According to a survey conducted during the end of the lockdown last March by the Institut Paris Region, 58% of Paris Region’s residents would like to continue working from home in the future. The good news is that the region's infrastructure has proved efficient in meeting the rising needs of employees working from home.
Whether it is fiber, data centers or the 4G/5G network, the region’s top-notch digital infrastructure enables all business needs to be met while working remotely.
Working from home – a win-win situation for companies and employees
Working from home has been widely promoted in Paris Region thanks to the prevalence of service sector activities and the high proportion of managers. According to an Odoxa-Adviso Partners survey carried out for France info, France Bleu and Challenges, in April 2020, 40% of the working population worked from home during the lockdown.
Indeed, the overall outcome is largely positive. Employees appreciate having more autonomy and avoiding time lost due to traveling while maintaining social ties thanks to Zoom, Skype and Teams meetings. Surveys have revealed a positive link between working from home and great benefits, such as the ability to alter work arrangements to suit personal circumstances and likewise for parents, who need flexibility in their schedules for childcare and school events so they can spend more quality time with their children. Furthermore, working from home is an advantage for employees who have the added responsibility of caring for their spouses or older relatives, allowing them to manage household duties more efficiently. Altogether, working from home improves the quality of life due to a better work-life balance, consequently increasing job satisfaction and organizational commitment.
In accordance with French Labor laws, in the event of exceptional circumstances, in particular, the threat of an epidemic, or in the event of “force majeure”, the implementation of work from home may be considered as a necessary adjustment to the workstation to enable the continuation of the company's operations and ensure the protection of employees.
When discussing the impact of working from home during the lockdown, Steven Khoury, head of France & Client Solutions Europe at The Instant Group said, “Working from home was already part of our daily lives before Covid as Paris Region offers the largest number of flexible sites in France, which means you can go and work near your home, near your customers or near your partners.”
Paris Region has first-rate digital infrastructure, which is an important asset for the widespread adoption of working from home. To facilitate easy and efficient remote working, the region has:
• A very high-speed broadband region (HSBB)
100% of homes have Internet access.
90% of homes have access to the optical fiber (over 100 Mbits/s).
The region is ranked first among all regions in France for its HSBB coverage (source: baromètre THD ZoneADSL 2020).
• A significant number of data centers
Paris is among the top five cities in Europe to have a high density of data centers. There were 123 data centers listed in the last quarter of 2019. Most of them are located in Seine Saint-Denis, north of Paris (close to the telecom networks), which represents the highest concentration of such facilities in France. These data farms securely house personal data as well as corporate servers.
Since 2019, Paris City Hall has had its own data center. This is a first for a municipality, enabling it to control its technological choices regarding the storage and use of its citizens' data.
• A 5G network in the initial stages of development
o 4G coverage was available in 94-99% of the region in the fourth quarter of 2019, with four operators (Orange, Bouygues Telecom, SFR and Free).
o By the end of 2020, the 5G network will be launched. Tests are currently underway by operators on the new 3.5 GHz band, and the first commercial version of 5G should be released in the coming months.
The fifth generation of mobile communications (5G) will signal a major technological breakthrough. In addition to increased communication speed and power, it will enable new and complex digital uses to be addressed, both for the general public and for businesses (development of breakthrough applications in all industrial sectors due to the Internet of Things, in particular). It is, therefore, a strategic objective to enhance the competitiveness of the French economy. Paris Region’s companies and employees are expected to be the first to benefit from it.