The pandemic in which we have lived since March 2020 has entailed the unavoidable and unexpected implementation of the teleworking system, without any possibility of previously analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of this type of work, and even without there being sufficient regulations on the matter when it all began.

Teleworking, in jobs where such is possible given their functions, is beneficial to employees and is an efficient way to achieve a better work-life balance. Teleworking therefore enables employees to enjoy greater flexibility by bringing their schedules into line with their personal needs, which can translate into improved employee productivity, encouraging a better management of working time, increasing the degree of satisfaction and resulting in a greater appreciation for their jobs.

From the employer’s standpoint, one of the main advantages of teleworking is the increase in employee motivation and, accordingly, the retaining of talent. Thus, productivity may also be enhanced by the increase in the degree of employee satisfaction and motivation. On the other hand, it permits the reduction of infrastructure costs at installations by saving space.

In addition to the foregoing advantages, both for employers and for employees, teleworking can even contribute to the reduction of absenteeism from work. The increase in an employee’s appreciation for his or her job, as well as the satisfaction of improving the work-life balance can serve to reduce situations of stress and, accordingly, the number of employees on sick leave.

The legislation approved on teleworking raises questions for employers regarding the continuation of post-pandemic teleworking, given that, among other circumstances, no clear position has been taken with respect to the expenses that are to be compensated by the employer. Neither do these regulations resolve the question of how to ensure a suitable control of the employee’s work.

Nonetheless, with the right teleworking planning and organization, employee productivity may even increase, due to the greater hourly flexibility, enhanced work-life balance and, in short, an increase in employee satisfaction, there being formulas for measuring productivity during remote work, whether by assessing the quality of working time through the achievement of stipulated objectives or through a suitable system of performance assessment.

In short, teleworking is capable of reducing absenteeism from work, which is not only beneficial to employers and employees, but  also to citizens as a whole, given the related decrease in the costs borne by social security for employees on sick leave. It will, however, be necessary to check whether the surge in absenteeism during the pandemic (according to the X Adecco Report on Healthy Companies and Management of Absenteeism, in 2020 the absenteeism rate went up 1.6 percentage points with respect to 2019, rising to 7.1%) is merely circumstantial and whether, in fact, the extension of remote working contributes to reducing this rate.



María Muñoz Muñoz