Madrid, 20 September (EFE) — Intermittent remote work is gaining momentum from the usual two years after it was regulated by law, although it is still more than double its pre-pandemic levels and could resume again as a result of the crisis. vigorous.
Regular teleworking (more than half of working days) peaked at the beginning of the pandemic, with 15.3% of employees working from their home address in the second quarter of 2020, compared to an average of 2.5% in 2019.
The initial growth of remote work led to its regulation with a rule that was approved as a decree on September 22, 2020, to guarantee equal treatment of remote and personal workers, and to establish voluntariness and reversibility for both parties (employer). and employee).
Two years later, regular teleworking has been phasing out, with the exception of a one-time uptick in the first quarter of 2021 coinciding with a new wave of covid and the Philomena blizzard in the center of the peninsula, while occasional teleworking is gaining momentum. weight.
The law does not apply if remote work is less than 30% of the working day per week, which is equivalent to one and a half days, since otherwise the company is obliged to sign an individual agreement in writing with an employee who will provide the necessary funds for remote work, as well as compensate you for expenses that may be incurred.
The latest data at the end of the second quarter of 2022 shows a near parity between those who work remotely for more than half a day (926,400 employees, representing 5.4% of the total) and those who do it occasionally (818,500 employees, 4.7%). .
A total of 10.1% of employees continue to work remotely to some extent, compared to only 4.2% before the pandemic, suggesting there will be no return to a situation where remote work was anecdotal, but will happen. continue to be in the minority.
Rising energy prices fueled by the war in Ukraine could lead to a new boom in teleworking in the second half of the year, as the General Administration of State (AGE) has already advocated a return to three days a week of remote work instead of two. encourage energy conservation.
However, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofund) in a recent report questions whether teleworking is really a “green” option as it increases energy consumption in homes and reduced commuting could make workers more willing to work. greater distance. on days they go to the office.
Among the major listed companies in Spain, virtually none offer general remote work options in excess of two days a week, the most common of which are calls for the restoration of full-time work, albeit with specific flexibility options.
Inditex, by far the largest registered Spanish company, was reluctant to provide specific data on teleworking, although given the nature of its business (textile trade), it is understandable that the bulk of the workforce has resumed a full presence now that mobility is no longer in place. restrictions or mobility and concentration of people to fight the pandemic.
The second largest registered company, Iberdrola, supports two modes of remote work: two days a week and irregular, in certain situations and not exceeding 30% of the quarterly shift.
In the same vein, Telefónica is following a two-day remote work model and a three-day model, although this also varies by industry.
The differences across the Autonomous Communities are noticeable, as in Madrid, regular teleworking reaches 11.3% of employees in the region, while in Navarre it barely reaches 1.8%.
Only Madrid and Catalonia top the national average of 5.4% of employees with regular remote work, with Catalonia reaching 6%.
The same is happening with occasional remote work, which in Madrid reaches 8.5% of employees; in Catalonia – 5.7% and in Galicia – 5.6%, only in three regions the average is higher than 4.7%.
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