Bicentenary #Faculty Video Series N°10: Meet Prof. Emmanuelle Léon

Bicentenary #Faculty Video Series N°10: Meet Prof. Emmanuelle Léon


Emmanuelle Léon hello. Hello.
You are a Management Professor at ESCP Europe and we’re going to talk about management,
precisely in the age of telework and platforms. An undeniable fact,
first of all: Telework is growing. Do you have any figures.
It’s a good question because telework is indeed
on the rise, it benefits today from
from a particularly favourable breeding ground: the diffusion of
mobile technologies, 4G, optical fiber,
the evolution of the legal framework and also a change in mentalities, where the
employers are more and more inclined to offer it to their employees, and
employees are also increasingly eager to get it to get a
greater flexibility in the organization of their private lives and
their professional lives. However, the figures here are a
a real nightmare. Why? Overall in Europe, the number of salaried teleworkers
is estimated at 25%. When you go into detail, you realize,
particularly in France, that we are adding cabbages and carrots.
So you have surveys in France that report 2% of teleworkers,
and others that tell you about 20% of teleworkers. Why? Because we
confuse several types of telework. In some cases, we account for
only the telework that has been the subject to an amendment to the labour
contract stipulating that the person teleworks on a given day of the week,
usually from his home. In other cases, they also measure
what is called grey telework, the kind which is not declared, the one
which is remote work, somehow, and this one is of course much
more developed. If we look at this one only, we all are teleworkers,
somehow. And then, in some cases, we add
something else, namely border-crossing, i.e. you
work in the office during the day but in the evening, you
keep going so you don’t have substituted workspaces, you
simply cumulate the fact you work a little bit all the time. So I guess
that we can’t say that telework sounds the death knell of office space.
In a way, we could ask ourselves the question, you’re right, since if I
can do as many tasks as possible with my computer, what is the point of going
in a workspace? If it’s to find myself surrounded by
people behind their screens, or even worse, people who are teleworking
and I will therefore no longer see… But the workplace, you’re right.
to point it out, is not just a functional place, it’s not just to
perform tasks that I can accomplish elsewhere. It has other meanings:
there is an extremely strong symbolic meaning. So there is a lot
of talk in France about presenteeism. We say ah for the French,
presenteeism is very important. You have an investigation in North America,
which shows that being seen physically at your workplace is synonymous
with reliability, and that being seen at your workplace after hours
is seen as being involved. It means we make inferences
from whether or not we see someone, and this across different contexts,
so these biases are real. It’s time we freed ourselves from them
if we want telework and remote management to
be able to grow.
The last point is that when you go to
the office, you don’t just go to the office. to work.
You also go there to develop interactions, for advice,
to get mentoring, to get informal interactions with colleagues,
and the collective intelligence that we hear a lot about
today, it will not develop only on the net. So at the time when
digital is developing to such an extent, I believe that it is essential to
rethink the physical environment in a far greater depth than
we have been able to so far. What about remote management,
which you mentioned? for a long time, remote management
was the exception. I would tend to say today that
it’s almost the norm, because more and more individuals, independently
of telework, are likely to be managed remotely. This raises a number
of questions. What’s a manager? If it is only remote reporting, remote
management does not pose any problems. Today, all the necessary reporting tools exist. If it means going further, if it means
asking ourselves about the development of our collaborator, interacting,
being able to listen to his personal problems that
this employee may have, there remote management presents huge
challenges for companies and individuals.
And the third point, which seems important to me, is that we often zoom in on
the manager and his collaborator but in remote management,
there is also the organization, and when organizations change
teams every year, every year and a half, obviously the bond of trust
takes much longer to create from a distance,
it’s a shame to see so many organizations that, somehow, are not headed
for the development of an harmonious remote management.
Remote management, telework, new workspaces, are all
challenges for companies and therefore for
management schools. Thank you very much, Emmanuelle Léon. Thank you.

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