23 workplace risk prevention offices warn of the insidious dangers of teleworking. Risks that are all the more difficult to identify as the employee himself tends to minimize them. Risks with telework that the company has difficulty identifying. But also, in fact, which the teleworking employee himself struggles to notice. François Cochet, the president of the Federation of stakeholders in psycho-social risks, uses the metaphor of the “frog”. We add a little hot water to her jar, gradually, without her noticing anything, and in the end she dies.
Thus, the first risk identified by the federation, which has just distributed a guide to 6,000 public and private companies: employees working from home have less control over new tasks, new know how. “He is confined to yesterday’s work” to use François Cochet’s expression. Those on site do the work of tomorrow. If he is one year away from retirement, that is not a problem. But if it is younger, it becomes fragile in the event of restructuring and downsizing. We will think of him first.
Teleworking would also create a new type of conflict. For François Cochet, at work, sometimes it feels good to “have a good fight“, to express his disagreement face to face. In telework, where exchanges are done by email, by messaging or by virtual meetings, the federation of stakeholders in psycho-social risks warns that there is a danger of seeing misunderstandings settle, situations rot and fester.
Other insidious risks are those related to addictions and a sedentary lifestyle. Specialists point out that in companies, the rules limit, for example, the consumption of tobacco. No need to go down to the foot of the building to get one when you work at home. The same goes for addictions to digital, alcohol or drugs. Teleworking also acts silently on the sedentary lifestyle.
For many employees, the only physical activity was walking to take public transport. Risks that employees themselves do not want to see, this is one of the dangers pointed out by experts in psychosocial risks. A worker who saves himself two hours of transport and who gains in concentration will not want to see that other problems accumulate and, in any case, he will not want to speak about it to his boss, for fear that his advantages.