Energy crisis: widespread teleworking, a solution to save money?

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The Ministry of Labor does not rule out the possibility of generalizing remote work for employees next winter. This measure would allow, in particular, to achieve energy savings within the framework of the energy sobriety plan announced by the Government at the end of June.

Should the French prepare to return to work from home this winter? Already mentioned for the Civil Service at the end of August by the Executive, the generalization of teleworking could be extended to the private sector as part of the energy sobriety plan announced at the beginning of summer.

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It is in any case “a line of reflection” of the working group “Sobriety with the companies”, indicated a spokesman for the Ministry of Labor in the columns of the Parisian, this Saturday. In fact, this measure would save energy by avoiding the need to light and heat office buildings.

“At the discretion of the company”

However, the Government rules out the possibility of making it a general rule, considering the same source that the issue “is primarily a matter of local social dialogue.” “Telecommuting can be a good option depending on the circumstances; if it is feasible for them (companies, editor’s note) and it adapts to their activity”, adds the newspaper’s interlocutor in the ministry.

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An additional cost for employees.

As during the health crisis, teleworking could be “highly recommended” next winter. But it could be badly received by employees, currently protected by the tariff shield, who will automatically see the amount of their energy bills increase in a context of energy crisis against the backdrop of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

An additional cost that will have to be borne. “I doubt that people will want to telework from home without financial compensation, without an increase in compensation,” said Jean-François Foucard, national secretary of the CFE-CGC employers’ union. But the representative of small and medium-sized companies, Eric Chevée, excludes that business leaders go to the box.

psychosocial risks

Finally, the past experience of the health crisis and the generalization of teleworking that accompanied it has also highlighted the risks that remote work represents for the physical and mental health of employees. It is therefore an additional parameter that the executive must take into account.

On June 23, 2022, the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, and the Minister for the Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher announced the launch of the energy sobriety plan in a context of rising energy costs. Its goal is to reduce our energy consumption by 10% by 2024 and 40% by 2050.

Author: Nina LeClerre
Source: BFM TV

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