Updated on Friday, 1 October 2021 – 02:08
When the company’s workforce returns to Las Tablas, this Friday, October 1, there is already a group of employees staying at home: 153 employees have taken part in a pilot program that limits the working day to 32 hours from Monday to Thursday.
Telefnica Espaa headquarters, in Madrid.JM CADENAS
Telefnica returns to its headquarters this Friday, after a few months in which, confinement overcome, the dynamics has consisted of protecting workers in bubbles who come to their job in person in alternate weeks. In recent days, however, the telecommunications operator’s building in Las Tablas, north of Madrid, had already begun to burst, an influx that intensifies with the beginning of October, this Friday.
Not all of them return, at least not to their usual position. Telefnica is the first large Spanish company to have established a four-day workweek pilot program, 32 hours concentrated from Monday to Thursday. According to data from EL MUNDO, the deadline that closes this Thursday and that has lasted three months to collect volunteers finally meets 153 secondments to the new model, which the company has called Bonus Flexible Work Day. Indeed, there is a bonus, since going from 40 to 32 hours (or five to four days) will not imply the corresponding salary reduction, of 20% or a fifth of the total, since the company provides a bonus of 20% of that 20% so that the remuneration only decreases by 16%.
The company is aware that the secondment has been residual: around 0.8% of a workforce of the 18,000 professionals that make up the main company of Telefnica Espaa has signed up for this pioneering program. In fact, command posts did not initially have this modality within reach. However, the main Spanish telecommunications company hopes that, once the experience of the 153 pioneers is known, the number of people interested in new calls will increase. The company will address the effects of this experiment on employee productivity, as well as its impact on the department to which it belongs and on the clients that depend on it.
Other companies advance in the same line of the four days a week, also without a majority support among their workers. It is the case of Unequal, a fashion firm in which a four-day work week has also been considered, with a scissor to the salary of only 5%. However, there are other smaller companies that have implemented this model (and without any cut in pay), such as the Andalusian technology company Delsol Software.
Although it sounds strange to some Spaniards, this work modality is already part of the present of some companies; in the future, it will go to more. From Ms Pas, with Iigo Errejn in front, It has been agreed with the Government that in the next Budgets there will be an item dedicated to this point from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism. According to the verbalized agreement, 50 million euros to promote the implementation of this model in private companies, amount that will be distributed in two or three years.
Orange and Vodafone teleworking
The reduced adherence to the four-day week at Telefnica is also conditioned by other work modalities, such as teleworking, which has become increasingly established after the outbreak of the pandemic and a clear option to facilitate work-life balance without seeing a reduction in salary. The employees of Telefnica Espaa have the option to telecommute two days a week as long as your activity allows it, an open possibility for around 10,000 workers.
The other two large telecommunications companies, Orange and Vodafone, they are also open to teleworking … and they already were before the pandemic. Since 2017, the French operator has been allowing one teleworking day a week and is currently open to its employees having a total ofthree. Vodafone has been advancing along the same lines, which before the coronavirus also contemplated the smartworking of a telework day, an approach that in the last collective agreement of the company of British origin has also been extended to three out of seven days a week.
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