more and more large companies ask for more office days

Banco Santander has just announced its teleworking policy for post-pandemic times in a somewhat strange way: neither days per week, nor percentage of the day, none of that, the Botín family company has established 16 days of remote work a quarter for its employees or, what is the same, a little more than one day a week to carry out their work away from the office.

The measure, quite short, follows the trend of other large companies in our country that, after the ravages of the pandemic and compulsory teleworking in some phases of it, have chosen to return to a model based on face-to-face in which the telecommuting is almost marginal.

Banks with similar policies. The Spanish banking sector is opting for rather short teleworking measures. In addition to the few days of teleworking per week at Banco Santander, CaixaBank said in April that it would allow six non-consecutive days per month to work remotely, the same figure that Banco Sabadell allows. And Bankinter only allows its workers to carry out their duties from home one day a week.

BBVA, for its part, has been the one that has opened its hand the most in the banking sector and allows its employees to telecommute 40% of their working day, that is, two days a week.

Telcos a little more flexible. The large telecommunications companies in our country have been more flexible with teleworking and most offer the possibility of working remotely two or three days a week.

Telefónica, MasMóvil and Orange offer two days of teleworking to their employees, while Vodafone is the one that has gone the furthest with this measure and allows its professionals to work remotely 60% of the week with considerable flexibility: they can choose to carry out their duties remotely for three days or distribute attendance by hours, for example, going to the office only in the mornings.

Insurers. In the insurance sector, the measures related to teleworking are more disparate. Mapfre announced a few weeks ago that it would allow teleworking 30% of the day, which is equivalent to approximately one and a half days a week, and that its employees could distribute it by days or by hours. Allianz, for its part, established last year two days of remote work and three of face-to-face forever.

The most striking case in this sector is that of Liberty Seguros which, as we reported in Xataka, switched to full remote, that is, to teleworking every day and forever, last year. And, according to what they explained to this medium, the bet has gone very well for them, since they have maintained their productivity without problems with greater employee satisfaction.

Other companies. Among the large companies in Spain that have partially opted for teleworking is Indra, although in its case what is striking is that it has been doing so since before the pandemic. The Spanish multinational already offered many of its employees the possibility of working remotely two days a week prior to March 2020, a policy that it maintains.

And the same thing happened with the energy company Siemens Gamesa, which also offered its employees the possibility of teleworking two days a week before the pandemic, a measure that it continues to maintain.

no more ads. The improvement in the epidemiological situation is causing companies to address the debate on teleworking in a context of complete normality, without restrictions or mandatory security measures. Hence, in recent months several companies that had taken advantage of remote work as an exceptional measure to contain the pandemic are announcing their definitive policy in this regard. Companies not listed in this article have made no announcements to our knowledge.

Less and less telecommuting. Although there are several exceptions, the truth is that teleworking is in clear decline in Spain, and the measures adopted by some of the large companies mentioned above are the best proof of this. During the pandemic, remote work seemed to have convinced a large number of companies, because it allowed them to continue their activity despite quarantines, perimeter closures and safety distance, but now it is clear that it was only a useful patch to solve the situation.

Already in the fall of 2021, when the vaccination process had reached broad layers of the population and it seemed that we could forget about the virus (Christmas proved us wrong), companies began to show their intentions about teleworking. Many were no longer so convinced of its virtues, and began to plan hybrid models with two or three days remote, partly due to pressure from employees, who wanted to keep it after having tested its advantages during the health emergency.

Now, companies continue to go backwards and those that did not have a teleworking policy already defined since 2021, such as Allianz or Liberty, have taken advantage of the situation to offer minimal remote work, just one day a week. It remains to be seen whether these are exceptions in very specific sectors, since, as we have seen, this has occurred above all in the banking sector, or whether it is a trend that will end up reversing much of the progress made in teleworking during the pandemic.

Image | ArlingtonResearch

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