In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the professional world has been turned upside down, in a matter of months business travel, so common in corporate activity, has come to a standstill and methods have had to change to adapt to teleworking. But will it really change the way we work that much?
A partial, not total change
During the confinement it was common to hear that teleworking would definitely prevail over traditional offices, however, this has not really been the case. According to Randstad data only 4% of the population teleworked in 2019, in 2020 this figure rose to 16.4%, an increase of 2 million people.
While this is a significant increase, it is not the radical change in the landscape that was expected in the months of confinement, especially given that a significant percentage of teleworking is done on a partial or occasional basis. In many cases it is not the implementation of a new working system, but the solution to maintain a safe distance from the office. IvieLAB for its part launched a study in which it estimates that teleworking could reach up to 34% in Spain.
New way of working, new costs
At first glance, teleworking may appear to be an opportunity to reduce costs, as it would only require the employee to have a telephone, a computer and an internet connection, resources that most of them already have, and it would only be necessary to provide the equipment they lack.
However, this is to ignore the fact that the work will remain the same and that the same resources will be needed to maintain the activity, as well as other complementary resources to solve the problem of distance. For example, paperwork will still be needed for physical documentation, to which courier costs will have to be added if necessary.
When talking to clients, face-to-face meetings will continue to be important, and even in the case of telematic meetings, digital tools will have to be hired to support the workload. It is precisely in travel where there is a clearer trend towards a return to normality.
Slow return to normality
The general trend is to return to the way we work and relate to each other before the pandemic. This is especially noticeable in business trips, which are becoming more and more frequent due to the importance that professionals place on face-to-face dealings. We have already talked in another article about the increase in travel in Spain, a growth that will increase in the coming months, prioritising domestic travel.
In a study carried out by Gebta in collaboration with Iberia, we see that 63.4% of professionals consider that all the trips they used to make were essential, and 58% plan to keep them in 2021, only cancelling them for budgetary reasons or for emergencies related to Covid, while 16.5% have no intention of reducing them.