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Coronavirus: the Delta variant, an unthinkable “ally” for supporters of telecommuting in the United States

When Romain Daubec and his wife left San Francisco in 2020 to settle in Denver, Colorado, they thought telecommuting 2,000 km from their office would take up to six months. But with the rise of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, they want this way of life to impose itself “naturally”.

In America, one after another, las companies are delaying the return of their employees to the office, worried about the new wave of infections.

But like this French-American couple, many people in the United States they had already prepared for a second year of teleworking, this time volunteering, and they have no intention of going back to the office, satisfied with their new professional and personal life.

Last week they were registered in the United States about 113,000 daily cases of covid-19, 24% more than the average of the previous seven days, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the federal public health agency, said Thursday.

On the same day, Facebook announced that I had postponed the return to your employees’ office until January 2022.

“It’s the data and not the dateIt’s what influences our approach to return “to face-to-face work, argued a spokeswoman for the group, assuring that the priority was” everyone’s safety. “

A few weeks ago, however, the social network seemed to want to revert to previous work habits to the pandemic, planning to fully reopen their offices by October, with vaccines and masks.

Facebook has joined Microsoft, Amazon, American Express and even the NBC channel, which have delayed the return of their employees to October or January.

For Romain Daubec, 34, a financial analyst at a BNP subsidiary, and his wife Monica, a Facebook employee, returning to the office is no longer an option.

Consequences

It is true that your wife lost 10% of her salary due to their relocation, but this “is largely offset” by quality of life, the price of housing – two to three times cheaper in Colorado than in California – lower taxes as well, says Romain.

Monica no longer has to endure three hours on the bus a day.

Oren Klachkin, 35-year-old Oxford Economics economist, it also left Manhattan, New York.

Last fall, when a new pandemic wave hit the United States, things became clearer: “This is the opportunity, that presents itself once in a lifetime, to live somewhere else while keeping our jobs. “

Have more time to live It’s a real bonus: he and his wife Nicole, a 35-year-old consultant, shared a small apartment in New York.

They now have their “little house” in Boulder, not far from Denver, and each has a room to work.

“I love my new life here”says the economist. “I like to work having access to outdoor activities.”

Telecommuting in Colorado has allowed him balance your professional and personal life, whereas before he “wasted” at least 45 minutes on the subway every day.

“Of course,” he says, “there are some downsides to not being able to physically interact” with colleagues. But “a different online software allows us to see each other, even if we are far away (…), it allows me to maintain this almost physical interaction, even though we are not physically in the same space “.

Advantage

For Romain, it is not so much the place where you work that matters, but the work that is done.

“As far as I’m concerned, I just need a good internet connection and respect the San Francisco time zone, “he says, acknowledging that not all jobs are suitable for telecommuting, especially when you have to develop a product or interact continuously.

He also insists on the relationship of trust between employees and employers: the company authorizes teleworking because it also gains by reducing its fixed costs, but the employee tacitly agrees to work seriously as if he were in the same place as his manager.

Oren Klachkin believes that now he is more productive, by no longer suffering from the burden of transportation.

AFP Agency

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