IMPROVING EMPLOYEES’ QUALITY OF LIFE THROUGH TELEWORKING
CSR AT SOGEMAC HABITAT In 2008, SOGEMAC Habitat was among the first 4 French Social Housing companies to publish a CSR report based on EURHO-GR®. A Head of Sustainability was recruited in 2013, so as to enhance the company’s CSR policy and fully integrate it to its activities. Strategic goals and quantified targets are defined along the 5 Eurho-GR® themes: Promoting local social balance and development, protecting the environment, contributing to a sustainable economy, developing human resources and increasing well-being at work, and continuously improving governance and stakeholder relations. Performance against the set objectives is reported annually. OBJECTIVE To improve workers’ well-being and work-life balance and to modernize working processes. CONTEXT In France, and more specifically in the Paris Region, workers live ever further from their workplace, in particular because of the constant increase in housing costs. In the Paris Region, the average time needed to commute is over 1h10 a day. In 2013, following the significant growth of its housing stock, SOGEMAC Habitat had to move its headquarters from Versailles to Paris. As a consequence, the daily transportation time increased for most of its employees; around 10% of them spend over 3 hours a day commuting and 50% spend over 2 hours. Teleworking therefore appeared as a solution to improve employees’ quality of life, one of the major commitments of SOGEMAC Habitat’s CSR strategy, human resources being the top priority of this strategy. Besides, the social housing sector faces strong financial constraints, which implies that salaries are not always competitive. Teleworking can help make the sector more attractive to job-seekers, in particular the more qualified ones. DESCRIPTION OF THE GOOD PRACTICE The first task was to define who was eligible to work from home, what were the rules and how to formalize the project. Teleworking is based on two key conditions regarding management: confidence and management by objectives. The top management had no apprehension about the fact that employees would work as much without being physically present, but the middle management had to be convinced, as they somehow feared to lose part of their authority. This persuasion work was done step by step, and it was decided to launch a one-year experimentation before teleworking could be permanently established, which was done in 2014, following the successful experimentation. Management by objectives was also new for both managers and employees. Teleworkers are required to list the tasks performed at home (and difficulties they could have in their implementation) and report them to their manager. It helped both of them define monthly objectives and follow them with success. Basic IT equipment (laptop) and a secured access to the internal company network have been provided and a training session was held to explain how to use them. All employees except the ones working at the reception desk could apply to experiment this new work organisation, for a one-year testing period. Lessons learnt from this one-year trial period will enable to reinforce the telework scheme and improve the tools, and to extend it to more employees. Key results and benefits The first year (2013), 11 among 40 headquarters workers accepted to work from home one day per week. According to a survey administered 10 months after the launch of the experimentation:
- 100% of employees who telework are satisfied with the experience, recommend it to their colleagues and wish to continue;
- Over 90% of employees who do not telework think it’s a good thing for the company and one third of them consider teleworking in the future.
- The managers consider that teleworking does not pose a problem of organisation of activity.
- They are all satisfied with teleworking and unanimously wish to encourage other employees to start teleworking.
- Since January 2014, 21 employees, representing around 40% of the company headquarters employees, work from home one day per week.
- Modernized working processes, better suited to the young generations working methods
- Reduced environmental footprint of the company’s activities
- Increased employees’ well-being
European Responsible Housing Awards 2014
Modalidad Responsible Human resources management