62% of French people will want to telework more after the lockdown

Paul Pouhin
6 min2020-04-14

Key findings:

  • The main reasons: to save time in transport (38%), to be able to work in peace (27%) and to organise themselves more freely (19%)
  • Nearly 1 in 2 French people (45%) fear that their employer will oppose it because of a culture of presenteeism (43%) or lack of trust (17%)
  • HR: opening up to telework is a real opportunity for companies... and opposing it a real threat!
  • 79% of respondents are even willing to sacrifice their home office for more home office
  • 43% of French teleworkers still miss the collective emulation of the office

Home... Sweet Home office!

"Our first survey after a few days of confinement showed that 76% of French people who were forced to telework were already missing their offices. After four weeks of national experimentation with home office, the French have not only become accustomed to working from home, but they will want to do so more often after the confinement" comments Frank Zorn, co-founder of Deskeo. Indeed, 62% of those surveyed clearly expressed the desire to continue working remotely after the coronavirus episode. Only 12% do not wish to change their habits and are waiting patiently to return to a normal work rhythm.

N.B.: In the survey on containment published on 30 March and carried out on the same panel, it appeared that 89% of respondents were not in the habit of teleworking. This question was only asked of the 70% who said they worked remotely during the lock-in period. This bias explains the discrepancy with the answers to this new question.

Teleworking: more time, more productivity and more autonomy

The French hate wasting time in transport. As a result, it is this gain that more than 38% of them appreciate most in teleworking. At the same time, 27% value the fact that they can work in peace and quiet to be able to concentrate. "This is proof that offices are not adapted to employees' needs. The open space encourages exchanges, but in order to concentrate, employees also need to be able to be in a quiet place. Fortunately, there are tried and tested solutions" says Frank Zorn.

Companies need to think of their workspaces more as living spaces and take inspiration from what is done at home. When teleworking, people enjoy moving from one room to another throughout the day. You start off standing in the kitchen to organise your day, sit at your desk to concentrate, lie on the sofa to encourage creativity, walk on the balcony to talk on the phone...

"This comfort can be found in the office by offering varied and comfortable spaces that make people want to come to work" adds Frank Zorn. "Companies often invest 10 times more in salaries than in the well-being of their employees. This is a very bad calculation. Saving a few dozen euros per square metre in work and furniture often pays the difference in terms of productivity" he concludes.

The future of the office

In order to be able to do more home office, 77% of women and more than 82% of men are quite willing to stop having a fixed workstation in the office. "A flex-desk organisation (or without a fixed desk) would allow companies to reduce the surface area of their workspaces. Managers can take advantage of these savings to move to a more central and better served area, re-invest the saved rent in more comfortable furniture and equipment, or organise more internal events to maintain team cohesion" observes Frank Zorn.

You miss one colleague...

As the saying goes, "Alone we go faster, together we go further". When French people are asked what they miss most when working remotely, the collective emulation of a dynamic workspace (43%) comes out on top, ahead of being able to exchange easily with colleagues (35%).

For or against?

Will companies accept the home office easily? 55% of French people think that their company will be in favour of telework. In detail, 4% declare that their employer will be completely in favour and 51% rather favourable. On the other hand, 36% think that their company will be rather against and 8% totally opposed.

Act of presence

Among the reasons given by the sceptics, 42% of men said that the home office is incompatible with their professional activity and 41% of women think that their company has too much of a presenteeism culture. Finally, twice as many women as men fear that their employer will deny them the right to telework due to lack of trust.

"The culture of presenteeism is still very present in France. Support is needed to help managers adapt to teleworking so that they can trust their teams more. Let's hope that this episode of forced teleworking will help to change mentalities and move towards performance-based management rather than presence-based management" observes Frank Zorn.

Smart company = Home office company!

The teleworking culture will clearly take over from confinement. Indeed, more than 85% of French people will have a positive opinion of a company that offers home office. Conversely, 86% of workers will have a negative opinion of a company that is opposed to telework. "Telework is no longer a bonus when it comes to choosing a job. It is clearly in the interest of companies to be open about it, both to attract new talent and to retain it. For the same salary, it is a strong argument that can make the difference when choosing between several employers" concludes Frank Zorn.

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