Telework: psychological risks appear over time, warn experts – 09/14/2022 at 14:26

“Not only may the company not detect them, but the person himself may not notice them,” according to specialists.


(AFP / BERTRAND GUAY)

Telework, which has developed massively with the pandemic, presents “significant risks on the psychosocial level” and requires “vigilance” over time, warned Wednesday, September 14 the Federation of Psychosocial Risk Stakeholders (FIRPS).

With telework, “at the beginning, there are only advantages, and the potential disadvantages (…) have

tend to distill very slowly, which makes them difficult to detect

“, explained François Cochet, the president of the federation, during a press briefing.

“Not only, perhaps the company will not detect them, but the person himself may not notice them” like “the frog that is dipped in lukewarm water and then we add more and more hot water until it dies…”, continued the head of the FIRPS, which brings together 23 specialized firms (Secafi, Stimulus, Qualisocial, Eléas…).

The risk is also that the suffering employee remains silent, because “when you save two hours of travel morning and evening, the advantage is so considerable that if you are not well, you will tend to hide it from yourself. even and if we are aware, not to say it”, he insisted.

Disconnection, workload, conflicts…

With distance, employees who are unaware of new developments in the company may, for example, gradually find themselves “disqualified”, while

newcomers may fail to find landmarks

, “another point of extreme vigilance”, he listed. Among the pitfalls of teleworking, other speakers from the federation also cited issues related to workload, disconnection, or even more complex “new forms of conflict” because interactions have changed.

“As currently, a majority of employees in telework say that everything is fine, this does not put pressure on companies in terms of prevention”, lamented François Cochet.

The guide “teleworking: new risks, prevention to be adapted” will be distributed to some 6,000 public and private companies. Articulated in nine chapters (rules and principles, role of the manager, right to disconnect…), it provides a series of recommendations, even if the experts point out that the “work revolution” born from the pandemic has not yet showed all its consequences.

According to data from the Statistics Department of the Ministry of Labor (Dares), published in April,

21% of employees had teleworked at least one day the previous month.

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