Fears of a global economic downturn have many people wondering to what extent this, if it occurs, could affect remote working. Some think that it would encourage it, since companies would seek to reduce costs and would choose to eliminate office expenses if workers can carry out their work at home. However, there is an opinion that companies would opt for the office for two reasons: to save the costs derived from teleworking -such as electricity, equipment and the internet- and because, in their distrust of remote work, they would opt for the face-to-face model that many companies trust the most.
winter tool. In the latter case, teleworkers would lose out. However, there is a factor to take into account in this whole equation: the energy crisis. Europe is preparing for a cold winter, and there are already some European countries where remote work is seen as a good option to reduce energy consumption. Such is the case of France, whose government, however, clarifies that it is an alternative that companies have, ruling out the option that it can be generalized by law. Let’s see, then, what can happen with teleworking in the event of a global recession and in our country.
across the Atlantic. Like an orchestra conductor, the United States conducts the music of world capitalism. What happens there ends up being replicated in the rest of the world, as has happened with the increase in interest rates. Therefore, it is important to know what is being said about the influence of the recession on telecommuting.
Derek Thompson, a journalist for The Atlantic, believes that in the event of economic downturn, telecommuting would not be affected for several reasons, among which is the clear preference of employees for this model – a Microsoft study reveals that 87% of wage earners say they work better from home – and the fact that recessions tend to affect companies with very expensive structures, such as offices. For this reason, Thompson adheres to the opinion of some economists who consider that telecommuting is a form of savings for companies. Forbes agrees on this point and also adds that telecommuting is a claim for the most talented employees, so companies without this format could hire less prepared people.
different reality. A report published in October by the Beautiful.ai portal indicated that 60% of the managers surveyed recognized that, in the event of layoffs due to the economic recession, teleworkers would be the first to leave. This vulnerability, felt by eight out of ten remote employees according to GoodHire, is directly proportional to the increase in the bargaining power of employers caused by the recession, as pointed out by Steve Ranger, director of the Zdnet.com portal, which is why employees will end up going to the office if that is the desire of the owners. That, in fact, seems to be the idea that led Tesla and other companies to come up with the “office or street” policy.
European uncertainty. On the other hand, in Europe it is not clear what can happen. Teleworking has increased in many EU states, and there are countries like Portugal where visas are already distributed for digital nomads. In this context, companies have the alternative of increasing remote work, as long as it pays for employees, since for some the cost of electricity could increase considerably if they work at home. On the other hand, teleworking in Spain, despite having been reduced in recent times, will increase in winter. This is confirmed by Adecco, asked about it by El Economista, which points to the energy cost as the main cause of this change in trend.