The pandemic sounded the death knell for the organization of the 20th century company. Passing into the era of teleworking, it must rethink the management of its human resources and the links with its employees. The answer must be structural.
Act 1: a very eventful start
At the start of 2020, almost all of humanity is cold-picked by Covid-19. In March, France is confined. In a hurry, everyone tries to organize their new personal and professional life. Teleworking, partial unemployment or stopping all activity, all French people are confined to their homes. However, convinced of the ephemeral nature of the crisis, everyone is providing a cyclical response to this exceptional situation. This is how teleworkers accommodate themselves to a corner of the table in their living room or their bedroom to continue their activity, while others go around in circles at home or in their neighborhood. They do TV series, cook and play sports in their apartment.
On the business side, the reaction is just as improvised. In panic, they deploy the IT infrastructures necessary for the teleworking of all or part of their employees while the managers try to establish a new relationship with their teams via videoconferences which they chain. Hoping for a quick return to normal, companies are moving in the most hurry and are also providing only a short-term response to the pandemic.
In the summer, the vise loosens. But the lull is only short-lived. In the fall, the government announced a new confinement with the express request of the Minister of Labor to promote teleworking.
Act 2: think about the world after
The second wave of the pandemic and the prospect of living for a long time with that sword of Damocles hanging over your head is the death knell for short-term responses. Faced with this situation imposing a radical change in the way of living and working, companies and employees are starting to think about the world after.
For teleworkers who, for some time now, have been considering going green, this pandemic is the trigger. They leave their small city apartments, and in particular Paris, for smaller towns or for the countryside. They want space, to breathe, and to be able to play sports elsewhere than on concrete. After the exodus from the countryside of the twentieth century, here is the urban exodus of the twenty-first.
As for those who stay in town, there is no question of reliving the second confinement like the first. They want to better balance professional and personal life, play more sport, and be able to alternate telework and face-to-face.
For businesses, the answer must also change dimension. Teleworking can no longer be practiced on an ad hoc basis by a few executives, as was the case before Covid. The enduring situation of the pandemic requires them to rethink their organization, the management of their human resources and deploy high-performance and secure IT tools to offer good working conditions remotely. Relations between employees and hierarchy must evolve and new links must be forged in order to preserve commitment and better perceive the psychological state of each. Companies are therefore called upon to deploy an extended quality working environment. Because if the Quality of Life at Work (QWL) is taken into account by some companies, this notion is still only rarely considered in the professional environment. However, the new generations are very sensitive to this notion of well-being at work. Not only do they expect a balance between professional and personal life, but they also want meaning in their missions, collaboration between teams and corporate cohesion. To meet these expectations, tools must be put in place to bring them together around extra-professional activities that have meaning and that generate collective motivation. Among these tools, online sports challenges are an excellent way to create links between employees while encouraging them to take care of their body and their head. Let us not forget that sport is a component of well-being, motivation and performance.
The pandemic has changed the business world. The future of the work environment for employees is no longer just that of daily discussion at the coffee machine, in the canteen or at the drink when going out at night. It is and will be made of alternation between face-to-face and teleworking. A new framework which requires, among other things, to rethink team cohesion around remote extra-professional activities.