By Paul René Pelland
The pandemic has forced a democratization of teleworking whereas before the Covid period, we tended to reserve it, as a reward, for the few most reliable and efficient employees. The current context teaches us that most employees seem to be more efficient with teleworking than working on company premises.
The majority of employees testify that their productivity has increased with teleworking. Here are some statistics taken from a publication by the CPQ (Conseil du patronat du Québec), “2Guide pratique pour l’implantation du télétravail en entreprise” (using current statistics from a recent survey that was done by the firm VMware Canada in juin 20201 involving Québec employees that work from home):
- 62% of employees say they would prefer working from home for most of the time in the future, or even 100% of the time;
- 74% say they are more productive;
- 60% say it provides a significant benefit in terms of work-life balance.
- 80% of responding employers indicated that their company will maintain “some degree” of telework after the crisis.
In the context of a labor shortage accompanied by the challenge of reducing the human resource turnover rate, this forced democratization of teleworking awakens a new perspective for employees and employers. Teleworking has become an undeniable reality to which we must adjust. Now that we have experienced it, we cannot do without it.
This adjustment requires a major paradigm shift. The benchmarks have changed. The concept of PODC (Plan, Organize, Direct and Control), well established in management, must be adjusted to organizational values based on trust and autonomy. This implies as much an adjustment in terms of the use of information technology as in the attitude towards the notions within PODC.
Controlling the number of hours of employees at work is a thing of the past in the context of telecommuting. It has become, in a practical way, incompatible with maintaining a healthy climate of trust in which employees must be held accountable. According to the CPQ, this empowerment, where a certain level of autonomy is given to employees, is essential for the success of a transition to remote work.
The CPQ’s publication on teleworking states that:
“Being more limited in their ability to control working time, the manager must move from valuing working time to appreciating results.
… The challenge for companies is to support their managers so that they develop in real time and in a crisis situation the skills required in a telecommuting context.”
It goes without saying that in order to be able to develop skills, we must first assess our capacity to express them in a practical way. Only after we measure our capacity to manifest them, can we modify, master and integrate them.
Part of the M3I Institute and PRsPectives mission is to provide the tools allowing managers to adjust to this new reality and to support them in their quest for efficiency in demonstrating the skills essential to the management of human issues in a teleworking context.