Sunday, July 3

Teleworking rebound among companies until after Christmas

  • Faced with the increase in infections, insurers such as DKV or Catalana Occidente, consulting firms such as DXC Technologies or public companies such as TMB have opted for the virtual modality

Several companies are reactivating or intensifying the telecommuting in their offices to protect themselves against the accelerated advance of the variant omicron. Although remote exercise was a downward trend in recent months, the rebound in infections has caused several companies to reactivate this option to reduce interaction between their workforces. Insurers such as DKV or Catalana Occidente, consulting firms such as DXC Technologies, audiovisual production companies such as Mediapro or public companies such as TMB have adopted remote exercise as a preferential modality to minimize infections, as EL PERIÓDICO has confirmed.

The sixth wave is advancing, infections are increasing and companies are concerned about the possibility of outbreaks among their workforce that endanger the health of their employees, as well as the continuity of business activity. “During the next weeks and until the Christmas holidays are over, we will maximize teleworking”, comments the director of the department of people of DKV, Juan Manuel Chicote. Proceed seem have adopted in Catalan West, whose employees can choose to telecommute or carry out face-to-face work as long as the attendance is in bubble groups and without exceeding the 50% capacity.

The week after Three Kings Day is one of the dates that companies manage for this, a priori, telework parenthesis. The trend so far that quarter after quarter the data from the Labor Force Survey (EPA) have been leaving is that the majority of companies that teleworked during the pandemic have reduced or eliminated this modality. While the 16.2% of those employed In Spain, the pandemic began teleworking more than half of their usual shift, currently this percentage has dropped to 8% (in the third quarter).

However, in the same way that the Administration goes back and forth with the restrictions depending on the epidemiological evolution, on the eve of Christmas many directions have decided to reactivate this barrier against mobility and shared spaces. “There are certain profiles that, due to their activity, cannot telework. Precisely to protect them we have decided to expand teleworking to 100% for those who can,” they explain from Mediapro. Although in October, given the good contagion data, they decided to bet on a hybrid model of three days at home and two at the office, now after the new wave they have decided to retreat again to better conditions.

A similar procedure has been adopted by the digital consultancy DXC Technologies, which provides services to banks and companies in related sectors. Although the initial plan was to recover the presence from January 7, from the direction of this firm with 7,000 workers throughout Spain they have decided to postpone the return to physicality until February 1, according to union sources from the CGT. “We always bet on prioritizing the health of the workforce, that is, being prudent with the return,” say those same sources.

“Temporary” rebound

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In TMB, for their part, they will review this round “temporal“to telework in the positions that allow it the next January 10. “Given the health evolution, the decision has been made to regularize the presence in services where it is possible to work remotely,” reads the circular sent to the staff on Friday of last week.

The union action secretary of CCOO de Catalunya, Cristina Torre, affirms that this reinforcement of teleworking exists, but it is not something that is absolutely generalized and many companies continue with the same dynamics as when there were fewer infections. This Thursday the mandatory quarantine for those who have been in close contact with a positive by omicron comes into force and Torre warns that companies would do well to plan the return of their employees after the Christmas holidays. Well, if they do not space the entrances and exits and promote exercise remotely when possible, they risk suffering a high absenteeism after them, due to the increase in social interaction expected for the next few days.

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