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BUSINESS

CAREERS

Text by JESS BAULDRY

THE RISE OF THE VIRTUAL WORKPLACE Having been endorsed by the Luxembourg government in a bid to ease traffic, improve the lives of cross-border commuters and make staff more efficient, teleworking is the new open space of working practices. Delano looks at the reality. t is now widely accepted that increasing salaries is not the answer to creating an engaged, motivated workforce. But what if employers were to invest that money in a way that would enable staff to work more efficiently and autonomously through teleworking? Luxembourg lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to flexible working (37% of workers in the US telecommute), but it is slowly gaining ground. A recent Luxembourg survey, presented by the labour minister Nicolas Schmit, found the proportion of people teleworking doubled from 3% in 2010 to 6.1% in 2015. The trend is driven by employers like Société Générale Bank & Trust Luxembourg, which was the first bank to present a teleworking risk analysis to the CSSF, the financial regulator. Through a phased roll-out across departments begun in 2016, 101 employees (of which two-thirds are cross-border workers) now work from home once a week or once every two weeks. Once complete, around 300 of its 1,200-strong work force are expected to benefit. “When you see so many people commuting, really it was the right moment. Also, our work is changing. People are performing less production and doing more expertise and control tasks, so it’s a good moment for the transformation of banking,” says Catherine Janot, the bank’s deputy CEO. Having implemented a teleworking scheme at the bank’s global HQ in Paris, Janot set up a working Summer 2017

TELEWORKING A 2015 survey found 6.1% of people polled in Luxembourg had done teleworking

group with tax partners and legal teams to tackle the main barriers in Luxembourg. “At the beginning people were concerned about tax issues if they worked from home… We’re monitoring the number of days they work outside Luxembourg.” The bank assessed which teams and roles lent themselves to telework­ ing, excluding client-facing roles and preventing teleworkers from doing tasks involving large amounts of client data. It trained employees and managers and created a secure virtual interface for remote working. People who signed up then received laptops

and Skype for phone and visual conferences. A survey conducted three months into the scheme found three-quarters of beneficiaries felt less stressed and nine out of ten felt more efficient. “Importantly, they felt they had time, autonomy and more choice to organise their own work. This is a key element of motivation,” Janot says. It is not only the private sector getting on board. In autumn 2017, some civil servants will be able to telework under a pilot scheme. Meanwhile, a total 45 employees at the

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Delano summer 2017  

Delano summer 2017