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Telework, remote work, flex office: what’s the difference?

by Justine Humblot
Différences entre télétravail, remote work, flex office

Companies are adapting their work methods, giving rise to new terms such as telework, remote work, and flex office. What are the differences between these different terms? What are the features of these work methods? Here we explain what you need to know.

What does the term “telework” mean?

Telework can be defined as carrying out a professional activity remotely, i.e. outside the company’s premises. It concerns tasks that could be carried out on the premises.

Telecommunications tools make telework possible. Its features include:

  • being regular (from one to several days a week) or occasional;
  • taking place at home, in work hubs, in coworking spaces, on public transport;
  • being implemented through an agreement, a charter or a simple understanding between employees;
  • being imposed due to exceptional circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2017, the “Macron Ordinances” made it easier for companies to implement telework. These provisions also clarify a number of points: for example, telework is not obligatory for employees while, similarly, the employer may refuse telework as long as they provide a sufficient motive for their decision. This refusal may apply to specific job roles.

Further reading: Flex office and teleworking: what are the benefits for your company?

Did you know?
At the end of 2020, 31% of employees were working from home, at an average of 3.6 days a week (Source: Malakoff Humanis 2021 Teleworking annual barometer.

What is remote work?

Remote work is the term used to define permanent telework. In short, it refers to 100% teleworking. Remote working employees can work from a number of different places, such as their home, a coworking space, or a specialist work hub.

Remote work may be authorised for employees working in a different town than where the company is based. These employees are either new recruits or colleagues who have moved away. In both cases, the company may accept the request to avoid losing the employee’s expertise.

Day-to-day communications with head office and the employee’s colleagues are made possible through a number of tools, such as Glowbl Workplace virtual office. This is a virtual twin of the company, with features such as meeting and work group setup, spaces intended for socialising, etc.

Further reading: Six tips for welcoming a new colleague remotely

What is flex office?

Flex office is when a company does not provide its employees with a fixed office.

This method is used by companies whose employees are never all on company premises at the same time. Flex office can be implemented for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • many part-time contracts;
  • the company’s implementation of regular telework;
  • the nomadic nature of the work carried out by a certain number of employees.

By never having the entire workforce on the premises, companies can move to a smaller office space, or avoid moving to bigger premises when their workforce expands.

Flex office is similar to hybrid work. This work method enables employees to alternate between face-to-face work at the office and remote work, either from home or in a coworking space.

Glowbl offers an innovative virtual office solution, Glowbl Workplace. To find out more, please contact the Glowbl team.