Tell me how you remote work and I’ll tell you what country you are from

Rédaction Blog

2 years ago

Learning Innovation


Since February 2nd, remote working is no longer compulsory in France but still strongly recommended. Although this legal constraint has now been lifted for companies, employees have adopted this practice, which has rapidly become normalized since the first lockdown. 

Une récente étude de PwC révèle que 68 % des dirigeants déclarent que les employés doivent être présents au bureau au moins 3 jours par semaine pour maintenir une culture d’entreprise unique. Si la situation est plutôt favorable à l’adoption du travail hybride en France, qu’en est-il pour les entreprises et les collaborateurs chez nos voisins Européens ?  Ces réponses, nous les trouverons dans une enquête menée par l’Ifop pour la Fondation Jean Jaurès auprès d’actifs issus d’échantillons représentatifs en Allemagne, en France, en Espagne, en Italie et au Royaume-Uni.

A recent PwC study reveals that 68% of managers say that employees need to be in the office at least 3 days a week to maintain a unique corporate culture. If the situation is rather favourable to the adoption of hybrid working in France, what is the situation for companies and employees in our European neighbours?  These answers can be found in a survey conducted by Ifop for the Fondation Jean Jaurès among working people from representative samples in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK.


How many days do you remote work in a week?

If you are in France, you may have “less access” to remote working. Indeed, according to the survey, only 29% of French workers declare to remote work “at least once a week”. This compares to 51% of Germans, 50% of Italians, 42% of British and 36% of Spaniards. Globally, remote working is present, but not to the same extent, and therefore covers a desire for a balance between face-to-face and remote working.


What is your socio-professional category?

Remote working is not accessible to all. Indeed, even among our European neighbours, inequalities in access to remote work by socio-professional category (CSP) are visible. All the countries surveyed showed that the CSP+ have more access to remote work than the CSP-. This gap is reinforced in France, with a 39 point difference (56% of CSP+ and 17% of CSP- have access to remote work) whereas the gap between the two categories is “only” 8 points in Italy, the country where access to remote work is the most socially homogeneous (with weekly rates that concern 56% of CSP+ and 48% of CSP-).


How many days would you ideally like to remote work?

At least 2 days? Are you thinking of moving? On average, the number of “desired” days of remote work is 2.7 in Spain, 2.4 in Italy, 2.2 in Germany, 2 in the UK and… 1.8 days per week in France.


How old are you?

In Europe, a majority of workers under 35 remote work, while those over 50 do not. In France, this discriminating variable is more homogeneous. 31% of those under thirty-five work remotely at least once a week, compared to 28% of those aged fifty and over. This shows that “digital natives” and “boomers” are not as different as they would have you believe!


Do you have children?

According to a study by Valoir, remote working has resulted in an overall productivity decrease of only 1%. However, a nuance appears! Among parents, for whom the balance between personal and professional life is more difficult to guarantee, productivity is of 2%. This is lower than for employees without children, for whom productivity has fallen by 3% since they started remote working. Perhaps more accustomed to juggling multiple tasks and organising their time, parents also have obvious reasons for wanting to work harder to manage other daily tasks!


What are the advantages of remote working?

La pratique comme le souhait de télétravail diffèrent selon les pays. Néanmoins, ses représentations associées y sont partout plutôt homogènes et positives. En effet, trois avantages reviennent systématiquement : les économies financières (trajets, repas, garde d’enfants…), l’autonomie supplémentaire en matière d’organisation et la meilleure conciliation entre vie personnelle et vie professionnelle. Les pays qui ont davantage recours au télétravail voient la motivation de leurs actifs augmenter. Tout du moins en Europe. Au Japon, une étude révèle qu’alors que le télétravail a concerné jusqu’à 25% des salariés japonais (contre 6% avant la crise), il a paradoxalement débouché sur une baisse de productivité d’environ 20% en moyenne. Ainsi, le télétravail n’est pas accueilli et vécu de la même manière selon les cultures :  il existe des spécificités et exceptions.

Both the practice and the desire for remote work differ from country to country. Nevertheless, the representations associated with it are everywhere rather homogeneous and positive. Indeed, three advantages are systematically mentioned: financial savings (commuting, meals, childcare, etc.), additional organisational autonomy and better reconciliation between personal and professional life. Countries that make more use of remote work see an increase in the motivation of their workers. At least in Europe. In Japan, a study shows that while remote work has reached 25% of Japanese employees (compared to 6% before the crisis), it has paradoxically led to a decrease in productivity of about 20% on average. Thus, remote work is not welcomed and experienced in the same way in different cultures: there are specificities and exceptions.


We are only at the beginning of the managerial and organisational transformations that the implementation of remote work implies. If it is an increasingly common practice for some, it would be wrong to think that it concerns the entire workforce in France. However, aware of the advantages brought by these new ways of working, these figures can only evolve positively. Therefore, supporting companies in these developments is a priority in order to give them the keys to meet the expectations of their employees and ensure their commitment at work. 

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