A third (33%) of companies turned to remote work in May and more than a fifth (21%) recorded a reduction in energy costs with this system, according to a study released today by CIP – Confederação Empresarial de Portugal.
This is one of the results of the fifteenth survey conducted within the scope of the “Vital Signs” project, developed by CIP, in partnership with ISCTE’s FutureCast Lab Marketing, which includes a sample of 441 companies, 6% of which are large companies.
According to the document, 67% of the companies surveyed did not resort to remote work in May, while 33% indicated that they use this system, and 28% of them stated that only 28% of their workers work remotely.
More than a fifth (21%) of companies that turned to remote work indicated lower energy costs, while 10% reported a decrease in installation and cleaning costs.
In contrast, 8% of telecommuting companies had a decrease in travel and business expenses (travel, accommodation, diesel and parking) and 3% indicated lower operating costs for communications and the Internet.
The majority (68%) considered the effect of reducing the cost of remote work to be “insignificant”, 11% as “unimportant”, 15% as “more or less” and 6% as “significant”.
Conversely, 33% of companies reported an increase in computer procurement costs, 29% cited an increase in “worker distance costs and interaction difficulties” and 27% with computer security systems (cybersecurity).
The document also shows that 17% of companies reported increased operating costs with mobile communications and the Internet, 16% increased costs with computer services, 8% with data storage systems and 1% with equipment acquisition.
While presenting the study, CIP Vice President Armindo Monteiro defended the need to create a “platform of understanding” on telework that would “protect rights, safeguards and balance the parties”.
“We should not have an extremist position, neither for the employers nor for the workers,” said Armindo Monteiro, adding that “this is not a time for divisions” and stressing that CIP wants “social peace” with the aim of the country’s economic recovery.
As for the leader of the employers’ union, “no one can say he won by working remotely,” as the system was imposed in recent months as a health measure and companies and workers were not prepared.
Regarding the survey results, ISCTE’s Pedro Esteves warned of the need for a more in-depth analysis of remote work data, which will be conducted in the next study.
Remote work remains mandatory until the end of May in all continental territories, by a decision of the government, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, whenever the jobs are compatible.
From June, if the government decides not to extend mandatory remote work for another 15 days, the rules change, with the implementation of a decree-law permitting the executive authority to designate remote municipalities that remain mandatory until the end of the year.