Working chez vous !

The French government introduced a “remote working” law in January 2018 meaning workers had the right to telework. The objective of this law was to “persuade” employers towards more flexible working practices. However old habits die hard and not much changed until Covid when millions suddenly found themselves working remotely.

So what jobs are suitable for home working?

Home working suits the knowledge sector better, essentially keyboard work. Not all professions, manufacturing, retail, …

Just as home-working isn’t practical for all businesses, neither does it suit all employees or personality types. Common home working complaints were the difficulties of working around children, singleton solitude and employees with m2 issues! A Kaspersky research group involving 10,500 people across 12 European countries showed that 75% of people aged up to 25 felt lonely during lockdown. They described the first weeks as being a nice break but the lack of physical contact and structure to daily life difficult to bear.

Other home working challenges included:

  • Learning new software, poor internet connection 4G/5G, technology opening up flexible/extended working hours! 
  • The difficulty of motivating teams remotely.
  • The increased necessity for Residency Agreements (Clause de résidence et déménagement). 30% of HRDs were confronted with workers who moved to another region and requested adaptations to their working conditions! (Source ANDRH)
  • Homeworking encroached into private space, extroverts missed the office interaction and research found that creative work is best done face-to-face, ….

Home working for recruitment purposes

Some of us are better suited to home working than others namely those that can focus and get work done! Self-motivation requires discipline! Without the buzz of the office some will simply not translate thoughts into actions, postponing tasks ad vitam aeternam! Research shows that of the Big Five Personality traits, the conscientious types are better suited for home working. They are seen as more “reliable and prompt” and character traits include organization, method and thoroughness.

For companies actively recruiting, offering flexible working practices is attractive to the talent pool and also plays an important role in retention. Giving a quota of home working days to be used, is seen as more attractive than imposing the home working days. Offering a prime for working from home is also attractive.

Home Working Tips

  • If you lack self-discipline, have a timetable, be organized, set a routine, have reminders of what needs doing, a draft agenda for the day. Good task management software exists to help you organise your days.
  • Your employer provides the technical equipment to work productively from home but it is important you adapt work space.
  • Working from home often translates into less physical exercise! Try to make up for this loss.
  • Set rules, close doors, to avoid unwanted background noise : children, TV, …
  • During fixed-times cut out distractions, TV, music, social media, home chores, …
  • Try getting dressed at your usual time and use your economised commuter time for personal tasks.
  • You can work longer hours, but don’t have to! Fix limits!
  • Look smart during video meetings, working at home does not excuse poor presentation.
  • Learn more about yourself and your working style and adapt it as much as possible to the home working situation.
  • Try the Pomodoro method, 20 minutes of focused work followed by a 5 min. There are plenty of alt. apps: Any.do, Be Focused, Plantie, Flat Tomato, Egggzy, Focus-to-do, …
  • Finally, seek help from your HR department and stay in touch!

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The future of working chez vous!

The ANDRH-France carried out a recent survey in conjunction with the BCG asking 588 French HR professionals for their analyse and it seems remote/hybrid working is here to stay.  By 2025 hybrid working will be the norm for more and more of us with the average amount of days at home being 2 per week. However, the 100% home working will remain rare and is predicted to apply to only 1% of those companies surveyed. 

Written by Lynda Petit, a French-British recruitment consultant with 20+ years experience, CIPD qualified, member of ANDRH, based and operating in France.

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