Mexico: COVID-19 fosters Digital Offices
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, companies will have to rethink the way in which they conduct labour relationships and make their hiring models more flexible in order to resume activities.
The home office mode was adopted massively during the health emergency, but it will also remain as one of the main alternatives for companies in the return into the new normality, warned experts on human capital.
One of the lessons brought by COVID-19 is the breaking of resistance in regard to the performance of remote work, which implies that organisations will invest more in tools that allow the adaptation of employees.
“Until now, practices such as home office work were plans in progress which advanced slowly or part of sporadic benefits, limited, perhaps, to one day a week. Many companies still approach home office work cautiously. “This modality attracts talent from the new generations and companies cannot do without their skills”, stated Guillermo Bracciaforte, co-founder of the Workana recruitment Firm.
Employers will have to migrate to a concept known as Smart Working, a model that incorporates technology in order to facilitate connectivity outside the office and demands better work management, warned Manpower, a human capital Firm.
According to its calculations, 80 percent of the people of the next generation who plan to have a job will opt for schemes such as home office and flexible work.
“Remote work is now a necessary tendency to face this problem experienced in Mexico and other countries, since it favors the preservation of jobs and the operation of companies in a large portion of productive sectors, in addition to protecting the talent”, said Héctor Márquez Pitol, director of Institutional Relations at ManpowerGroup.
Part of the challenges is that leaders will have to learn to manage teams from a distance. Additionally, workers must be capable of self-assigning work hours in order to achieve a balance between their personal and their professional life.
However, regulation of the practice of home office is incipient in Mexico. The Federal Labour Law includes the concept of “work from the home”, and it is basically a concept for manual labour, warned Oscar de la Vega, labour attorney at the De la Vega & Martínez Rojas Firm.
“The chapter in question (Chapter XII, Articles 311 to 330) is not designed to cover new technologies, there is no regulation in regard to these tasks that are carried out at home,” stated the expert.
He said that there are topics which remain unclear: such as who absorbs the operation costs, like internet connection or telephone costs. In his opinion, standards for the measurement of employees’ productivity will have to change with the practice of remote work.
“It is a different type of management, which will be based on results and it will have to be regulated. Hopefully, this would be in the Law itself. On the topic of Social Security, to which point can a work-related accident happen or not happen?”, questioned De la Vega.
Diego González, leader of the labor practice at EY México, stated that in order to implement this modality, it is necessary to adjust the corresponding legal instruments, such as the employment contract, internal regulations, collective bargaining agreements, among others.
New Labour Reality
The health crisis caused by COVID-19 will provide several lessons for companies:
- Companies can adapt to new work modalities.
- Leaders must learn to manage teams even from a distance, thus requiring a proper planning of goals and deadlines.
- Workers are capable of carrying out their tasks successfully and of self-assigning their work hours in order to achieve a balance between their personal and their professional life.
- Technologies are allies for the workers and not a replacement for them.
- Employers should not fear the implementation of the home office modality, but rather find in home office work an alternative in the face of crises, such as the one we are currently experiencing.
Partners and lawyers of De la Vega & Martinez Rojas, S.C., are at your services for any doubt or comment related to this document and/or the Resolution. For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Mexico, please contact Oscar De La Vega (Partner) of De La Vega & Martínez Rojas S.C. at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.dlvmr.com.
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