This week hundreds of Spaniards have returned to work after the holidays. It's about a abnormal return That will allow some to rejoin after months of unemployment and others to regain their physical position in the office. However, there are still many questions in the air like: Are companies prepared? What do the Spanish prefer? What consequences will going back to face-to-face have for those who have been teleworking for months? The comparator Acierto.com is responsible for analyzing and solving them.
Thus and in full negotiation of the future Distance Work Law, the entity compares the before and after teleworking as well as the consequences for companies and workers. And is that the confinement forced 80% of the companies to adapt to this work modality.
The change has been more than significant, since before the pandemic Spain was at the bottom of Europe in teleworking (we were in ninth place in the EU and barely represented 4.8%). The question, however, lies in how many will continue to keep it and for how long.
WHAT DO THE WORKERS WANT?
Regarding the preferences of the workers, have been changing as the pandemic has progressed, according to the data analyzed. At the beginning of the crisis (in April) up to 80% of the workers said they were satisfied with teleworking, and up to 90% that they would like to continue working remotely when the lockdown is over.
The percentage currently has dropped to 56%. However, here there are great differences between those who have had to reconcile their family responsibilities with those who have not. The inability to disconnect, the false sense of security caused by the de-escalation and other problems have also had a lot to do with it.
What the data does make clear is that productivity has not been reduced, quite the opposite. In fact, up to 7 out of 10 workers claim to perform equal or more at home than in the office. Likewise, overtime has skyrocketed among “grassroots” workers –60% – while they have decreased among directors and managers –16% -.
FEAR OF GOING BACK TO WORK
In any case: we continue to prefer teleworking. Among the reasons we find savings in travel, improved family reconciliation, increased flexibility … 40% of employees claim to feel more autonomous and empowered with this modality. And your commitment to your company also increases.
However, we also found another reason for wanting to stay home: the fear. A fear related to the inability to comply with the main guidelines to avoid contagion not only in the office, but in public transport, especially at rush hour and in large urban centers such as Madrid and Barcelona, where the crowding of people prevents the social distancing. So much so that up to 20% of those who used public transport before the pandemic to get around, will now opt for the private vehicle, mainly the bicycle – whose use has multiplied by seven – or the car.
In certain cases we could even be ergophobic (although we would have to differentiate between the fear of contagion and the fear of returning to work). Specifically, until 70% of Spaniards say they do not feel safe with the new situation until a vaccine is available. And more than 45% will experience post-vacation depression.
To this we must add another circumstantial factor: fear of losing your job in times of pandemic, especially given the economic situation that is coming and with unemployment at record highs. This has unfortunately caused some employees to come to their positions with symptoms, with the consequences that this entails. Especially people in a low socioeconomic level.
THE COMMITMENT TO TELEWORKING
In such a context, there are many voices that bet that telework begins to be part of our daily lives and that it cease to be an issue related to the pandemic. According to the analysis of Acierto.com, up to 2 out of 5 companies will. The crux of the matter will be how and if they are prepared.
Something that, of course, will require adequate regulation – what is being negotiated. One of the most important parts of the bill is precisely that distance work will be voluntary for the worker and that will require an agreement that, in any case, will be reversible.
Digitization, the necessary innovation, proper financial management and training will also be essential. In fact, it should be noted that during the pandemic and with the increase in online incidents, the contracting of insurance against cyber risks grew exponentially (30%). This is striking if we take into account the incipient of this market.
These kinds of products usually take care of the damage from attacks, hacks and viruses, data hijacking, and the cost of recovering damaged data. As well as loss of income due to hardware failure, third-party claims for data loss, and so on.
At this point we cannot forget that up to 60% of SMEs that suffer an attack disappear and that only 30% have basic security protocols. Just last year, likewise, the cost of hacks in our country had an impact of more than 40 million euros.