Telework, a reconciliation tool

Andorran Labor Law 31/2018 of 6 December, in its article 81, provides for a very timid way to reconcile work and personal life. There is no doubt that striking the right balance in this field can be a great challenge, and some thought can be given to this issue.

The essence of conciliation would consist in a magic formula in which professional obligations would be properly met in an ideal balance with the development of our personal lives.

In many cases, a strict and inflexible schedule, longs working days, or professions that imply great sacrifices and those linked to the trade and hospitality sector make this conciliation complicated, even more so for families with minor children who need greater attention and a specific logistic adapted to their school and leisure schedules.

With the pandemic caused by the Covid-19, our world has been shaken, our routines completely turned “upside-down” and our way of dealing with day to day has little to do with our previously programmed way of living, which was very dependent on a clock and usually defined as a “normal life”.

All the changes that stem from this crisis have not only affected aspects of our personal and professional lives but are also testing the resilience of our business fabric, its economic strength and even its way of functioning, steering companies towards new business formulas to better resist and overcome this crisis.

In order to subsist, and within the limitations set out by the severe but necessary containment measures, many companies have chosen to implement telework and the employees have adapted a corner of their homes into small activity units.

While very few satisfactions are comparable to the comfort of being at home, implementing telework in the current circumstances can become a real test for our mental strength. Indeed, aside from fulfilling our professional obligations we have been forced to combine telework with our role as full-time parents, teachers, activity monitors and also to attend to the multiplicity of tasks required by the day to day logistic.

However, being able to implement telework has been a relief for parents that have to take care of their children and maintain their professional work without major consequences for the family economy.

For companies in our sector, whose activity has been paralyzed by the measures implemented by our Government and affecting the Administration, the Judicial system, Notaries and other collaborators, the ability to adapt their model by implementing telework has made it possible, despite the adversity and the blatant decline in revenue, to respond to the needs of many companies and clients, supporting and guiding them through this period of difficulty.

For now, telework has been a great tool that has demonstrated that our professional capacity is not limited to a specific physical space, nor to a strict schedule with a monotonous and repetitive routine but can be a great magic formula that allows us to make this much-desired and necessary conciliation a reality.

Undoubtedly, Andorran companies have yet to digest this “digitalization” but this crisis, apart from giving us a great life lesson, in which we must make a deep analysis of our essence as human beings, is giving us the opportunity to improve many aspects of our life by adapting our models to the new technologies.

And where do we start? With the tools that are necessary to be able to develop telework: technological devices, a secure connection to our servers, management software (ERP, CRM, for instance), communication tools (Skype, Microsoft Teams, and others) and a good digital archive, which will additionally help to save physical space and administrative resources as well as the preservation of the environment by easing the consultation of data or documents. However, it will be necessary to implement and / or strengthen appropriate security measures to protect the company from hackers and ensure the protection of our customers’ data, and last but not least maintain a team of professionals who are good people, committed, responsible and involved.

It is clear that telework will not miraculously get us out of the economic crisis we are suffering, but it will certainly allow us to remotely advise our clients, from wherever we want and when we want and not only during situations like the one we are currently experiencing.

Diana Garmón

Augé Legal & Fiscal

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