It’s been 30 months since remote work It was implemented in an accelerated manner in Mexico and the world to allow social isolation and prevent the spread of Covid-19. After this massive experiment, the modality has left many lessons and challenges about the impact on productivity, people’s quality of life and the attraction of talent, among others.
According to the KPMG study 2022 rules for telecommuting, companies have made progress in defining policies to regulate this figure, they have understood the importance of the scheme, the increasing demand among the workforce and its contribution to labor inclusion of vulnerable groups.
But there are still challenges, such as defining metrics to measure the performance of people, train staff, prevent psychosocial risks, improve digital disconnection, see opportunities to access the best talent and improve the social impact of companies. In addition, risk prevention and cultural transformation continue to represent a challenge for the continuity of the modality.
“The first great learning is that teleworking it is already part of our daily life, of what companies are going to leave in their work schemes, it is part of what talent seeks to improve their experience and it is a differentiator”, says Olivia Segura, partner of Consulting in Human Capital and Talent Management of KPMG in Mexico.
The firm’s study highlights that there is a gap between the productivity improvement that employees and companies perceive with the adoption of remote work. While 67% of employees state that their performance has improved with the scheme, only 44% of senior managers perceive the same.
“Companies may have metrics that are not necessarily aligned with those of collaborators or even the productivity definition It is not the same for some as for others. Here one of the points that we have identified in our consultancies is that, if we do not start from that common language, I can believe that I am productive to a greater or lesser degree, but without really knowing what that means for the company or the bosses”, exposes the specialist.
However, one of the undeniable lessons is that eight out of 10 employees consider that teleworking has improved their quality of life by avoiding transfers, allowing more time to spend with the family, reducing expenses and having greater flexibility in schedules.
On the part of the companies, an important advance is observed in the fulfillment of the regulation of the figure that was established in January 2021 in the Federal Labor Law (LFT). 77% of the companies reported that they are providing the appropriate tools to their collaborators for the modality, this is almost coincident with the 74% of employees who report the same.
But among the advances, an important challenge is to “strengthen communication,” says Olivia Segura. The specialist’s perception is because 61% of the companies claim to have a telecommuting policybut only 53% of employees report knowing the guidelines established by their employer for the modality.
“Typically it happens that a company may have policies or guidelines, but perhaps it does not communicate them or gives them the necessary diffusion so that the collaborators know them. When the collaborators do not know this policy, the rules are not implemented and it becomes a reference document, but not a reality”, points out the specialist.
Health in teleworking, a challenge
The physical and mental health in teleworking is one of the challenges that companies in Mexico still have. 53% acknowledge that they have not informed their collaborators about the risks associated with remote work. Only 17 out of 100 organizations have shared information with their workforce in home office about the risks.
Along the same lines, at least half of the companies have not provided training to their collaborators on health and safety conditions in this work scheme, one of the new obligations that organizations could acquire with NOM-037 Teleworking.
Paradoxically, nearly four out of 10 remote workers say that their company has already provided them with training on the risks related to telecommuting. “There is a dissonance between what the collaborators could be interpreting as training, perhaps here the percentage rises because they consider that a communication is already a training”, considers Olivia Segura.
To a large extent, considers the specialist, this was motivated by the expectations that the companies had about the continuity of this work model. “So the months went by and now the years. Now, once it has been decided to adopt and the collaborators have passed that adaptation curve, the stage of perfecting comes and here we already talk about what it means to be permanently in this scheme or part-time, the risks that may exist and what must be implemented to prevent them”.
In addition to this, another challenge that the KPMG report shows is the digital disconnect. Well, while 78% of companies ensure that they respect this right, only 56% of the workforce considers that they can disconnect after their working day.
“There are more companies that believe they have allowed this right to disconnect. This is due to cultural change and that both companies and collaborators do not respect schedules. Another important point is leadership styles and another, which is in the hands of male and female collaborators, is time management”, explains the specialist.
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