation? “It won’t work”, without further clarification. I was undoubtedly shocked, because a large number of employees appreciate this good way to reconcile professional and personal life!” – Karin
A. – Dear Karin, After three years of extensive experimentation with teleworking it is time to take stock and it is clear that many CEOs are unhappy with it. Very unhappy too.
As proof, I cite the KPMG “2023 CEO Outlook” study conducted among 1,325 CEOs from 11 countries, including Canada, and working in 11 different fields of activity. It is specifically derived from:
– 64% of CEOs expect to return to full-time office work within the next three years.
– 87% of CEOs plan to soon introduce incentives to return to the office, for example in the form of bonuses, salary increases or promotions.
This intense desire to end teleworking once and for all may come as a surprise. Moreover, Andrew Yates, CEO of KPMG Australia, was surprised by the study himself: “I believed hybrid and flexible work was here, but I was wrong,” he humbly admits.
What do they accuse him of? Especially the decrease in productivity. And two more recent studies seem to back them up.
José María Barreiro is professor of finance at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico, Steven Davis is professor of economics at the University of Chicago, and Nicholas Bloom is professor of economics at Stanford University. Three researchers have compiled recent studies on the impact of teleworking on employee productivity. And the result is clear: “Typically, teleworking reduces productivity by 10% to 20%,” they concluded.
Why is this? According to the study, the reasons are many:
– Difficulties in communication and work coordination;
– failures of communication networks;
– Decreased creativity;
– A decline in peer learning and mentoring.
Add to this the revelations of another study conducted by Upgraded Points that reveals the fact that teleworking is the source of countless distractions:
– When they telework, 75% of people take the opportunity to consult their social media (preventing themselves from looking at it in the office).
– 70% online shopping.
– 53% watch TV shows or films.
– 32% plan their weekends or holidays.
That’s not all. Many employees take advantage of this to do something other than work for their employer:
– 72% take advantage of it to perform household chores (during their working hours).
– 37% go grocery shopping.
– 22% sleep.
– 12% go for a drink at the bar next door.
It’s simple, 1 in 10 employees (13%) admit they only work three or four hours a day when they telework.
Karin, allow me to ask you two or three questions: You don’t even recognize the abuse here? Don’t you understand that CEOs see red when they discover statistics like this? And they only want one thing: an end to it all?
Now, should teleworking be eradicated altogether? Should teleworking be just an excuse to attack with impunity? No.
Actually, it seems to me, the problem is not teleworking, but the way it is implemented. As a reference, a study by three researchers from ITAM, the University of Chicago and Stanford University would like to give the main explanation for the decrease in productivity caused by teleworking: increased communication problems and work coordination.
It is therefore appropriate to review the way we communicate within a team when its members are remote. To establish a stable link to each other, it removes the temptation to do something other than work (like “Others can’t see me, so I can continue my Netflix series on the sly!”), but this link is artificial and not experienced as false surveillance (the Big Brother effect, definitely to be avoided!).
How to achieve this? I admit I really don’t know. But I believe that among all the people reading this column, there are definitely some who have their own idea on the subject or who have already identified an interesting solution. So my appeal to everyone: tell me your quest, even if it’s not perfect! I will be happy to share the most relevant of them with everyone in a future column. Anyone know? This saves the day for Karin’s SME’s boss by giving her enough arguments to change her mind.