Can Home Office Increase Unemployment Levels in Mexico?By Daniel González | Wed, 08/05/2020 - 17:00
Telework has become one of the major trends in the employment sector in 2020. Containment policies enforced by countries and mandatory confinements have led companies to ask their workers to continue to carry out their responsibilities from home. The democratization of new technologies and the improvement in telephone and internet services have made it possible to minimize the drastic economic decline that many countries have suffered. In fact, in a survey carried out by PwC, 67 percent of managers surveyed believe that telework could become a permanent option for those workers who wish to do so. However, according to different experts, the self-regulatory capacity of the economic system could lead to teleworking becoming the main cause of possible future redundancies. “The emergence of technologies that help make teleworking more efficient will impact the number of workers that can be within an organization. Companies have begun to realize that jobs can be balanced and in some Latin American countries even partial work schemes are being strengthened,” said Blanya Correal, Human Resources Planning Manager at Coca-Cola FEMSA, to El CEO.
Courtney McColgan, founder of Runa, one of the main human resources agencies in Latin America, considers one of the main differences is the change in the perception of teleworking. Before the pandemic, this modality was considered a benefit that companies offered their workers to promote family reconciliation and to improve the quality of life of their employees. Today, telework is a mandatory modality. This means it must be regulated by the company´s human resources departments. “Companies have been forced to create a new ecosystem for this modality,” explains McColgan to El CEO. The current situation may then lead to self-regulation of the labor system once companies identify how workers behave, with the aim of seeking efficiency and economic savings.
According to the OECD, 81 percent of households have access to a computer. However, the figure drops to less than 50 percent in countries like Mexico or Colombia. The data worsens if we take into account the survey conducted by the think tank Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias, which indicates that only 23 percent of Mexicans have the technological capacity to work from home. In addition, according to INEGI, 1.1 million jobs were lost in Mexico between March and June. The worst month in terms of job losses was April, when 555,247 fewer jobs were recorded.