The 2012/02/02 at 14:08
Following studies in political and economic science, Jean-Paul Planchou began a career as an in-house economist and consultant in 1973. He was elected as Deputy of the Seine-et-Marne between 1988 and 1993. As Mayor of Chelles since 1995, he has also been elected to serve on the Regional Council of Ile-de-France since 1998. In 2010, he became Vice-President in charge of economic development at the Regional Council.
Telecommuting is an old idea. Why were measures to support this sector voted in in September 2011?
Jean-Paul Planchou: “In 2006, bet-ween 7 % and 9 % of France’s 23 million employees practised telecommuting – at least occasionally – on national soil, but the figure is now 16 %, according to a survey by the LBMG Worklabs firm. Nevertheless, France lags behind compared with its neighbours: Europe has an average of 30 % of telecommuters. Public intervention to drive a dynamic therefore takes on meaning. We need to bring down barriers, chiefly psychological ones, that are still obstacles. By adopting a measure promoting the emergence of ‘co-working spaces’, the region wans to make 2012 ‘Year 1’ in telecommuting in Ile-de-France.”
How can the region be useful?
J.P. P.: “The region’s responsibilities include transport. Reflection, debate and project support in this domain are part of our missions. Telecommuting is particularly adapted to the Ile-de-France region. We can increase the quality of everyday life by cutting down on transport time while sparing ourselves of the extra pollution related to our travelling. This is a concrete declension of our desire for the ecological and social conversion of the economy, that we have included in the Regional Strategy for Economic Development and Innovation (SRDEI). On the strength of the experience of ‘La Cantine’, the first co-working space in Ile-de-France, we are convinced about the economic relevance of this model adapted to new forms of work. Freelancers, project owners, workers in transit can find a ‘third space’ corresponding to their needs while developing collective intelligence, for these spaces are formidable tools for structuring professional networks.”
In concrete terms, how will the region be supporting telecommuting?
J. P. P.: “The framework report for digital development detailing the regional measures in favour of telecommuting was adopted on 30 September 2011. We have launched, since January 2012, a call for tenders that will close in March 2012. Territorial authorities or associations (including competitiveness clusters, business clusters and unions…) wishing to set up a ‘telecentre’ or a co-working space can benefit from an investment grant of up to 200,000 euros for developing their site. This budget may be supplemented by an extra 50,000 euros for IT equipment for workstations. All the instructions for this call for tenders will be published on the web site www.iledefrance.fr/appels-a-projets.”
Don’t you fear the risk that the employee may become more vulnerable by being isolated from society?
J. P. P.: “This is where the region must be vigilant. The risks of isolation and inflation of working time for the telecommuter are real. Telecommuting should therefore be established on a basis of choice and remain reversible at any time. The region will only support projects that respect these principles. With this in mind, we are working in close collaboration with the Regional Association for the Improvement of Working Conditions (ARACT) in order to guarantee all telecommuters the highest quality of reception and services in the spaces that we will be supporting.”