Alex Agius Saliba
Member of the European Parliament,
Principal consultant, Organisation Effectiveness Cambridge
Director-General, European Commission, DG EMPL
Video and audio recordings
With all its dramatic impact, the COVID-19 crisis was also an eye-opener. It has shown that workers with suitable jobs can efficiently work remotely, with no negative implications for their productivity or performance.
Telework is certainly not good for everyone and many consider the amount of telework performed during the pandemic excessive. Often, however, what holds back workers and employers from increasing the amount of teleworked hours is not their preferences. Rather, telework is held back by frictions in the organisation of work that can be tackled, such as those that prevented teleworkers from being fully involved in their company’s workflow, or from being assessed on an equal footing with on-site workers.
Those frictions help explain pre-pandemic low levels of remote work. But the pandemic has done nothing to remove them; it has just prevented them from kicking in by forcing anyone who could to work remotely. Without a structural change in the organisation of work, the lessons learned from the pandemic will likely fade soon.
In the autumn of 2021, European trade unions and business federations started a dialogue around what to do about a 20-year-old EU Telework Framework.
The aim of this event was to contribute to that important discussion by providing concrete insights on the challenges of hybrid work.
This event was produced within the project “Future of Work and Inclusive Growth in Europe“, with the support of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.