Airbnb, a proponent of more flexible workplace models, has launched last April its 'Live and Work Anywhere' initiative, allowing its staff (6,000 employees) to choose remote work from anywhere with no pay cut. It is interesting to note that few companies of this size have gone so far in the freedom granted to their employees and by doing so, Airbnb is joining a few pioneers such as Pwc or Zillow.
As Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky is stating "two decades ago, Silicon Valley startups popularized the idea of open floor plans and on-site perks, which were soon adopted by companies all around the world. Similarly, today’s startups have embraced remote work and flexibility, and I think this will become the predominant way that we all work 10 years from now. This is where the world is going."
In France, the National Productivity Council recently conducted a study showing that working from home would make employees more productive. If we are to believe their forecasts, with an estimate of 25% of employees teleworking within 20 years, France could gain 5 to 9% in productivity. A figure that they qualify all the same, by announcing that they will have to be confirmed with the help of additional studies.
But behind this apparent kindness and good will to fulfill employees well-being might lies an unexpected issue: by dematerializing offices, by profoundly redefining work and life in society, by restructuring collective structures, often linked to companies, these very same companies are starting to create isolation and loneliness, generating a new type of malaise, ...
As this trend might be here to stay, companies will have to find ways to deal with this rising issue.