The first confinement gave teleworking a great importance and, following this experience (which continues in the second confinement), some saw, in this mode of organization, a possible perspective, in the long term. We are talking about it today with the psychoanalyst Claude Halmos.
franceinfo: What does telework represent on a psychological level, and what are the problems it poses?
The experience of the first confinement highlighted the advantages of teleworking, but also the problems it can pose to employees; which are all the more important as they cover psychological problems whose importance we do not always measure.
Teleworking is not just about moving your work from one place to another, because we are, on the psychological level, two people at the same time: one in our private life, and the other in our life. professional. Two people each with an image of themselves, a relationship with others, etc… who can be very different. And we need these two people to exist.
However, bringing them together, by teleworking, in a single place involves the risk, if the operation is final, that one of the two no longer finds its place, or even disappears. And this explains the importance (even in the event of temporary teleworking), of the problems of organization of time, and of space, the stake of which is, in the final analysis, that these two people each have a place; and a place sufficiently distinct from that of the other, so that their coexistence is possible. Which is not obvious.
The existence of the “professional person” is threatened because he has, in his workplace, points of support which make him exist. These points of support (which we also know how difficult it is to disappear in the event of unemployment) are, beyond the tasks to be accomplished, relations with the hierarchy and colleagues, benchmarks in terms of places, and schedules, but also the feeling of belonging to the community that the company represents.
Telework deprives her of these points of support. She must therefore reinvent them, alone, so as not to lose sight of the meaning of her work, but also not to imagine herself, in the event of problems in the company, isolated and without protection. And, for its part, the company must maintain, to support the motivations of its employees, the link to its structure. But the “private person” is also threatened by teleworking.
Teleworking presents a risk of invasion of privacy through work. Invasion of space (the house is no longer the place, protective and protected, of the couple, of the family, of privacy). And time: the “professional person” no longer has the time to travel from work to home, to put their work problems at a distance, and pass the baton on to the person in private life. She can no longer “close the door”.
And on the other hand, she may find it difficult to put limits on her professional activities, and to remain available for her marriage, for her children and for herself. The definitive switch to teleworking therefore deserves, in each case, a preliminary assessment of what we can gain and lose.