The whimsical Elon Musk forces his staff to be present at least 40 hours a week in business, because “who does not come to the office should go somewhere else to pretend to work” , he claims. An outdated vision of an eccentric billionaire. Unfortunately, we see that in Belgium too, many employers remain convinced that teleworking has no place in the workplace.
Despite the generalization of teleworking and the preference of 44% of workers to combine work in the company and at home, one in three employers prefers that their staff be present on site daily. However, according to our study of the labor market, it seems that prohibiting home or remote work is detrimental to the productivity, motivation and well-being of employees. Those who have the choice to stay working from home score significantly better on optimism, motivation, work/life balance, felt interest and happiness in relationships with co-workers than those who have to be present every day.
Better still: teleworkers say they are more supported by the company. In short, they are both more satisfied and more productive than colleagues who work only within the walls of the firm.
Control versus Coaching
Elon Musk’s very conservative vision of the place of employment shows if it were still necessary how much some managers and business leaders find it difficult to curb their desire for control. They insist on supervising the work of their collaborators, even dictating their tasks down to the smallest detail. But what is called “micromanagement” does not improve their skills, on the contrary: workers who are told very precisely what they must do (and who must constantly justify themselves) feel strong pressure, eventually get demotivated and over the years, just passively follow orders. This limits their development and their spirit of initiative.
The solution ? It does not reside in the control but in the supervision of the workers, to breathe dynamism into them. A supportive and results-oriented management style improves employee performance and gives them opportunities to develop new skills. Which in turn boosts motivation and productivity. Both sides win!
Hybrid work is also more sustainable
Today’s workers no longer find themselves in a model that imposes a daily presence in the company. On the other hand, concentrating all work at home causes many problems for managers. Therefore, the combination of telework and business activity seems better balanced and more productive.
This hybrid model, which allows workers to only come to the company a few days a week, allows managers to better supervise them, rather than control them, and improves everyone’s performance. Provided that specific agreements are defined at company and team level, and that everyone is given leeway to establish, on a voluntary and individual basis, mutual agreements within a pre-established framework.
Elon Musk is certainly a visionary entrepreneur, but his management style is that of the 19th century. It is illustrated by its technologies but forgets that the company can only shine with motivated employees. It is thanks to this vital force that the businessman can send rockets into space. But would its people really be good if they worked in one place?
For an entrepreneur of this caliber, such an attitude prevents him from also playing a leading role in human resources and encouraging managers and workers to perform at their best, regardless of their location. of work.