Remote working set to account for 50% of all Spanish employment in just a decade as the coronavirus forces employers to reconsider their organisational structure.
50% of all Spanish employment could be considered Remote working by the year 2030 a collection of economic experts have advised. However, the turn in trend towards remote working may not be as clear cut as you think. They advise that this figure will not be made up of half of the working population working solely from home but rather from a much larger proportion of the population working in a mix of home and office based working processes.
This could see employees working a proportion of their week in a physical environment with their colleague and the remainder of their hours being conducted at home or from another remote location of their choice. This is a similar situation that is currently occuring across Europe.
The research has been conducted by a range of experts including the Secretary of the Local Administration and expert in Digital Law, Víctor Almonacid, and Sociologist and Professor of Communication at Jaume university, Emilio Soro, since the mid-nineties.
Soro explained, “In a decade, even more than 50% of working time could be used in this modality, although it will depend on the type of work. There are some who can relocate 90%, although there is always a part that is convenient to manage in person, especially the one that is more linked to the position of the employee with respect to his superiors in the organisation. Other jobs cannot be done remotely, of course,”
Despite the fact that there will be many unconsidered variables between now and 2030, Almonacid still ascertains that the figure of 50% of all workers is incredibly likely.
The figures are not too dissimilar to current estimates by the Bank of Spain who ascertain that currently there are 30% of the total working population undertaking some form of remote working.
The Director of the IE Center for Corporate Learning Innovation at the Universidad del Instituto de Empresa, Professor Nick van Dam, explains that “a high percentage will experience remote work in the next decade”, in a which could be, for example, one to three days a week.”
Professor of Work Psychology at the University of Valencia, researcher at the Valencian Institute of Economic Research (IVIE) and member of the Spanish Academy of Psychology, José María Peiró, also explains that it is his belief that, “it can be said in general terms that a a high percentage of professionals will work, a high percentage of the time, remotely. That is, in mixed situations ”
In recent years, Spain has been relatively behind the future of remote working compared to its European counterparts by 4.8%, however, due to a number of internal and economic factors, accompanied by the lockdowns associated with the coronavirus pandemic, that figure has swiftly risen to 80% of companies now employing some form of remote working strategy for its employees.
The telecommuting trend of remote working is not a new fad. In fact, since the birth of the internet numerous forward thinking companies have made the move to some form of remote working for a number of reasons ranging from , lowering commercial overheads by reducing office sizes, to environmental considerations by lowering commuter traffic right through to better quality of work/life balance for its employees.
Professor Van Dam explains, “This is not a new trend. Since the advent of the internet, many companies began to allow their workers to telecommute. COVID-19 and the current and future process of digitising businesses have simply accelerated this trend”
Peiró, who co-authored the study with the Economist, Ángel Soler, explains that the current situation surrounding remote working in the COVID-19 era is almost like an “”impressive social experiment”
He added, “The bases for this type of employment to grow exist in our country”
Spain currently ranks No. 11 out of the EU states for its digital public services, use of internet services, connectivity, and integration of digital technology. Therefore, it stands to reason that Spain would be in a reasonably good position to see the remote working trend through to fruition and reap any benefits from this change in mind set.
That said, it is thought that the culture in Spain is more the rationale as to why the country has not seen more of a remote working upsurge until the pandemic.
Numerous studies have shown that remote working practices increase employee wellbeing and increase employee productivity, so it is a wonder that more companies are not jumping on the bandwagon.
Furthermore, a global shift to remote working has a number of aforementioned benefits including reducing travel, decongestion in cities and mitigating climate change.
This Tuesday, in Spain, the Council of Ministers has approved a new royal decree that will see remote work regulated for the first time in the country.
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