October 2018, the LACROIX Sofrel activity launched an experiment on smart working. Starting from the observation that it is also possible to work in other ways and outside the company’s usual premises, the project was launched with social partners to identify an alternative to the traditional model of work; one that was remote and would complement the face-to-face model. The aim of Smart Working is not to promote this new model as a substitute, but to innovate in terms of social organisation, to move away from the usual and conventional office environment and to put the relationship of managerial trust at the heart of the project.
In autumn 2018, manager workshops were conducted to visualise the work done in terms of time management and working time and to envision a model where certain jobs and tasks could be carried out remotely. The contribution of a service provider, Greenworking, allowed us to formalise our method and frame the project. This new model was facilitated by the very nature of the business and the digital skills of the employees. The strong adaptability shown by all led LACROIX Sofrel to commit in October 2019, after a year of experimentation, to a Charter to make telework ongoing.
Internal surveys have shown that the Quality of Life at Work has improved overall, for both male and female employees. The more that employees are already autonomous, the more routines they already maintains with their manager, and the more they are integrated into a collective, the easier teleworking is.
Managers have had to change their managerial routines (management of teleworking teams) and relinquish control. It is the development of management by objectives or results which now takes precedence over control while encouraging teleworkers’ autonomy.
The success of the telework project at LACROIX Sofrel was based on key success factors; adapted working conditions, ease with ICT, autonomy, a wide range of eligible positions, concern for working conditions at home and managerial support. It is the way telework has been managed that has made it successful.
In September 2020, based on these findings and results, LACROIX Group signed a Telework Charter, incorporating a large part of the LACROIX Sofrel model. The format is now common; the tools and the Smart Working access procedure have been digitalised (TalentSoft tool).