In times of coronavirus, many companies have succeeded thanks to teleworking. While in many cases it is more favourable for all parties, it also means working longer hours. In this new normal, is it possible to encourage digital disconnection?
Before the pandemic, Spain was one of the countries with the least implantation of teleworking, with the United States and Japan being the leaders in this form of work. Now, more and more of us work from our desk. How has the digital disconnection affected having the computer available 24/7?
Long Live Teleworking
In addition to favouring the country’s economy and the survival of many companies, teleworking has helped employees to combine their work and personal life.
And this is not only an advantage in the present, but it is also an advantage in the near future, in which children will have to go back to school and without work conciliation, many parents would have to call grandparents or babysitters again.
Another of the points in favour of this new working method is that crowds are avoided, both in public transport and on the road. And, thanks to this, pollution can be avoided and the quality of life of all living beings is increased.
During the lockdown, air quality data in large cities also improved. In other words, the decrease in the use of vehicles helped reduce pollution by half in the 80 Spanish cities with the largest population.
Not everything is so wonderful
However, teleworking also has a downside. One of the main problems is that there are no limits to the working day. It is difficult for workers to set a start time and an end time.
Likewise, in companies that do not work for objectives but for hours worked, employers are having many problems to be able to count the actual hours of their workforce. In addition, the relationship between employer or boss and worker can be somewhat complex. Well, both parties can confuse teleworking with being available 24/7.
All this leads us directly to digital disconnection because if the line that separates real-time and total availability is diffuse, is it possible to disconnect? Well, at the moment, it isn’t, at least realistically. In this way, governments are already working on different laws to establish limits, both for rights and for labour obligations.
Telefónica is one of the large Spanish companies that does bet on a true digital disconnection. This is how at the end of 2018, the company recognized this right for all its workers