To maintain the economic activity despite the health risk posed by the Covid-19, firms in the high-tech industry are organized. Some, like Google, go as far as to generalize telework.

Google, which has more than 115 000 employees around the world, has recommended to its entire workforce in North America to work at home. Among the heavyweights of the high-tech world, the firm of the united states is the first to generalize the way this system of activity that will be encouraged until at least 10 April.

These last days, the employees of Google in Dublin, San Francisco and Seattle had already received a note requesting them to reduce their maximum displacements and work at home as possible. Google offices will remain open and employees who may not otherwise be able to get there, but all meetings will be held in videoconference.

The company adds that all staff affected by the coronavirus Covid-19 and quarantined will receive a sick leave with salary compensation — in effect, the federal government does not guarantee legally in the United States as a whole. A measure which also applies to temporary workers paid by the hour.

If Google has made the decision to standardize telework to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus, this is obviously not the only firm to encourage this practice. When quarantine measures are taken, the telework is necessary necessarily to seek to maintain the economic activity. Here, the measure is more preventative, even if proven cases of contamination have been detected in the Gafam. Also, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft have also asked some of their employees to work from home, especially in the San Francisco bay area and Seattle.

The benefits of telework widely demonstrated

Telework is considered beneficial in very many situations with multiple studies. One of them, carried out by the departmental Direction of the animation of research, studies and statistics, indicates that the managers in telework tend to be more involved and to work more, without that social interaction between colleagues is not really affected, with a risk of desynchronization minimal when the telecommuting is the subject of an agreement.

In a 2012 report commissioned by the ministry of Industry, Energy and the Digital Economy, we can read that the generalization of the open space has had perverse effects which penalise productivity, while telework offers workers the conditions that enable a high level of concentration, and therefore productivity is very high.

A gain in productivity, estimated at 22 %, while the quality of life wins undeniably (37 min to devote to the family life more each day, 45 minutes of sleep gained, on average) and that the satisfaction related to telework is 96 % on average, both on the side of workers than managers and employers. In the opinion of many international experts, the health crisis, the coronavirus may thus be beneficial to telework, which set up the forced march, a good chance to prove their value in practice. Of course, this system only applies to activities that are suited to it, and a number of economic sectors (building, industry, transport, etc) could be severely affected by a worsening of the epidemic.