Sunday, May 22

Society. Teleworking: France lags behind its European neighbors

The French are less adept at teleworking than their neighbors

First observation: on the telework side, France is lagging behind its European neighbors. First on the principle itself. Thus, when asked about their average practice, only 29% of working French people say they telework “at least once a week”. On the other hand, this is the case for 51% of Germans, 50% of Italians, 42% of British and 36% of Spaniards.

France is also one car behind its European comrades with regard to the frequency of teleworking. “While in other European countries, the proportion of teleworkers four to five days a week is higher than that having recourse to it two to three days, it is the reverse which one observes in France”, observe the analysts of Ifop.

Illustration with the example of Italy: 30% of working people there telework four to five days a week and 17% two to three days. In France, these frequencies fall respectively to 11% and 14% of the working population.

A practice reserved for CSP +, everywhere but especially in France

It is not really a secret: the most privileged socio-professional categories (CSP) have more access to telework than the less privileged CSP. “The nature of the activity of CSP + has a higher probability of meeting the two prerequisites required by this practice: the possibility of working on the move and behind a screen”, reminds the authors of the study. This is true in the five European countries considered.

However, it is in France that inequalities in access to remote work are felt the most, with a differential of 39 points: the practice is accessible for 56% of CSP + but only 17% of CSP-. By way of comparison, the differential is eight points in Italy: 56% of CSP + against 48% of CSP-.

In France, teleworkers of almost all ages

If we focus on the age of people who telework, France is nevertheless more homogeneous than its European neighbors: 31% of those under 35 work there remotely at least once a week, against 28% of 50 years and over.

In the other states considered, the difference is much greater, and the practice more entrenched among young working people than their elders. In the United Kingdom, for example, 58% of those under 35 telework, compared to 31% of those 50 and over. “This observation appears logical for a“ digital native ”population, more flexible in its organization […] as in its openness to mobility ”, analyze the analysts.

The French applicants but resigned?

Ifop also asked working people about their aspirations, and in particular the average number of “desired” days in teleworking. Here too, it is in France that we ask the least: the ideal average frequency is 1.8 days per week. This is therefore less than in Spain (2.7 days per week), the United Kingdom (2 days), Germany (2.2 days) and Italy (2.4 days).

“An explanatory hypothesis lies in the strong social divide observed previously. This would result in a form of resignation shared by some of the working people, which would have integrated the fact that it would be difficult to qualify for it, ”suggest the authors of the study.

Because the French are no less in need of teleworking in general than other nearby European countries. They are 69% of the working people questioned to wish to work remotely at least once a week, that is to say 40 points more than the real practice. This is as much as in Germany, and more than in the United Kingdom (62%).

However, France is an exception in the profile of active teleworking applicants: 71% of those over 50 against 64% of those under 35, while the trend is reversed in other countries. This peculiarity can, according to the study, be explained by “a difficulty experienced by many young people in integrating durably into the working population” and “an importance given to socialization at work”.

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