Part 3 – Teleworkers’ protection and trade union organising: the future is hybrid!

Telework and home office was -or still is in some countries- compulsory because of the Covid-19 emergency measures. Almost two years after the outbreak in Europe, many employees still wish to continue, even after the pandemic, to work from home at least partially. Both workers and employers have gained experience with the pandemic but there are still many points to look into for social partners: Is home office voluntary or compulsory? How can unions/associations stay in contact and reach out to journalists out of the newsroom? How will the key issues described in the previous parts be dealt with in a “hybrid world”?
The figures from the survey are very clear about the intentions of journalists: a huge majority of them want to continue working in a hybrid format. The survey published in the UK in July 2021 also shows that “Looking to the future, most people favour the option to spend one, two or three days a week in the office, with the rest working from home”[1]. A specific comment came from the Journalists’ association of Belgium (ABVV/AGJPB), estimating that journalists are “mainly fed up with telework [and] want to get in touch with colleagues again physically” and that “permanent telework is difficult for internal debate”, which is not in contradiction with a potential evolution towards hybrid work with one or more days a week in the newsroom.
From these figures, as well as from general information in other sectors, it seems clear that telework and home office are here to stay -at least in a hybrid way, with a mix of days spent in the newsroom and others at home or remote. This is a real game-changer for working relationships, but also for trade union recruitment and organising, and of course for the collective bargaining among social partners.
The following parts of the survey look into these questions.
[1] “Beyond Lockdown - Does working from home work for you?”