During the current lockdown, the workers communities who can work at home need to remain happy, motivate and productive in order to hamper as much as possible anticipated negatives economic and social impacts induced by the hibernation of the economy.
In parallel with the current COVID-19 health crisis, the labour market is undergoing huge changes linked to the digital transformation, which will in any case be accentuated in the future. Jobs are replaced by technological progress but in the same time new jobs appear in connection with an increased use of digital tools, for example jobs that analyze and exploit “big data”. However, this increased use of digital tools is not yet real for the entire workforce. For instance, since years, workplaces tend to spread more virtual collaborative tools (like Microsoft Teams, Slack), but the fear of change on the part of certain workers hinders their development and the gaining of benefits for workers and firms.
Since the start of lockdown, one can expect that there has been a forced and rapid digital upskilling to work in online environment that requires an expansion of skills of workers to meet the firms’ needs in a rapidly evolving digital environment. Whereas the use of current communication tools such as emails induce drawbacks for workers like infobesity and the loose of information, the upskilling to use tools that are more efficient will be beneficial for both workers and firms. In fine, if the telework period appears beneficial for a majority of workers and firms, after the lockdown, the challenge will be to create a common framework to favor it.
The scientific project
The analyses undertaken in the DIGITUP project focus on the teleworking communities and provide investigations to understand and determine the influence of the current health crisis on teleworkers’ well-being, motivations and productivity and efficiency of online collaborations that keep firms performant. These analyses are essential to support the workforce for the current and future economic challenges, and turn them into opportunities.
Our main research questions in this context are the following: 1) how does the current health crisis compel teleworkers to upskill? 2) What are the necessary conditions to achieve positive effects for employees, teams, and firms? 3) Does telework beneficial for all employees and firms? 4) If telework is beneficial for the majority of employees and firms how to favour it in the Greater-Region after the current health crisis?
CREM in the project
A permanent CREM researcher, Thierry Pénard, and an associate fellow, Ludivine Martin, are mobilized in this research project involving various partners from ESSEC, the University of Lyon 2 (GATE), the University of Luxembourg and of ESC Dijon-Bourgogne.
The Digitup project is the winner of a call for projects from the Luxembourg National Research Fund. Coordinated by Ludivine Martin from LISER (associate fellow of CREM), it mobilizes CREM, M@rsouin.